Short Stint in Europe

A quick wrap-up to the last month of my world tour: Jerusalem to London by air, hitchhiking and ferry from London to Holland, and finally, Amsterdam to Chicago by air. Landing at Heathrow Airport in London was history in the making for me. This was the first location in the West I had been to before. One complete lap around the planet. In 1988 I did a three month tour of Europe starting at Heathrow Airport, but that's a Web story for another time.

In London, I called my old girlfriend Rockie and she invited me to stay at her flat. It was hard not to re-kindle the old flame, but we both had new mates so we were content just enjoying each other's company. I met up with several other travel mates I knew from my World Stomp. David from China, The Brit Chicks from Indonesia, and a Sanyassin friend from Osho's ashram in India. One of the best aspects of traveling is re-aquatinting with old friends and swapping gossip stories about places visited.

After a week, I rode the trains out of London and hitchhiked to the famous medieval city of Canterbury, where a pal from Australia lived and let me crash at his place. The next day he drove me to the English Channel where I caught a ferry to Belgium. From Belgium I hitchhiked to Eindhoven, Holland, where Katja lived. Since my money was almost gone and I had seen the sights of Europe before, the last three weeks of my world tour were spent hanging out with Katja in her apartment. Since pot is pretty much legal in Holland, I was pretty much stoned most of the time. Katja introduced me to all her friends, and after awhile I began to feel like a Dutchboy.

With my Dutch country girl.

Finally the day came when I had to fly back to the States. I said good-bye to Katja, but only for a month until she'd join me in Chicago. Returning home after three years abroad was a tremendous jolt. Seeing friends and family after so long was a loving and wonderful experience. Traveling changes a person so much, yet those staying in the same place seem to be exactly the same. A positive re-enforcement for a positive life.

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