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Online Journal: Zagreb Day 2 (05/22/2013)

Today, it was Plitvice National Park day in Zagreb.  We piled into a car built to transport eight guests to the park…unfortunately we had nine so Teddy, Dan, and I squished into the back with a Brazilian dude because it makes sense to have four of the five largest bodies in the car all crunched together and not the two 5 foot nothing Asian loser faces…anyway, the anguish of the 3 hour ride from Hobo Bear to Plitvice was not worthless as we got to know Tyler and Brandon who had been traveling Asia for the past four months before recently coming to Europe because they had grown tired of the Asian wild lands (which is actually the entire continent).  They had many stories from their four month tour de force including an all out brawl with bed bugs in Vietnam and eating only peanut butter sandwiches for days at a time.  Upon arriving in Plitvice, we hustled through the beautiful park rife with waterfalls and lakes.  The lakes were filled to the edges with fish of both minuscule and tremendous sizes.  Aside from the beautiful lakes and waterfalls, the park contained thousands of the most inconsiderate and awful tourists I’ve ever had to face in my entire life.  The most notable were any Asian women and a group of French people who stopped with incredible ineptitude in the center of the path for an incalculable amount of time .  These baffling displays of rudeness left a stain on my visit to the gorgeous Plitvice which will never come clean…anyway, the hike through Plitvice was meant to last 4-6 hours, but we and our Canadian comrades finished in less than two leaving us speechless.  We decided to just turn around and hike back around the lakes and waterfalls again rather than take the train which transported finishers to the parking lot.  We had a firm deadline of 4 from our driver, but fuck that.  We meandered through the park and, having paid the guy 100 kuna, decided we could return at our leisure.  He was a little pissed, but hey he’ll get over it.  The swampy back seat was retaken by the three of us and our Brazilian bro.  After returning to the Hobo Bear a few hours later we went and garnered dinner at the brewery garden again.  We cheers-ed our final goodbye to Europe here…

For the first time I’m writing one of these things on the day of!  As I sit here and ponder the past three weeks of my life with “Ghosts That We Knew” coming on my shuffle I have a few revelations: the first is I realized I’ll never be able to have as fun and amazing adventures with anyone but my brothers.  I’m sure I’ll have plenty of amazing times with friends in my future; however, no one knows me like Teddy and Dan and we never fail to have an amazing time together.  They being away at college for the last 3 years (and more for Teddy) caused me to forget this momentarily, but it didn’t take long for me to remember.  Secondly, I realized how easily I miss home.  I’m here in these amazing places having amazing times, biting still welcome my homecoming with open arms.  Teddy asked me if I was ready to go home yesterday and I told him, “I could go both ways” and it was the truth.  Staying in Europe would be spectacular and I am filled with anxiety waiting for my next trip across the pond; however, these amazing places lack some of the places and especially the people I hold dear.  It’s the reason I couldn’t work in Wyoming this summer and why I may never be able to.  My final revelation was a little less telling, but important to me all the same.  I realized I want to be able to travel this fine world as much as possible.  I want to be able to run the Prague Marathon again someday.  I want to see Angkor Wat and the beaches of Spain.  I want to bungee jump from a cable car in Interlaken and take on the sights of an Italian sunset over the Mediterranean Sea.  If I want all of this to happen, I have to push myself to be better because no matter what I wish these dreams won’t come free.  Life is better spent living here in these places and having revelations like the ones I’ve been blessed with.  Being missed and missing are two of the best feelings in the world when you really consider the depth of love and friendship withheld in them…and that’s all I have to say about that.  See you state side.

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