Not What I Expected

The last ten months of my life have been one heck of a rollercoaster ride, and I’m glad I bought a ticket, took a deep breath and held my hands up for the drop.  

In less than a year, to say my life has changed drastically would be an understatement. I went from living in a cozy four bedroom house in Raleigh, NC to a two bedroom apartment in Nashville, TN, which I like to visit on rare occasions. I have gone from two jobs and a dog, to one job and hot dogs when I’m “home” because when you always leave tomorrow, grocery shopping is cheap and easy.  A year ago today I was 91 miles (about an hour drive) from my family. At this very moment in time there stands 337 miles between myself and those I love the most. By Thursday there will be 555 miles between us and come Friday morning 693 miles.

Is your head spinning yet?? As I said it has been a rollercoaster.

To try and quantify this metaphorical rollercoaster in some way I have compiled a few numbers.

  1. Since August 21stI have been on the road a total of 182 days. This comes out to 70% of my life since August 21st. Well, actually .6973… I rounded up.
  2. I have slept in 48 beds/couches/air mattresses/futons/ make-shift pillow-beds
  3. Since September 6th I have been in 35 different airports
  4. Total miles covered = 40,864 (One trip around the world is 25,906 miles measured at the equator. Before Christmas I will have more than covered the Earth twice.)
    1. Air – 38,155
    2. Highway – 2,537
    3. Train – 172
  5. I have been to 25 different towns/cities
  6. I have visited 18 Alphas in 10 months, some of them two and three times.

In three words my life has been up to this point, not what I expected… wait that’s four. (Now you’re rethinking the legitimacy of all the above numbers aren’t you?) Numbers aside the last 10 months of my life have been loco, and you can’t quantify crazy. No matter how many Alpha Visitor “fun facts” I come up with none will aptly describe what the life of an Alpha Visitor is like.

In my life I have had, and will have many experiences. However, no matter what the road has in store for me throughout my remaining years on this Earth I am sure that few experiences will impact my life as profoundly as the blessing that I call my job… and for that I can never repay my beloved Chi Psi.

“Thus, travel compels you to discover your spiritual side by simple elimination: Without all the rituals, routines, and possessions that give your life meaning at home, you’re forced to look for meaning within yourself…. this spiritual process is not always free of care. Indeed, if travel is a process that helps you “find yourself,” it’s because it leaves you with nothing to hide behind—it yanks you out from the realm of rehearsed responses and dull comforts, and forces you into the present.  Here, in the fleeting moment, you are left to improvise, to come to terms with your raw, true self.”   – Rolf Potts


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