Like many things in nature... life tend to follow momentum very well. My trip had some pretty heavy forward momentum for the past two months for whatever reasons those were. Not every moment was glorious or deeply satisfying, but there was enough exciting things sprinkled between the long drawn out portions to more than make up for them. But like a ball rolling into a brick wall, momentum can be taken away just as quickly. I'm currently sitting in my room in Amsterdam, trying to figure out... well... a lot of things. First and foremost is trying to figure out what I"m going to do next on this trip. My options are beginning to dwindle, partially due to cost, partially due to time, and partially due things just not working out the way I had wanted (a typical scenario). Now... that brick wall I was talking about was this recent bout of flu I managed to pick up and that I'm still trying to get over. Thankfully the really nasty bits are over and done with, but the linger lethargic feeling as well as the occasional headache still are around to remind me that yes... I was sick... on a trip to Europe. Just my luck.
The next bit of figuring goes a bit deeper, and thats why I'm here in the first place. The easy answer of course is that I went "Hey! Europe! Lets go!" and well... that might be the correct one.
Or it might not be.
I don't tend to know what I'm planning until well after I've planned it, and this has certain downsides, one major one being foresight (or the lack thereof). The "that seemed like a good idea at the time" excuse only works so often before it gets trite, and thus one is left seeking some deeper meaning their own decisionmaking process. My decision-making process tends toward the agonizingly slow variety, with most things needing a double or triple thinking over before I can commit to it. I've been trying to avoid doing that on this trip, and for the most part its been a success up until recently, when having lost forward momentum and needing to regain it I've been unable to really plot my next course of action. The Nurburgring is still on the list, but it looks like it might not be possible to make reservations for that in the near future (by near I mean in the next few days). This leaves heading farther east into Germany (not something that was really high on my list) or just skipping the Ring for now and heading straight for Milan. I loath skipping the Ring, but without a car to drive I'm a bit SOL unless I can swing back around and hit it before I leave. Even Milan or Torino don't seem that exciting anymore, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on other than that well, I'm expecting a solo journey there to be very similar to my solo journeys elsewhere in Europe. Maybe this is as far as my solo journey can really take me, or that I will allow it to take me at this time. That little voice in my head saying "It would be more fun with more people" keeps popping up now and again, and there's no denying its correct. But my situation is what it is, and now I just need to figure out how I'm going to make it work better. Its kind of strange in that you would expect being here (rather than America) that I would have far more options and thus not run into those things. But unlike being in America, I can't just decide on a whim to drastically change direction. Any huge location changes will result in major transportation headaches, and its something that I've been trying to work out since I've gotten to Amsterdam.
On this topic of transportation, I would just like to say that given a choice, I would take European rail travel over flying any day. I may take just an hour via plane vs four hours via train, but this does not take into account the transportation from the city to the airport, hour (at least) you lose before the flight, and the transportation from the airport to your destination. The nice thing about train stations is that they tend to be located really centrally and thus save you quite a bit of transportation time. Not to mention first class trains feel just as good as any first class flight (though the food was... barely edible) and you have the benefit of wifi for free AND no need to pass through security. Its a great system that should really be adopted in the states for some of the more highly traveled corridors, like say... Seattle/Portland/SF/LA/SD, or.... Boston/NYC/DC (no... Accela doesn't count... its barely high speed and its far too expensive for what it does), or even NYC/Chicago or NYC/Miami.
Back to Topic:
So where does this leave me? I'm not sure. I'm hungry, so I'm going to go eat soon (a good sign that this flu is finally going away), but beyond my immediate needs, I still don't have an answer for why I'm in Europe and doing all that I'm doing. I'm looking for something, but I'm not sure what it is, and I hope that I don't pass it up when I find it. Till then, I just have to keep moving one way or another and know that there will always be something new ahead.