But my Sabbatical is!
6/7/17 - 6/7/17 50 °F
My story isn't over, but my sabbatical is! This has been a wonderful year for me. I went to 17 different countries and got to see so many family members and friends that I don't really get to see very much. I wrote 186 entries on this blog for my sabbatical year. This will be my last entry. I am sitting in the Iceland airport waiting on a 5 hour layover, before I leave for San Francisco. I figured this would be a good time to let everyone know how it all turned out. On this last trip I have been gone 3 1/2 months. The time went by very fast and it really doesn't feel like it was that long. I got to see and do everything that I wanted and more. I had great experiences that I will remember forever. The world is a big place, but when you travel it gets smaller. I met so many nice people along the way. People were kind to me everywhere. Kindness goes a long way, when you are traveling by yourself and I felt that everywhere. I learned so much about the places I visited this year and of course I learned a lot about myself.
I want to first thank the San Francisco Unified School District for having this sabbatical program. It is a wonderful opportunity for teachers to experience different cultures and I did just that. The program has since been cancelled, but I hope someday they will reinstate it. When people ask me what was the highlight of my trip, I have so many answers. Here are some of my top ones. Of course there are way too many to name. They are not in any specific order.
Following my brother with the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run in Austria
Making it to the top of the Citadel in Entrevaux with Iain
Experiencing the coldest day of my life with Maureen in Iceland
Niagara Falls with the bearded man
Arran Island Day Trip on a hot day in Scotland
Dinner with Gary, Audrey and Scott in Failford
Auvers-sur-Oise with my mom
Anne Frank's House with Kyle
Walking the wall of Dubrovnik with Iain, Maureen and Gordon
Spending the day with Aunt Margaret anywhere
Meeting Janice and Eugene for the first time in Croatia
Putting my feet on the marble starting blocks in the Ancient Olympic Stadium
Amsterdam with Kyle
Staying and exploring in Nice
Slovenia and Lake Bled with Iain
Budapest on a nighttime cruise
Dinners in Cumnock with my family
London with Ross
Flea Market in Paris and the lunch that followed with my mom and Kyle
Leaving the Port of Venice on the cruise with Iain, Gordon and Maureen
Staying with my family in Italy
Dinner with 200 Italians
Laughing at the dinner table with Margaret, Gordon and Donald
Sharing a room in Paris with my mom and Kyle
Spending time with my family and friends in Scotland (Gran,Papa,Gordon,Margaret,Gary,Audrey,Scott,Ross,Kayleigh,Erin,Donald,Maureen,Gordon
Hot water bottles in my bed in Scotland, thanks Gran!
Day trips with Papa, thanks Papa!
I want to thank all of you that read the blog and commented, sorry I didn't get back to everyone. Thanks to my family in the United States and in Scotland (Iain, Kyle, Connor, mom, John, Betty, Leslie, Billy, Gordon, Margaret, Gary and Audrey)for always checking with me on my whereabouts and what I was doing. On this Europe trip, thanks to Maureen who when I said "Do you want to join me in Iceland?" She said yes, I know it probably wasn't her first choice for places to meet me, but thanks Maureen I had so much fun. To Gordon and Maureen thanks for all the rides that you gave me over there and for the wonderful day trips we did. To Donald, I enjoyed all the time we spent together and thanks for showing me again and again that the mind is stronger than anything else. You are an inspiration to me. To Gordon and Margaret and Gary and Audrey, I loved spending time with all of you, thanks for the dinners, day trips and your friendships, they mean the world to me. To Gordon who spent his days off with me, thank you. To John and Betty, thanks for letting me stay with you all that time, including all the meals, but mostly thank you for being who you two are. I felt like I was at home when I stayed with you. I love you both very much. To everyone in Scotland who took the time to show me part of your beautiful country, thank you! To Kyle and my mom, Paris was hilarious and wonderful. To my brother Billy, who I followed on the torch run, thanks for letting me share something that is so important to you. To my dad who I know was watching me on this trip, thanks for planning my first trip to Europe when I was 22, I think you would be happy to see where I went and what I learned. I carry you with me in my heart everyday. My parents love of traveling, has certainly been passed down to me. I hope Kyle and Connor continue to explore the world. Lastly to Iain, thanks for supporting me emotionally and financially in order for me to follow my dream. I had a wonderful time in all the places we went during the month you spent with me. I love you very much! I wrote at the beginning of my blog "Not everyone will understand your journey. That's fine. It's not their journey to make sense of. It's your's". At the time, I didn't know if everyone would understand what I wanted to do and as I traveled I realized it didn't matter because we all choose our own path, and we all have our own journey to explore, whether it's at home or away. I loved my journey! Thanks for letting me share it with you!
Now if the Warriors can just win the Championship!