I’m home. I have been for a few days, and I’ve been meaning to sit down and write a little something now that the big adventure has come to an end, but that was harder than I expected. So, I thought I’d share a part of the last entry in my RTW travel journal…
We’ve been back almost a week now. I’m finding myself scattered, all over the place. All of that time away from my usual world gave me wings; it was as if being unfettered from my standard daily, weekly routines somehow unlocked the part of my brain that could imagine “what if?” without the realist kicking in. When you’re away from your work desk and out in the world, all of a sudden anything is possible. That’s why coming back can be such a kick in the pants, I guess.
I think there’s also a bit of anxiety around dealing with others upon return. How will they treat me, what will they expect of me? Do they think I’ll be magically cured of depression? Somehow ‘fixed’ of my introversion? Ready to ‘settle down’ into the real world and stop all of these ridiculous, frivolous adventures?
Looking back at the photos from the first few weeks of the trip feels so bizarre – Canada and Alaska feel like so long ago, it’s like I dreamt I visited them! But I know it was all real; yeah, I have the photos as evidence, but I also know how I felt there. You can’t dream that. So much off my life at home feels bogged down with responsibilities and obligations and guilt – the feeling of freedom that comes with travelling is completely unparalleled by anything else. When you don’t ‘have to’ work out and eat perfectly healthy, or go to that party or to this lunch, or try to split your time between work and family, you become a different person. You elevate to a better version of yourself, and it’s hard to let that person go when you get back home.
So instead of waving her goodbye until the next trip, I’d like to welcome her into my life on a more permanent basis. I’d like to see if she wouldn’t mind sticking around. I know that may not suit everyone, that many people might prefer her to stay away so they can have the girl who bows under the pressure of her obligations and feels too guilty to ever really take a stand for what she wants, but I think she’s had her time in the sun. Once you’ve been through the metamorphosis of travel, you can’t unfeel what you’ve felt, or unlearn what you now know. So, roll with it.
Over the past 4 months I have…
– Flown around 59, 000km
– Walked about 1360km
– Drove 5460km
– And covered 7650km by train. And about 140km by ferry.
– Slept in 39 different beds and visited 15 different countries.
– Seen a caribou cross the road right in front of our car in Jasper
– Driven the Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada
– Stood before the world’s largest tree, the General Sherman Tree, in Sequoia National Park
– Joined New York City’s The Village Halloween parade
– Seen Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland
– Survived a 5 hour drive through an Arctic snowstorm in Iceland
– Taken a photo of the Northern Lights
– Slept in a giant bubble in the middle of an Icelandic forest
– Taken a hot air balloon ride over Ronda, Spain
– Visited 31 Christmas markets in 6 different countries in a month
– Been paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland
– Seen the Berlin Wall
– Enjoyed Christmas Day with family on the other side of the world
– Stood in the middle of the Pantheon in Rome
– Ate a sushi breakfast early in the morning at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market
– Seen the first of Japan’s cherry blossoms
– Went to a Grand Sumo Tournament
And so, so much more… I’m grateful for all of the wonderful experiences I’ve had over the past 4 months, and I’m grateful for the not so wonderful ones, too. I’m really excited to share some of them with everyone, and to hopefully inspire a few more of you to face up to what you’ve always thought impossible and make it happen! But believe me, it wasn’t all magic and rainbows; stay tuned for the slightly less than glamorous side of the trip, coming at the end of the week!