Welcome back to the harsh reality

February 20, 2006

The first couple of weeks back we went into hermit mode. There were a couple reasons why. First and foremost we were still planning on surprising Craig's mom for her birthday party so we needed to keep a low profile. We were also ready just to relax for a while and enjoy a nice comfortable bed and a hot shower everyday.

After traveling for a year returning home was also a big shock to our systems. We loved the fact that we could catch up with our friends and family, but it was much harder than we thought. Mentally we weren't completely prepared for the lifestyle change. Admittedly we had a hard time adjusting when we started our trip and it took a good month to get into the swing of moving around so much and not living a 9 to 5 life. Once we returned we had to re-learn our lives. Initially there were a lot of conversations where we just couldn't participate. Sometimes we had nothing to add because we weren't up to date with the new movies and television programs and other times we simply couldn't believe what was coming out of people's mouths. We had been warned by other travelers to expect that a lot of people won't ask about your trip and the experiences you had, and if they did a lot of times their eyes would be glazed over after 5 minutes. I wish I could say they were dead wrong, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. We did have a handful of close friends and family who were really interested, but the majority asked where our favorite place was and moved on. I realized that most people would rather talk about themselves and I'm not sure we're any different. It was upsetting to us, but we had to remind ourselves that we met a lot of great people while traveling with whom we could really relate to.

This is a good place to explain a travel theory that was presented to us while we were in Budapest. This might help explain the trouble we had with our transition back to our "old" lives. This theory was not his own, he had discovered it in a book he read by a travel writer. The theory is traveling expands the time in your life. As we discovered this is so true. When you work 40 hours or more every week, what do you think about or look forward to during the week? THE WEEKEND! You can’t wait to do whatever you want on your two days off. With this thought process, the weeks, days, months and years just fly by. When traveling you rarely think about the days ahead because what you are doing right now is a new, amazing experience. Even if the experience is getting scammed out of $10 from a taxi driver in Vietnam. The bad experiences always make for the best stories. This Brit explained it perfectly when he decided to take off on a two month trip. His girlfriend said, "Oh you’re going to be gone for so long", but when he returned she said, "It felt like you just left. The reality was that he had visited twenty or so new cities and met numerous new people along the way. In the last year we met so many different people and saw so new many places. Every day was a new adventure and the last year was one of the longest in our lives. This experience was life changing and we're so happy that we were together for the journey. Our priorities have changed and we hope that the future will hold many more "once in a lifetime" moments just like this past year.

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