Chapter 26: Rest Peacefully

Uncle Jimmy!

Hello from the UK! I was going to wax on about all that we’re seeing here, but honestly, I’m starting to sound like a travel blog. Suffice it to say that it’s beautiful, the Scottish people are grand, and it’s an experience. As is every place I seem to go.

This will be my last posting to you for awhile. It’s time to close this adventure up and move on. And despite my many words, it’s been difficult to describe just how happy and excited I’ve been these last few months.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being such a good listener. Then again, what else did you have to do with your days besides laying there and listening? I’m guessing the cocktail scene in the cemetery is a little on the slow side most afternoons.

Do you remember an earlier letter where I mentioned thoughts of “what’s next?”, even though I hadn’t even started the current ‘next’ yet? I need to come back to that before I leave you. And hopefully to share with you what advice I think you would have given me, had your hands been able to lift a pencil.

One of my questions back when this started was, why return to Barcelona and Europe? We had already “done” that, right? Wouldn’t travel to places yet unseen have been the better choice? Well, now that we’ve officially stuck the proverbial fork in this adventure, I think I can finally answer that a little better.

There were still many life questions unanswered from that first experience. Lessons that needed to be re-instilled. When I came home from that original jaunt, I had thought I was bringing back with me so many alterations to my lifestyle. The way I ate, the way I lived … everything had an “aha!” revelation to be applied and enjoyed. And I rather quickly didn’t apply them. It wasn’t that I had forgotten what I had learned. It was that I hadn’t yet learned the lesson of not falling back on the usual.

So the idea of coming back to Barcelona, and retracing many of my footsteps from the previous trip, was to also re-experience it with the knowledge of what it was like to leave it. A final exam sort of thing.

So, what happens now? That big choice of stay, wander, or go?

Well, it looks like … I have yet to make a decision. I’m finding myself starting to ask a question quite different from “should I live in Barcelona full-time or not?”. Actually, what I’m realizing now is that I must instead ask two completely different and separate questions. Where, and how?

I think a driving force behind the “where” half of the question is my desire to just run away. Live the life of an expat, where national politics only matter as far as they apply to visa-holders.

You see, I intensely despise the current direction the United States is taking, as far as isolationism, reduction of basic rights, and this nonsensical desire for an extreme conservative and religious existence for all citizens, all in the name of utopia for a select few. But then again, that mentality is rearing its ugly head all over the world. So is living abroad and disconnecting from the day-to-day onslaught of our homegrown craziness just me wanting to escape? Would I be exchanging one loony bastard for another? I have no idea yet, but I’m starting to suspect so.

The bottom line is that I’ve become a little too focused on the where, rather than the how and when and let’s just freaking go. And that single topic mentality can only serve to limit, right? It shouldn’t matter where my mail is delivered, or where I return after some outing.

So yes, I do still need to decide where I will reside. But that doesn’t alter in any way how I want to live. Because as far as the ‘how”, I’m pretty much settled on a path. I want to wander.

During our last trip, you might remember that I experienced two different flavors of travel, one just as we’ve done this time, and the other wandering like gypsies from place to place. And I’ve come to realize that I like door number two better.

What I’m thinking is that no matter where I “live”, I must put my energies into constantly filling my life with serendipity. A never ending stream of experiences, discovery, and life. Pursue more than just an existence unlike what I was living, and instead focus on one that is forever incredible, scary, wild, and seeking.

I’ll fill you in on the details later. After I decide them. For now, all my love from wherever I am, to you, wherever you are. You have been an inspiration and a good sport.

Your still favorite nephew, Rick

LETTERS TO A DEAD UNCLE

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