On December 3rd, 2008 I returned from my last international adventure weak enough to be met with a wheelchair at the door of the plane. Though I highly recommend this as the speediest way of negotiating customs, I was not in the best shape. Still, even after the rather unpleasant and abrupt end to my time in Cambodia, as the plane touched down at O'Hare my first thought was, "Oh no. I don't know when my next plane ticket out of the U.S. is!" For the first time I could remember, there wasn't the assurance of some sort of trans-continental trip in my future.
I lasted almost 10 months like that.
At 22, my carbon footprint is probably big enough from all my air travel that I could use no other form of transportation than a bicycle for the rest of my life and it would still take several planets to sustain Earth's population if everyone lived like me. But for the moment, I am unrepentantly excited to have just spent more than I can probably afford on a plane ticket home for Christmas.