I remember the day we sat in Erin and Pete’s apartment in DC and they told us about their Peace Corps adventures. Having played ultimate frisbee together for a few years, we knew each other pretty well and I wasn’t at all surprised to find out that they were also itching to experience a bit more out of life. It was 2008 and they had been accepted into the Peace Corps program and were assigned together to Georgia. A few months later fighting would break out between Georgia and Russia. Sitting around the table we were discussing the Peace Corps program and our upcoming RTW trip. The discussion got a bit animated and before long the four of us were chatting away like excited children about exotic places and new experiences. After many long discussions they decided that Peace Corps wasn’t the right opportunity for them.
A nine months or so later we left on our RTW and they were planning their own RTW trip. We are so honored and humbled that in our own small way, we helped inspire them to take an RTW. Inspiring others to follow their dream is by far the best reward we could ever ask for.
In July 2010, Erin and Pete left to travel around the world and eventually move back to their home state of Ohio. Their blog, the scenic route chronicles their long journey home. We met them in Delhi, two days before we left to fly home at the end of our journey. I remember the relief I felt seeing them in the tight corridor of their hotel. Sometimes a hug from a good friend is all you need to remind yourself that it’s going to be ok. We spent the afternoon together chatting away finally glad to be able to talk instead of email. It was emotional leaving them in Delhi. From that afternoon in DC we had both followed our dreams and here we were in Delhi sharing a beer and thali.
Erin and Pete returned to the U.S. in May 2011. Soon after I interviewed them about the experience coming home.
We were using our trip as a transition during a move from DC, where we had lived for six years, back to Ohio, where we’re both originally from. Our first several weeks in the US, we spent traveling a lot – we only spent 19 of the first 47 days in NW Ohio (our temporary home base) From NZ, we made a stop on the West Coast to visit friends and family, then flew home to NW Ohio before heading to DC to visit friends. After all that, we embarked on a tour of Ohio to do some job-related meetings and interviews. It was great because we had almost constant reunions with people, but we’re still living out of a suitcase.
You can read more about Erin & Pete’s scenic route home at their blog.