We’ve been back in the United States for six months now. It has taken about that long to get settled, but it’s hard to believe that six months has gone by so quickly. Sitting at my desk at work, the trip seems like a distant memory and I have to look at my pictures to remind myself that it was real. That this time last year, we were in the Middle East exhausted from traveling in Africa, but excited to head off to Europe. We were warned by others that we’d be dying to get back on the road six months after we returned.
The travel bug, we were told, is a relentless bug that keeps rearing it’s head.
So six months back and where are we? Well we’ve both settled back into work. It took us a while to decide what was best for us on that front and what we wanted to do. We had to make some hard decisions about where we see ourselves and what we want to accomplish in the next few years. In the end we both changed careers, me back to communications and Danny into financial planning. We’ve taken some big steps as well in the last six months, we’ve returned to Danny’s hometown in Florida, bought a house and a car. We’re living a life I never thought we’d lead, one that three years ago I would have unabashedly said wasn’t for me. It’s a life that today makes me happy.
I guess our journey around the world has quieted my soul down a bit. I feel accomplished so far in my life, but I wouldn’t say completed. Taking a trip around the world was the first of many big decisions over the last two years, but the most important perhaps was when to come home. It was the easiest and hardest decision we’ve ever made. We knew our time was up, we loathed to continue on, but at the same time we knew what waited for us at home and how much we’d have to face upon our return.
I won’t say that I had to travel around the world in order to find myself. That’s a bit dramatic. Six months later I believe I’m still the same person who left on that trip more than two years ago and who returned in December. Traveling around the world let me find peace with myself. It gave me perspective. I could tell you about how differently I view the world now, but let’s just say I view it with more ease. The consequences here at home seems so minor compared to some of the consequences of bad decisions on the road.
Traveling was the greatest gift I have ever given myself. It’s been hard to be home and no doubt there are difficult days ahead, but it’s given me an inner peace and confidence that I didn’t have before. I’m satisfied with my life in a way I never was before and I’m happy to take life as it comes. I feel so much more aware of myself, my situation and the world’s possibilities. I’m no longer yearning to prove myself, for traveling around the world proved to me that I can do it, that I can handle life.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that reading other traveler’s blogs doesn’t make me wish I was back on the road. There are so many things that I miss about traveling, but I know that right now I’m happy being home, happy setting up a new life and happy with the gifts travel has given me. It’s been a hard six months, but today I’m living life without regret, what more can I ask for?
If you’re interested in reading more about re-entry from our RTW, check out all our posts on coming home and the afterlife.