Its been a strange night and I lay here in my ice-cold room not sure how to respond; or even what I'm responding to. I just read Abbey and Amber's email from Costa Rica and they aren't even the same girls they used to be. Abbey is hanging out with strangers and cross-generational lovers (our dear evasive Abbey ... the one who doesn't have the gumption to answer a phone call) and Amber is a slut. Really, just a manicure-giving, car-washing slut. Really? I thought we were above using our bodies as a moneymaker. This news has me as tense as I've been in days. Who do we become when we travel? How much of ourselves do we let go and how much of us resists the temptation to flee? Ironically, I just watched Fight Club for the first time tonight and was so confused by the end. When did the lonely business man become his imaginary alter-ego? How did it happen, and what triggered it? When we travel, what part of us allows imagination to take over and distort who we are? Maybe, our imaginations and desires are as much a part of us as our obvious parts are. I wonder how much of us stays at home, and how much boards the plane in our carry-on. Sometimes it's easy for me to adapt to the scenario I'm in and allow myself to change a little. No, not even change, just adjust. a little tiny bit. Is it dangerous? Is it real? At home I'm so sure of who I am that people have told me its something really special. But the travel Alyssa gets a chance to try out new perspectives ... ones that would have never entered her mind as a confident solid creature. It's a little scary to be put in a place that doesn't hold you accountable, but I guess that's where God comes in. I've needed Him a lot in these few weeks as I've been surrounded by people I have absolutely nothing in common with. For the first time in 22 years, I've had to defend my faith, my state and clothes. Weird, I know, but I'm not in Texas anymore. I'm in Spain where the government doesn't turn on the heat until November.

And as for you, Abbey and Amber, I have no doubt that your character is solid. I honestly think I'm in awe of how yall have adapted to your environment. I am proud of you Abs for letting courage infiltrate your flightiness; Amber, I know this newfound hygiene (aka no manure under your nails) will change your life. Don't worry, society will always view yall (us) as freaks, so stay strong, stay courageous, and stay clean. Love you.

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