Riga

My parents and I left Riga when I was two. Since then I have always yearned to go back and frolic and dance amongst my people. Not really, but I have wondered from time to time what my life would have been like if we hadn't come to America. After talking with the few relatives that still live there, I think I would have died of McDonald's deprivation. I went to see the apartment I lived in and I wish I could say the neighborhood has seen better days, but during soviet times it was probably worse. I also visited the beaches where I would have gone swimming, the schools I would have attended and the jobs where I would have been underpaid. I've always understood why my parents came to America, but now I know why. A Soviet haze still hangs over the country. It will take entrepreneurship, new thinking and plenty of borscht to bring in the cash needed for a full recovery. Overall being in the country felt like home. I don't know if there is a congenital bond to the place where one is born or I just recognized the behaviors of my relatives in everyone. In Latvia people generally don't smile and aren't especially friendly. Now I am in Bali, where they are the friendliest, most hospitable people in the world and I felt much more at home in Latvia. I wonder what that says about me.

Freedom Monument
Local Art
My First Home

Vanšu Bridge at 23:00

Kalos

Our itinerary has been kind of hectic over the last few weeks. I would sometimes forget where I was and what language I was trying to butcher. Now I'm in Latvia butchering my native language; Russian. Per the Schengen Agreement Americans are only allowed to stay in European Union countries for ninety days during a six month period. Our ninety days are almost up, so we are heading back to Estonia in a few days and then to south east Asia. I'm a little nervous.

Edinburgh Scotland
Malmo Sweden
Venice Italy
Venice Italy
Dubrovnik Croatia
Corfu Greece
Olympia Greece
Athens Greece
Mykonos Greece
Mykonos Greece
Mykonos Greece
Mykonos Greece
Santorini Greece