Monday, Dec. 22
On my way home

When I started this journey, I purposely planned nothing for my return.

I left my job. I moved out of my apartment. I got rid of everything, including my beloved piano, that had the potential to tie me down. I created an entirely blank slate for myself, not knowing where I’d live, how I’d make money, what I would do with my days when I got back.

Of course, it would have been nearly impossible to secure a job ahead of time in the field of journalism, but I had another reason for avoiding that: I wanted to be free after my travels to do whatever I wanted, no roadblocks, even the kind that can give peace of mind.

I thought travel, free time and introspection might change my next step. Perhaps I’d want to stay in one of the countries I visited, take a job with a non-profit or extend my trip. Delve into something different.

Instead, it made my vision even clearer, put a spotlight on my desire to continue working as a reporter, despite a journalism job market that looks grim at best and a newspaper industry that’s even shakier than when I left.

After the many job cuts at newspapers across the country, I would venture to say it’s even a bit irresponsible of me to return to journalism, when I could stake out a better-paying job I’m sure still will be around in the next few years.

But I’m going to take that risk. I’ll look for a reporting position, either somewhere in Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C. — close to my family on the East Coast — or move back to Houston, a city I’ve craved during the last six months, and hope my editors missed me as much as I missed them.

The job hunt is going to have to wait a while, though. First I plan to work on a writing project, a conglomeration of my travel experiences, tying together stories I blogged about with those that are still in my notebook, waiting to be told. (There’s more, you say? Oh, yes. Just you wait.) In my wildest dream — one I’m almost afraid to write here for fear I’ll jinx it — I’ll publish a travel memoir.

Even if that doesn’t work out, I’ve gotten out of this trip what I had hoped. I feel satisfied, learned, reinvigorated, ready to get back to the grind of the life I was lucky enough to be born into. Ready to get back home!

“Yes, we’ll dance
Dance our way through our lives.”
— Pat Green