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june 24, 2006

i am back in the land of bad soccer teams.

the third largest country in the world just got eliminated in the first round of the world cup - eliminated by a country playing in their first tournament. how does that happen? i became a soccer/football fan during my trip and was looking forward to the world cup but my team has just been ousted in the first week.

that sucks. is there still room on that brasilian bandwagon? nah, i'll be cheering for my second favorite country now of course: ARGENTINA!

so, right, i am having a great time back here in the u.s.a. (despite the world cup disaster.) it's great to be home again after my epic 26 month journey around-the-world. i am reconnecting with my friends, my family, and chicago style pizza. i am currently in southern california house-sitting for my sister. it's all good.

my trip was a dream come true; i never imagined that it could have been that good. i pretty much did everything i had hoped to do: i saw amazing sites, jumped off lots of high places, ate tons of weird stuff, partied like it was saturday everyday, learned 10 lifetimes worth of lessons in two years, became conversational in a foreign language, sailed on a ship across the carribean, played guitar and sang on many strange stages for crowds of strange people, got my first two magazine articles published, celebrated holidays in exotic places, climbed mountains, rode camels, rode trains, rode motorcycles, walked on the ocean floor...it was the greatest two years of my life, no question.

but not due to those exciting activities - they were incredible - but rather because of the people i met. seriously. a trip around the world is nothing - nothing - without great people to share it with. it's the people that made it.

the people i met on the road and all my friends and family back home that supported me throughout my journey, with phone calls, visits, emails of encouragement, packages in the mail, ticket purchases, making reservations, allowing me to live with them before i left...countless things that made it so much easier to keep on keepin' on.

it's impossible for me to simultaneously thank every person individually and keep this of reasonable length, so to all of you i say a great big:

THANK YOU! GRACIAS! OBRIGADO! KIITOS! TACK! SPASIBO! DANK U! MERCI!

thanks to everyone back home who didn't forget about me, encouraged my dream, and participated in my trip. i couldn't have done it without you!

and to all those new friends, thank you for sharing your friendship with me while i ventured around the globe. you made my trip unforgettable and i will eternally be grateful for that. we had some fun times, eh? thank you for your open minds and for treating me as an individual, as michael kivisto, not as an american, not as a white guy, not as a protestant, nor as a male, but rather, simply, as me.

now if we can only teach that to the rest of the world we'll have world peace! seriously!

thanks so much for visiting my website - i am glad you enjoyed browsing it as much as i did creating it! here are the final entries:

the story of my overland journey from colombia to the u.s:update #25

a bullet-point summary of my entire trip (fun bathroom reading material):update #26

the photos since the last update:gallery #130

the photos of the entire trip:all galleries

one last thing before i sign off: if you have ever been inspired to take a trip of your own, by my site, by another friend's stories, by grafitti on a bathroom wall, whatever, GO FOR IT. live without regret, i say. go around the world: it's the greatest gift you can ever give yourself. or do you want to be rocking in your chair when you are 85 years old saying: "i wish i would have"? right. neither do i. go for it. listen to that voice that is urging you to do something, whether it is traveling the world, asking her to marry you, moving to another state, changing jobs, drinking the most raw eggs in your university dorm, whatever. GO FOR IT. when you encounter some hard times - you will of course - just remember to reach down deep, grab that reserve strength and....

KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON!
mike the nomad

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