Archive for April, 2011


A few days prior to my departure, a friend I had met on my travels in Europe contacted me with the news that he was now living and working in San Fran. This friend is a fun loving, exuberant Irishman by the name of Eoghan. My travel companions and I had met Eoghan and his Aussie posse whilst in need of a place to live in Barcelona. We found ourselves living in the grimiest of apartments in the sketchiest of alley ways but loving every minute because of the great company and spontaneous adventures.

                Since my friend and travel companion, Ana, would not be arriving until the following day and our couchsurfing host worked late that evening, I had a whole solo day to venture the streets of San Fran. I could not think of a better way to spend the day than getting the “Eoghan Patrick” tour of the city which I was sure would include beer and some kind of fun trouble. We soon found ourselves sitting at Dolores Park drinking beer out of brown paper bag and watching masses of hip San Franciscans congregate in the park with their dogs and reminiscing about past travels.

A long walk through the city brought us to the eclectic and distinctly Latin saturated district of The Mission. As it turns out this area happened to be where our couchsurf host lived and would be our home base in the following days…

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Goat Rock Beach, Santa Rosa

Day 1

 

En-route to San Francisco

Let me think back to where this all began. The seed for the idea of this trip was planted a long time ago, it’s hard to remember when my fascination with foreign places began. I do, however, remember looking at maps as a child and feeling a sense of fascination at the expanse of the world and all the possibilities it held. My Dad had, at one time during my childhood tacked a map above my and all I wanted was to able to stick colorful tacks into the places I had visited. I no longer have a colorful poster on my wall in which to stick tacks documenting my ventures, but I am proud to say that my passport bares witness to more than one border crossing and is somewhat adorned with colorful stamps from all over. I am, however, nowhere near reaching my goal of setting foot on every continent and calling myself a seasoned traveller. Up until this point my travels have taken me to South and Central America, as well as a four months long trip across Europe. At this very moment I am sitting on a flight headed towards the first leg of what will likely be the trip of my life. I will be arriving in San Francisco for a week long stop-over to explore the famously hip city before setting off for our destination, the grand continent of Australia.

Just over a year and a half ago I found myself single and at a crossroads of sorts. The choices laid out before me were job security and setting down roots or putting my life on hold to travel. A friend and I decided on a three and a half month trip to Europe which we told ourselves would be the last lengthy trip on which we would embark as we were both in our mid-twenties and feeling the pressure to settle down. Yet here I am, a mere seven months since our return from Europe, on yet another, and longer trip into whatever lay ahead. I wish I could say that the knot in my stomach was due solely the excitement of being outbound again but truth be told it was excitement dosed with a small helping of fear. Having left my family, friends and life behind without much semblance of a plan, has left me feeling a weightlessness which is both intoxicatingly wonderful and slightly unnerving.

Will this trip be what I expect? Will I return to the life I left behind or will I gravitate to the life of a traveller and find another place on earth to call home?