It was a harrowing 24 hour trip home on three connecting flights. At the Chicago airport, I found myself sandwiched in the middle of a Polish tour group in the customs line. Then one of them had the bright idea of getting the ones behind me to cut in front of me. I decided I wasn't going to have any of it and bitched them out. Then stormed up to the customs officer as soon as he was free. All the while, mad-dogging the original guy who told the others to cut me. Oh, how I'll miss such fun times on the road.

So here I am, back in San Francisco. And at the end of it all, I want to give a simple message to my friends. The ones I met on this journey. The ones I've known since before leaving home. The ones I only got to have a single conversation with when we both sat down under the same historic monument for a short rest. I know most of you will never see this, but still, I want to say thank you. This tiny token of appreciation is for the companionship you gave me when I was alone. And for giving me a place to stay when I was homeless. And for teaching me about how to pray at Buddhist temples or teaching me about ethnic cuisine in Bosnia, Nepal, and the Basque. And for going out to dinner with me the week before I left on this giant trip and calming me down from my worries about being kidnapped, raped, and murdered in Europe. These are the moments that made this journey everything it is.

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