Craig's Travels
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March Madness

Every year around this time I want nothing more than a cold beer and a TV tuned into watch some college basketball. Normally, March for me is filled with an endless cross-reference between the internet and the bracket I erroneously filled out. Every weekend is filled with games that hold me on the edge of my seat, even though I really have no clue the location of the university that I am cheering on. Yet this year, I didn't even fill out a bracket, and I (gasp!) don't even know who won, or even who was in the final four.

This is the case with almost every major sporting event that has happened in recent months. I didn't find out who won the super bowl until 3 weeks after it was played, and even then the result of the game was just an after-thought to the report of the breasts being shown at half time.

So it is, when you are traveling, you tend to be a little out of touch with what is happening on the home front. Yesterday, as I celebrated my 5th month anniversary of traveling abroad, I was touched by a bit of my own March Madness: homesickness.

It isn't that I am not enjoying traveling; I am. And it isn't that I am not having the time of my life; I am. And it isn't that I am not enjoying every minute of this unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience; I am. It's just that . . . well . . . I miss the small things.

I miss being able to wake up and grab a muffin at the corner shop. I miss my comfort foods. I miss English. I miss my family and friends. I miss watching sports on TV.

But don't feel sorry for me. I deserve no sympathy and ask for none. I was celebrating my 5th month away from home at Cap Skirring, a beautiful beach town in southern Senegal that caters to tourists and has all of the amenities that go with tourism. My day consisted of sleeping in, walking to town for breakfast, and then spending the rest of the day lounging by the beach. I know, I know, it is a really tough life.

So as my trip winds down, I have one week left to enjoy being away from the United States. I am doing my best to keep my eyes and ears wide open, because what I am seeing these days, I will not see again for a long time. And I am enjoying all of it. I just wish they had the Final Four on TV.

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