|The road ahead...Central Asian Style|
I realized yesterday that this is my last summer as an undergrad, and quite possibly my last summer break ever. No more three month respites. No more long trips abroad or multiple short trips in quick succession. No more blank calendar space teeming with possibilities.
Summer has always been a somewhat strange time. You say goodbye to friends, not quite sure if you'll ever see them again. You pack up bits of your life and scatter them about, some here in Tucson, some at home with family, some tucked in a suitcase bound for some new strange place. You board planes, brave changing time zones and long airport concourses, and hope that your language skills are just a bit better than you think they are. You find a new place to call home, build friendships, navigate new maps, create new routines and traditions. You begin to settle in, find the things you like, make lists of those you miss, try to get comfortable...and then you leave. You return home, wherever that is, not quite the same, and try your best to settle back in while still clutching a few pieces of that short adventure into that once-strange-now-familiar place, adding to that list of places that still feel just a bit like home. You try to add a few of the new friendships to the old, time and place allowing, mourn what is lost, and life continues on as usual. If you're lucky, a bit of wisdom or lessons learned continue to surprise you in the years after that brief journey. Soon there will be a flurry to catch up with friends and family before school begins yet again. Such is summer.
So, here unfolds my last summer, my last undergraduate adventure, this time to the strange and unknown wilds of Texas (ok, Denton, not so wild). It may be a bit more work and a bit less wandering, but either way, here's to hoping for one last great adventure.
Photo by Kara Haberstock, 2010, all rights reserved