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The European Chronicles - 5/27/14

Day One. 

Brooklyn, NY, U.S.A.

It's about 6:00am EST as I begin this first entry of what hopefully should be a memorable journey. I've stayed up through the night with the hopes of sleeping for the duration of my eight hour flight to head across the pond. 

Yes, yours truly is headed on vacation, however, unlike my previous few vacations as of late to the Caribbean, a place my family calls home, I will be venturing over to Europe with the tag team partner as her and I will backpack through the beautiful country of Italy for eleven days, and then follow it up with three days in England. 

Unlike most vacations (again, usually in the Caribbean) where I shut myself off from work e-mails, Twitter feeds, blogging, and as much technology as possible, similar to my experience in California back in 2009, I plan on punching the keys as much as I can on this trip. Yes, the European Chronicles is born. 

[Side blog: My apologies to those who look forward to other posts and write ups. The DP is on a bit of a hiatus for the next two weeks!]

As the sun rises over New York City and many begin the usual rush to work, I sit here reminded of the past year that was. The past academic year, as my life now goes, was probably the most I've ever given myself to a job in my entire career. Not that I've phoned it in the past, but I really immersed myself wholly into my work, my planning, my programs, and most of all, my students, over the past ten months.

There were weeks where fourteen hour days and six day work weeks were the norm, all in the effort to put out the very best - program, event, or mentor ship - this academic year. And the funny thing is, there wasn't any mandate or direction made to me by my supervisors or bosses, just a personal challenge with myself to do the best job possible. 

And to be honest, I exactly wanted to do just that. I seriously want to be the best at what I do. And with that crazy challenge that consumed myself, I'll be lying if I didn't admit to sacrificing other elements in my life. My diligence in my faith suffered, I succumbed to illnesses and sicknesses more than I ever have, was mentally burned out once May rolled around, and of course, there was plenty of time with my wife that was sacrificed. Poor life balance? Absolutely. But, my absolute best was put forward. 

Would I make that trade again? Probably not. 

Nonetheless, I honestly can say I'm proud of the effort I put forward this year. An effort that laid a foundation for much smoother and easier years to come. I've proven myself to colleagues, to those in my line of work around the nation, to myself, and of course, to my students. And a lot of that was shown during commencement when many, many students uttered those words that make it all worth it, "Thank You", as they embraced me on their final day. 

With a long and rigorous year behind me, I'm very much looking forward to this upcoming trip. A trip where I'm going somewhere entirely new, and will be able to spend much needed time (even make some of it up) with my tag team partner discovering and adventuring through Europe.

And to be honest, since she's of Italian descent, I'm sure she is ready to see something more along the lines of her roots rather than the soca, reggae, beaches, and island vibe of my heritage that I've been pulling her to these last few years. 

I'm ready. And while I love the Caribbean, and will always choose going there over anywhere on God's beautiful, green earth for a relaxing vacation, this European trip is perfect timing. Just perfect. There is still roughly six hours until I leave for the airport, but I just wanted to bang out these thoughts and words as I begin this series. Hopefully, with internet access available at specific checkpoints, I'll be able to update the site as the two weeks progress. 

I'm very much looking forward to what is to come, and eagerly anticipating this journey. 

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