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Hello from Reno, Nevada in the good old US of A. I’m back on American soil and happy to be spending time, catching up with family and friends. My journey started out fantastic on Friday. I had breakfast with a friend, then as I was walking down the stairs to catch the metro ran into another friend. Two people I didn’t think I’d get to see before leaving but we managed to get time in the last few minutes. It was a great feeling.

From there I made my way to Centraal Station and on to Schiphol to catch my flight. All was running smoothly and on time, a great start to a long travel day. I was able to sleep about half of the 10 hour flight from Amsterdam to Seattle and had a friendly neighbor, continuing the positive travel day. But then it all turned upside-down. When I arrived in Seattle, I attempted to talk my way into the lounge for my two hour layover. The lady at the desk asked to see my frequent flyer card, so I reached into my backpack. I dug, and dug, and dug but came up with nothing.

My wallet was missing. My heart stopped. I rushed out of the lounge and found a place to empty my carry ons. After going through the bags and all contents twice it was confirmed, my wallet was gone. Credit cards, cash, Dutch ID, US drivers license, OV Chipkaart all lost. The airline searched the plane but turned up nothing. Thankfully my passport was separate and I still had some form of ID. Three days later and the wallet is still gone. The cards are all cancelled and replacements ordered. Fortunately no charges were made and there was a new drivers license already waiting for me at home. All that’s left is the feeling of stupidity for losing a wallet for the first time in my life.

Since landing in Reno, everything else is going smoothly. The past three days have been filled with shopping and eating and driving. The American way. From here things will slow down a bit and work on that relaxation and reflection I planned on.

One of the highlights so far: My mom gave me the most wonderful Christmas gift last night. She made a scrapbook containing all of the posts and pictures from this blog. Not only do I have an electronic journal of the last 13 months abroad, but now I have a physical reminder. Something I can flip through in the years to come and share with others.

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