So Long, Sis...
Michelle and I at Mokka for our last dinner.
Back to Hungary.
July 1, 2006

I feel like I am on an episode of the Real World right now. More specifically, I feel like I am on the last episode of the Real
World. The one where everybody leaves and there is always one person who is the last person left. This is always the person
that it is the hardest for.

The only difference right now is that this is not on a reality television show. Nor were there seven strangers put together.

It was just me and my sister. It is 4:30am and she just left to go to the airport. My flight to Cape Town doesn’t leave until this
afternoon. It seemed so normal to hang out with her for a couple weeks. Even when I first saw her in Ljubljana, it seemed as if
no time had passed from when I had last seen her in San Francisco. I know I will see her in another four months but I still can’t
help but be a little bit sad.

We had a great farewell dinner in Budapest last night. I guess it didn’t totally sink in that it would really be the last time I hang
out with her before she left. After we gave each other a hug and a kiss good-bye, I went out in the hallway to give her another
hug (one that was a bit better than the one I gave her as I was half-asleep). But she was gone. The elevator was already back
on its way down to the lobby.

Now it is back to email contact for a while.

It is funny because it has been a piece of cake traveling on my own. I haven’t missed San Francisco and I haven’t felt lonely.
Not once. Having my sister here actually showed me just how different it is traveling with somebody else versus traveling by
myself. There are pros and cons to each. Having my sister here was great. We had a great vacation and we will be able to look
back and reflect on this trip in the future. On the other hand, by spending the last two weeks with somebody, I eliminated the
option of meeting people along the way.

Before this trip, I thought that it would not be possible to have much more than superficial conversations with each new person
that I met. I only say this because most of the time there is just ‘small talk’ when meeting somebody for the first time. I have
found this to not be the case at all. I have met so many interesting people – people that I have truly learned things from.
People who I can be myself around (meaning being totally comfortable with dorking out and sharing my random observations).
People who, upon parting ways, I will share one farewell hug with. I know that more of these encounters are in my future.

In the meantime, I am forgetting about those new friends that I am going to meet. I am just thinking about being a bit sad and
feeling a tinge of loneliness now that my sister has left…