…the number of months of gypsy-jangling, not the Pearl Jam album. Every month i survive on the road, intact and sometimes even flourishing (to ongoing amazement), I come back to this sign.

This was painted inside the bus stop near my eldest sister’s home in Washington state, where I spent the first three weeks of my journey. I waited many grey, wintry days inside this shelter for the bus that would bring me to downtown Seattle, still something of a wreck, wondering what the #$^%$#%$ I was doing.

Hoping to hell I’d see the truth in it some day.

I’ve done some dumb things, learnt some hard lessons in this time, and I’m sure I’ve not plumbed the depths of stupidity quite yet (sad, but true). But I’ve learnt to be profoundly grateful for many things. Being in places where the freedoms I take for granted don’t exist, reminds me that I’ve had the pure luck to be born to the society I did, and parents I have, which meant I’ve had opportunities to choose the trajectory of my own life. That is one of the greatest gifts of all.