Ubiquity: [yoo-bik-wi-tee] noun: the state or capacity of being everywhere.
While strolling the canals of Amsterdam, I came across a billboard with a single word, Ubiquity. It immediately struck me as the way to describe my 2012 summer, of where I had been thus far and what I had yet to uncover (~15 more destinations around the world).
I wasn’t doing a soul searching, pilgrimage trek across the East .. nor was I a “Corporate Downsizer” like George Clooney on a quest to bolster America’s unemployment numbers.
I was just plain blessed to step foot in 18 different countries and the two non-contiguous states of the Stars and Stripes, at the invitation of my family and friends.
Beginning on the island of PengHu (Taiwan) where I rode a moped up to 100km/hr in my second try ever on a motor powered 2 wheeled vehicle.
… Bowing in front of Sukyabashi Jiro (Tokyo) only to be shooed away by Jiro’s apprentice
…Engaging in the juxtaposition of third world Cambodia: tourism of Angkor Wat while children suffer from starvation just steps away from Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider temples
…Gorging on 4 Michelins starred meals of Hong Kong in 24 hours, yet spending less than $50 USD combined on the cheapest Michelins in the world
… Drinking bottles of wine and eating kebabs at the base of the Notre Dame de Paris along the river Seine, only to wake up the next day with intense stomach and head aches
… Discovering a heart touching 70’s Danish punk band in a downtown Copenhagen dive bar
…Learning that German youth spend 10 years of their early education on being reticent about their nation’s past.
… Conducting swim workouts in the Mediterranean in both the Cinque Terre (Italy) and along the eastern coast of Spain (Sant Pol de Mar)
… Piercing cold sweeping throughout my body as friends and I stood through the rain and wind on the Kenai River (Alaska) fishing for Coho Salmon
… Having those special life conversations on a beach front resort patio as the sun set along the Kauai coast.
Along the European stretch, I dined at some of the culinary meccas of our time. Many of them with Pellegrino and Michelin accolades disappointed my palate, but Louis XV of Monte Carlo dazzled and left me speechless. More on this in a separate post.
Originally September included a multi-week solo excursion in New York City. It was to include naps in the various urban parks and splurges at some restaurants I longed to try or return to (Saam Bar! Robertas!).
After all the travels, the mission of this summer evolved.
Summer became just as much about the family and friends in my life as my original mission: a last hurrah before corporate life begins. The autonomous trip to NY just didnt make sense, realizing that the summer was one of the last moments of enduring freedom…
Enduring freedom to hit up LA’s K-town bars on a Tuesday night… to plan an impromptu road trip/friend visit to Phoenix and Vegas… to sleep in till 11am whenever I wanted… to have home cooked meals every night of the week…to conduct whatever shenanigans for all the shits and giggles I wanted at anytime of day.
I collected more postcards, spent more time on a bed/couch/floor, and ate out more than I have ever had and probably ever will in a 4 month period in the summer of 2012, but in a more profound sense, I have never felt so many moments of calm.. so many moments where everything was just perfect.