With the engine torn apart and parts needed from the states and an important family reunion and wedding fast approaching, it seemed like the perfect thing to go back to the states for the month of August. And Grandma (bless her heart!) made this happen. Here is a picture of the cousins, minus Evan and Wes at the reunion in Pennsylvania at my Grandparents home. All my cousins on the Gamble side of the family are boys! We played lots of games of MoFia, deep into the night, which never got old! And some games of spade, bocci ball, football, golf, racing, asshole ….. Gaming with the Gambles is soo much fun!
After the Reunion, I had a little time to explore the East Coast before my cousin Andrew’s wedding in New York. Dan flew out from Portland (yeah!) and we had the run of his sister’s apartment and car for a couple weeks (thank you Katie!) in Washington D.C. Dan and I had a great time exploring together. I appreciated the capital of the United States in a whole new way after being in Asia and talking to all sorts of people about the states. My general feeling was ” I love the United States!” There is a lot to criticize but you have to admit, what has been achieved is amazing.
We drove to Annapolis, the sailing capital of the United States and found a sailboat for sale. Hmmmm? We spent hours dangling our feet off the warf, wrapped up in conversation as we watched the comings and goings of boats.
On our roadtrip up to New Jersey we decided to see if we could get ahold of Jeraimeee who were traveling across the country with all their belongings from Colorado to New Jersey and then continuing on to set up shop in New York. When we called them, it turned out that our paths would cross at a random town on the map in one hour. What are the chances! So we met for a drink and since it was getting late, we decided to pitch in for a hotel room the four of us and arrive on wedding day refreshed and ready to meet everybody!
Andrew and Linda’s WEDDING!
So after the swirl of the wedding its back to Portland I go! I’m considering staying in Portland and not going back to Asia so I can get a job and work to pay school loans that I’m basically TOTALLY ignoring right now which is a constant guilt factor that weaves through every day of my life! But the first 3 days in Portland, I wake crying. I can’t live there, at least not while our Contessa mission is unfinished. I’ve got this amazing opportunity waiting for me and how can I pass it up!! So after come soul searching conversations with my mom and Dan, I decide to head back out to Asia. YEah!!! Something about Asia, traveling, sailing (!!) has left a huge imprint on me and I have a feeling it will shape the rest of my life.
Dan and I have some fun times riding on the moto and visiting friends…..and even playing soccer on our soccer team (where we first met), it was as if I never had left! Its so strange to me how you can go half way across the world and have such intense experiences and learn so much and make so many new and different friends and then come back and it seems like time has stayed still, nothing has changed. That will forever baffle me!
Have I mentioned How Beautiful Oregon is? This is the Columbia River Valley my favorite place to ride the moto.
Leaving was sad. In these weeks, Dan and I grew very close. It was hard to have to say goodbye (again!). The long distance relationship (something I’ve told myself I wouldn’t do, I must like this guy!) is hard on Dan and I especially because of all the unkowns, how long will I be gone? will I come back?
On the other hand, I was very excited for the unknown adventures that lay ahead in Asia!!
So my flight back to Asia was hours of flying. Lots and Lots of taking off and landing, something I thought I could never get enough of, but I almost can say I have had enough…at least until I am in the cockpit :-)!
Baltimore—->Portland—->LA—–>Tokyo—->Singapore—–>Kuala Lumpur ——>Kota Kinabalu——>Labaun
and then BAM, here I am on the island of Labaun my stuff in one backpack and all of Contessa’s parts in another (huge!) bag. Being invited to a beer with everyone who has arrived for the Regatta……. and its as if I never left. (not that I’ve been to this part of Malaysia yet but conversations I had been having in Miri resumed right away)
I coulnt’ for the life of me find Colin’s contact info about being crew for him during the Regatta but took the gamble that he was still in need of crew and got myself to Labuan just in the nick of time. Thank goodness I did! He could use my help. It turned out to be well worth my effort! Bam, what followed was a week of racing, learning to sail, good conversations, awards, publicity, partying and lots of food and dancing.