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coolness infused in the changing breezes. sky paints its purple shades ever earlier. and my floral polka dots stubbornly refuse to let go of it. the end of summer. taking in the view of shifting seasons. i stall. in hope that time will extend the warmth of juligust into the future. when a rustling behind interrupts. that hungry sound. a growl bellowing from within a lively, wild growth. its leaves prick at my sides. as branches suckle me in. glossy dusk-dew envelopes my skin. our stems intertwine. and i’m lost in perpetual green.

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ripened by the sun. ready to be plucked. bursting with bite. a sun-fruit budding. left unharvested. forgotten in the shadows. on the verge of decay. but the fruit clings on. raw. tart. and unforgiving. the remainder of an equation in compromise. waiting on forces to shake her loose. the right energy to come along. for gravity to win.

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with wings one can bend and reach and soar in the open air of the world. discover delicate gems of memory building blocks. but what awaits the birdess upon returning. the nest. a space in need of sprucing to perfection. the dreaded stillness. juggernaut filling the airy aftermath. the need. of rooting talons into each day. but hard to ignore these restless sky-longing feathers. that crave the instability of up. perhaps they are wiser to a core nature. one of contradictions. and sometimes the grounding is above.

 

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Remember going to your local one hour photo shop to pick up prints from those indestructible disposable cameras we all tossed around on summer vacations. The excitement to see the partially light-fogged 4×6 candid moments on glossy or matte paper. And making sure to request double prints to share with summer friends. Keep that nostalgia in mind, my summer friend, when viewing these handful of moments from my recent adventure. For the youngins that have no clue of the magic of waiting for photos, just pretend this is a facebook album instead ;D

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When traveling with a eurorail pass the most viewed landscape ends up being station after station after station.

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And when not on the rails this blister-inducing footwear took me everywhere. From rickety wooden bridges in lush green forests

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to pastures where greeters were just as curious as their observers

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down outstandingly odd streets

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chased the dissipating sun

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and found a replacement light source in an iconic structure.

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They even helped me climb on to ancient stones.

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I gazed upon impressive spaces that were the size of villages

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And were responsible for saving a town.

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Entertained when we stumbled upon a stellar light show

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And by the famous Flamenco of Spain.

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Treated to more tastiness than should be allowed

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hours of train reflections

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and the most cliche European views.

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But my favorite shot to share comes from my hunt for seagulls on the northern coast of France. These stealth bombers (one dropped a payload on my friend) were quick and full of character. I successfully captured my soaring brethren in the perfect summer sky. And encapsulated the journey in one floating moment.

Plan: Land in one place. Grab a Eurorail Pass. Explore multiple countries over a two week span. Reality: Renewing my love for a nomadic lifestyle on a trip filled with family, friends (old and new), and flavorful food.

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This was not my first European adventure. In fact I used to live there. But something about the last two weeks felt more engaging than previous times I’ve run on the rails. More alive. Hard to articulate the journey’s fusion of the perfect traveling partner; luck; and discoveries, but I think this acrobatic neck flag in front of the Eiffel Tower sums it up nicely. Overall the days were packed full of sights, laughter, minor hiccups, and kilometer after kilometer of all types of landscapes. From mountains to sea. City to countryside. Old world and new. We saw it all. A two week journey is just enough time to taste the culture and leave my vagabond soul ready for the next backpack expedition.

 

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Writing of culture, I won’t bombard the world with every picture of the fine cuisine that I devoured, but I do want to mention a few highlights. Like this sweet dessert crepe — poached pear drenched in dark chocolate over a wheat crepe — we had after our savory lunch crepes in Versailles.

My European adventure began to feel like a tasting tour with all of the delicious treats and dishes I kept stuffing down. Pretzel bread and strudels. Crepes filled with various sweet or savory goodness. Breads of different shapes, sizes, textures, and fillings. Tapas and pincho delicacies. And the cheeses. Oh goodness the cheeses. They awakened some long lost cheese lover I had been hiding from myself all these years. Never been much of a foodie, but after this latest culinary European exploration I may have to become one.

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when it’s around my legs transform into cinder blocks. my appetite shrinks to unadventurous. and where excitement should be budding i find a void. even the summer sun cannot sway me from my devotion to procrastination. my want of avoidance. numbness to all. it has a weight. a presence. a name. i just have no interest in knowing it.

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fire coursing through veins. pump the heat that fuels this dance. rhythmic motions to beats unheard. endless energy flows outward. coming from nowhere. living everywhere. and i keep movement time. in this high. connecting with the jubilation of souls afar. whirling. join in this fire dance. for we are alive.