I get attached.

I have freewheeling, seemingly careless, sometimes plan-less moments that last from days to months (to years my parents might argue). I choose the reckless choice, I choose confusing, I choose the money-heavy ill planned options, I go muddy, I have unexplainable life experiences that are sometimes baffling. I end up on wrong trains, wrong trips, sick to my stomach, sick in the head, with bruises and cuts and small victories and defeats. I meet the right people, see the incredible sun rise, sit in awe of myself, shift the car with my left hand and drive left, laughing out loud that this is in fact what I have chose.

I sat in front of the computer, the option to go. I scroll between the purple 'buy' and the clear 'delete' buttons. I scroll. I sit. I open a bottle of wine. I sip. I scroll. I entertain my options. I walk away. I sleep on it, I wake up. I turn the ignition of my car and Springsteen's Glory Days plays and I go back in and I go upstairs and I bulldoze in and I sit and I go back to the button and I press "BUY".

If Nancy Dixon and Costa Rica could have verbalized a decision that was to be how it came. So I go, backpack full of shorts and suits and suntan lotion, devoid of expectation with only minimal hope that I can stay safe, learn something about surfing and maybe some Spanish. That my month away will give me time to ponder, to walk, to write, to asana, to believe.

I get attached. I fell a little in love with Calgary. I trekked the 8th Street route to and from Copeman for six months as I muddled through winter and my own catapulting thoughts. I made friends in all the unexpected places. I learned. I laughed. I cried- a lot. But attachment doesn't do anything besides stick me like glue to what I know. So I chose buy, so I go. I try to shrug off the last experience in Piedmont that left me cold in the heart and torn in spirit and I harness the spirit of all the other brave people who go and I pack up. And I go.

I cannot imagine what this adventure holds. But it will be something.

Walk with me as I go again. I detach, I choose not to stop, to be unstoppable, to be bulletproof. I prepare for the airport, the airplanes, the buses and boats that will take me to a new place.

Attachment has photos:

Where Hillary and I live- Downtown Calgary. Notice the snow and ice- this is April in the photo...

I just can't sit at a desk that long. I would roll my chair around in the back. I would dance in the lab for Angela. I would close my door and sit cross legged on the floor. I would work. I would drink coffee out of my "Holly" cup Mat brought me home from Korea.

... and then Lisa and I would go to Starbucks or buy Rittersport.
I spent all kinds of occasions with my family! Hillary's 24th Birthday...

and thomas' graduation. Yeah! Little Brother!

Hillary and I did all kinds of cool/ funny things. Shadow puppetry, coffee and wine sampling, fine and lousy dining, Saturday morning parties and skating at the ice rink. I was deeply amused by our "lists".

Attachment has photos... but detatchment has an experience. I dive into it...
Still one of the best moments of my entire year: looking out at the cliffs in Balitmore, purchase Ireland.


November unknown-th and garland decorates the counter where I sit indicating another change of seasons that I can’t believe has really come along. For the significant part of the year I have wrote on this blog in cafes and library’s and farms and leader houses, viagra order I have stolen wireless signals and plugged in wherever I could have access to. When I read my own words from this year and the last I realize the true ebs and tides of my life with Backroads.

I always felt it strange the things I longed for. Peanut Butter (McAdams), drugs Salsa that doesn’t cost 8 Euros, coffee in a place I could sit and not be forced to stand at a counter. Someone to talk to in English, a friend that I could pick up with where I left off, cooking from my mom’s oven. Familiarity is what I would crave- but itemed things aside what I really missed was the people.

For all over this broad wide world I have watched the sun rise and fall, and it isn’t the things from home it was the people. Because you take everyone with you as you go, but at the same time you can’t help wishing for their physical material presence.

In true Holly form at the ending of something I pause to reflect and answer some of my own questions. It might not be the end of the year but a survey is in order. Self asked questions, self directed answers.

1. Best Backroads experience:
Travel, travel everywhere. Seeing what I saw. Going to gyms in 5 countries. All the people I met. Broad and generic, but I just can’t help it.

2. Best party night
Bowling gone wrong night with Tim and Devin in Las Vegas/ Boulder City; Every night at Crowleys that ended up at the Square Pint, my 25th Birthday at the Chinese food Joint in Saluzzo.

3. Worst party night
My first night in Ireland with Scotty and Eoin and Eoin’s parents. YIKES. Helpful hint: mindful of the never-ending wine glass, and Blumers and Whiskey don’t mix.

4. Favorite new Backroads person:

That one is a tie. And for all the new wonderful people I met this year it would be hard to call but I’d have to say Mr. Scotty O’Nair and Rebecca Cross. I’d give a big shout out to Alex (my former Boss), Nancy Dixon (happy/broken), and all the Italian immersion crew.

5. Favorite new non Backroads person
Una (Brooklane Kenmare), James Murphy (everywhere in Kenmare), Joan (Antico Podere Propano, Saluzzo)

6. Best bike ride
115km day on Slovenia Staff Ride. Unreal.

7. Unexpected joy
The Irish wedding I went to with Eoin, the time I spent with Jody and Celine in the Rockies, Caitlin Rockstar Pietras mailing me stuff from all over the world, the notes I got from Sarah Dukovac- the one woman who managed to get me mail to EVERY single location I worked at this year. Take a bow lassie!

8. Unexpected difficulty

26 hour plane ride from Kenmare to Toronto via 5 airplanes,
losing my luggage at SFO on my way to Vegas at the very START of this year and having to wear Brian’s clothes for all of my familiarization time (nothing says awesome like a girl in basketball shorts and wife beaters), all my time in Piedmont with the non-english speakers. Patience, it seems needs to go on the list of things I can continue to develop.

9. Favorite new town

Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland: the location of our Ireland leader house. OR
San Giovanni Valdarno, Tuscany: location of our Tuscany leader house.

10. Most awkward experience

When I tried to return a DVD player from the Ireland leader house to the local hardware shop (wrong shop) then when I got the right shop I had the wrong DVD player in the box (oops) walked home to change in to the right DVD player and left the receipt at home, awkwardly walked home with the DVD and box (why didn’t I just leave it there as I went home?) then came back with the DVD player in the RIGHT box with the receipt and we plugged it in and nothing seemed wrong with it (despite it not working at our home). All whilst three of the most beautiful Irish men I have ever seen watched in amusement (or pity?) behind the counter laughing openly at my embarrassment and misfortune. I probably also didn’t wash my hair that day and wore no makeup or something ridiculous.

My Russian Caravan black tea is cold but almost finished and my clock indicates that my time here is running out and soon my net will be a puff of smoke and a wonderment of ‘did this whole year really happen?’ as I stay here for a while and enjoy my life in Canada. For following my journey I am grateful beyond words. This is like having a diary that talks back.

That’s all she wrote. Until the next adventure begins.

Beauty and grace are performed whether or not we sense them. The least we can do is try to be there. ANNIE DILLARD

Understanding your village helps you understand your whole world. TOLSTOY