Gracias, Danke, Dziękuję, Hvala, Tack, Blagodarya, Grazie, Merci...Thank You

mamihlapinatapei n. (Yagan) A wordless yet meaningful look between two people who desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the famous Eat, Pray, Love, writes, “In the end, though, maybe we must give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives.  In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”  I have witnessed a thousand acts of kindness over these last eight months, and all of them have sought to reaffirm my belief in the amazing capacity of human kindness.  I can’t even begin to express my gratitude to ever single person who helped along the way, who gave me a place to sleep, put food in my stomach, gave me change for a train ticket, or simply said a few kind words to help me up when I was down.  I know I can never repay every act of kindness I was shown, and I may never even see most of those people again.  Though our lives are bound on different paths, they touched mine and altered its course.  A river keeps flowing despite the stone thrown in it, but that doesn’t mean the ripples don’t exist.  So this is a thank you shouted into the void to all those stones who cast themselves in my way and made an impact on me.  I may not be able to pay you back, but I will do my best to pay it forward.  But there is still one thank you I still have left to say, and that’s to all of you.

I want to take a brief minute to thank you all for reading this, however many (0r few) of you there actually are and whether you’ve been doing so from the start or just stumbled across this one post.  Seriously, thank you.  Writers are a funny breed because we spend so much time and effort documenting tales without any real assurance that anyone other than our mothers will read them.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this blog, but it’s become more than I could ever hope for.  Unlike many aspiring authors, I have no delusions that I am going to be a best selling author, topping the New York Times bestseller list or be features as part of Oprah’s Book Club.  I am, however, fairly optimistic that I will at least be able to publish some books at some point in my life (when, who can say).  I only that you will one day be able to find a single copy of my titles in the back shelves of the travel section or perhaps on the Amazon pages of Bill Bryson and Cheryl Strayed under the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” with a small picture of my book and a solid 3.5 stars below it.  That is about as fanciful as I get.  Thank God for low expectations, says the person who survives purely on coffee and the promise of more.  But I’d like to think that maybe one you guys will see my name on the cover of a book and you’ll remember the days when you read her free platform blog and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be interested in my newest adventures and in my stories.  The fact that you have even been reading this at all gives me hope for that future, no matter how unlikely it may be.  So thank you once again.  As a writer, I am always struck by the seeming inadequacy of the phrase “thank you”.  Linguistically it is simple.  It does not contain flowery prose or complex metaphors or any of those things we writers are suckers for.  But sometimes simple is best.  Sometimes we don’t need complex sentences when just a few good words, honest words, will do.  It all boils down to a simple thanks.

This is sounding an awful lot like a goodbye post, and while my blog will definitely slow down at the conclusion of my journey, I do still have a few more posts to come to stay tuned.  I have one more favor to ask of you all.  I know, I know, here I am thanking you for being amazing and yet I’m asking something else of you.  Please let me know what you all think of this blog, or my writing.  Is there something you don’t like about it?  Let me know.  I’m not promising to change, because writing is stylistic and subjective to a certain extent, but knowing it still helpful.  I’m open to constructive criticism.  That’s how we improve and get better, so be honest with me about what I’ve written here. 

I know it hasn’t all been entirely correct in terms of grammar and spelling but that’s because I simply don’t have the time to go back and edit these posts when I write them.  My priority is getting them written and published and even that is extremely difficult and time consuming when my days are already exhausting.  Often times, blogging is the last thing I want to do when I get back to the hostel from a day exploring, but it’s something I force myself to sit down and do anyway.  It’s definitely not an easy task, but I can at least say I’m proud of how dedicated I have been.  Writing is one of those things where it’s really easy to start with promise and slowly taper off when it gets hard.  I at the very least don’t feel like I’ve done that, so if I have a few spelling mistakes and some missing words, sue me.

But that aside, I want to know what you think and once again (I’m starting to sound pretty repetitive here I know, but third time is a charm) thank you.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for taking time out of your own lives to read about mine.  It means the world to a wayward writer who wants nothing more than to have her stories heard.