844 days, 20,256 hours, 1,215,360 minutes, or 72,921,600 seconds. That is the approximate duration of my world tour. I never wanted it to end and now, in a manner of speaking, I suppose it never has to. If you wish to go by country do so by clicking on one above. They are numbered in the order I visited them, more or less. If you enjoy reading about it even a tenth as much as I enjoyed living it then you will not have wasted your time. Grab a refreshing beverage, settle in a comfortable chair, and make a journey across the world, experiencing it as I did. Then get off your ass and check it out for yourself. You're not getting any younger.

Existential Growth

'Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.' -Aristotle

March 2011 - Let's talk hair. Specifically, I would like to talk about my hair. I cannot honestly remember the last time I ran a comb or a brush through it. We're talking years. Eight years. Perhaps longer. I am not sure what that says about me but it's probably not good. A few years ago when my hair was short I'd put gel in it and just bring it all forward. Total time expenditure: about 60 seconds. This contrasts sharply with my high school days when I would spend up to 45 minutes 'doing' it. Hair dryer. Hair spray. The whole nine yards. Few things would give me more pleasure than stepping through a time portal and kicking my own ass. Clearly, I deserved it.

Fast forward to today. I have not cut my mop in over nine months. That is almost the longest period of growth since my birth (I may or may not resembled a little girl when I was very young (allegedly). It was not really a conscious decision. I did not wake up one morning, look in the mirror and think Damn, I bet I'd be one sexy muther f***ing beast with a mane like a lion. It just sort of happened. On the road I normally cannot be bothered to get it cut. Language barrier, laziness, and a sincere lack of concern are all factors. Normally, I just wait until it is driving me crazy and then, if it is convenient, I'll make the effort. And it has, at times, served a purpose by providing that extra little bit of insulation in the cold (Ahhh…Nepal) and a little more coverage from the sun in el desierto (Ahhhh..the Sahara). But lately it has come to embody a concept I am having trouble letting go of: Freedom. I'm inching ever closer to the conclusion of this boundless quasi-existential escapade. Reality is closing in. I don't like it. I don't like it at all.

So I am clinging to a tangible representation of my two year (and counting) globetrotting extravaganza: my hair. I'm no Fabio but it is not terribly unbecoming on me…probably. I've never really had nice hair. When I was kid every barber and hair stylist (sadly, I may have visited one or two) would tell me in a not so subtle way how f***ed up my hair was. Too many cowlicks. Folks seemed to delight in telling me my hair would suck when I grew up (luckily I haven't yet). Honestly, it was mildly traumatic when I was child but I somehow managed to persevere (Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi would be proud). Well, look me now! They can lick my cowlicks.

And then there is the 'because I can' factor. One day in the not so distant future I may reflect fondly on the days when my hair would grow of its own accord and did not require a spray can for subtle touch ups. And although I've spotted the occasional gray hair I have yet to be overrun. So I say 'Carpe Crinis!' (Seize the hair!).

So I let it grow. Even if it sometimes irritates the snot out of me. Even if it blocks my vision and poses a danger while driving. Even if when pulled forward it is impossible to ignore the Cousin Itt resemblance. Even if I catch myself tossing it to one side with that unavoidable air of effeminacy or using my hands to tame my unruly filaments metro style. Even if cornered by members of the Anti-Hippie Action League and forced to chose between a trim or torture. Even if commanded by Moses himself to 'Cut thy hair!' or face eternal damnation. Even if the only requirement for my employment as towel boy for the Danish National Female Sand Volleyball Squad is a haircut. I will let it grow.

I am hoping to be the new Mentos mascot.
Long-haired creepy freak or intrepid crime fighter? You thought you knew me. Think again.
My poker face. 
The fruits of my Invisibility For Dumb Asses purchase on Amazon. I'm almost there.

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'Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.' -- Libbie Fudim