The hardest part is over. I can finally sink into the soggy part of the passenger seat and just breath. April is taking the first shift. Maybe I will catch a nap. Sleep has been in short supply for over a month now.

Wide.MennoniteFarm, NY USA - Karina Noriega

Wide.MennoniteFarm, NY USA – Karina Noriega

But it’s just too beautiful to sleep. The sky is so clear and the sun so bright that I might actually believe that Spring hasn’t completely abandoned us.

The fog of the move, the crash course in blogging, the frantic mess of learning to bank across borders, and somewhere in there figuring out how see the whole world on a surely worn shoestring, it’s all finally lifting. April, myself and my knight-in-rusty-armour have all made it across the border (not without some heavy questioning).

The NY-5 East across upstate New York suddenly feels warmer than the QEW-Niagara. The trees seem to be budding sooner and the grass is literally greener. My spirits lift as my muscles finally release. It has been the longest, coldest and most dreary winter I’ve ever experienced.

The type that confines you within 3 foot radius to the heater; not too mention big fuzzy socks and grandmas flannel sweater. Those ice chains are melting now and new freedom comes in the form of an open road. The sweetest little towns each with their own ‘village hall’ and volunteer fire departments slowly pass us by. Mom and Pop shops dominate the single round-about marker of ‘downtown’. These are the places where “nothing bad ever happens’.

MennoniteFarm, NY USA - Karina Noriega

MennoniteFarm, NY USA – Karina Noriega

The United States of America may not evoke thoughts of the exotic and remote, but it should. For the next 4 months, this extraordinary trio of travelers (I’m counting Tank as one since we can’t do this without him) will be roaming from coast to coast gasping at some of the world’s most famous landmarks (think Statue of Liberty, the White House or the Golden Gate Bridge). Along the way, unforgiving terrains like Death Valley or Tornado Alley will give stark contrast to the man-made wonders.

It doesn’t take hurricane strength winds or sky high buildings to impress me though. I am already in awe. Somewhere near the Finger Lakes as we follow the Seneca wine trails, I notice a young Mennonite boy riding some kind of soil mixing thing (clearly I was not raised on a farm). He is pulled by a row of 6 strong horses ambling in unison as the sun begins to dip behind the broken down barn.

It provoked that same ‘World is expanding’ feeling I got after laying eyes on my first golden Buddist temple in Thailand, the first time I got picked up hitchhiking in Central America or my first Brazilian Jiu-Jit Su lesson Jericoacoara, Brazil… just to name a few. Finding beauty in other peoples everyday life is just one of the perks of being a traveler.

~ A Wise Tale By Karina ~

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