Waiting for us as we arrived to my mom’s house
I’m unbelievably behind on everything blog and travel-life related work. We’ve been back in Seattle for a week now. A week! I’ve barely read any of my favorite blogs. I’ve done just enough to keep up our Facebook page, but beyond that, it’s like our lives of the past 11 months has almost vanished from our memory.
It sounds weird, but my most common response to “what’s it like to be home?” has been, “um, normal.” Strangely normal. Somewhat eerily normal. Not bad, I just have to pinch myself to remember that Shawn and I have literally been around the world. In some ways, it feels like the weeks before we left, although there is a distinct lack of nerves and stress because we don’t have a huge trip to prepare for anymore. Ok, we’re not completely stress-free – we are running on the fumes of our bank account. Thank goodness for the kindness of our families, we’re able to still have shelter, eat and occasionally go out.
So, what have we been doing? Mostly cleaning out the bins we left behind in my mom’s garage and seeing what few things we have left. As I mentioned on our Facebook page last week, somehow after all that purging, we still have things to donate and trash. We’ve been organizing the piles of mail, taking care of financial stuff, figuring out how to make our living situation work for us and my mom, and of course visiting with friends and family.
My favorite visit – seeing my soon-to-be 90 year-old grandma this weekend
We were lucky to get back to Seattle in time to meet up with Candace from The Great Affair again
So, what haven’t we been doing? I’ve unintentionally been avoiding all writing. Besides not writing for the blog, I also haven’t been keeping my journals. I haven’t been eating well. I haven’t been doing yoga. Basically, I haven’t been doing a very good job taking care of myself.
Leading up to our return, I anticipated these kinds of challenges. Self care was at the top of the list. For 10 1/2 months, Shawn and I lived in a bubble of sorts. It was just the two of us – which was hard at first, but also meant we got to focus as much attention on ourselves as we liked. I tend to be the type to focus on others and give away more energy than I give myself, but eventually, I got used to it. Then I came to depend on it. Now that we’re back? Well, let’s just say it’s hard to shake a 33-year-old habit.
Like any change, it will take some adjustment. The big part of our travel is over, but that doesn’t mean I will lose the lessons I learned on the road. I don’t feel too sad that it’s over yet, but then again, I don’t have to find a job until October. The biggest challenge for me now is to not get ahead of myself. If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that I can only take this process one step at a time. It’s hard for an impatient person like me, but I’m learning to let go and trust that it will all work out. For now, I’ll just enjoy the comforts of being home, the happy reunions, and the simple joys of domesticity.
A post-dinner-making martini with fresh rosemary from my mom’s garden
We still have stories to tell from the road! Stay tuned for the continuation of our 11-week adventure in España and our upcoming trip to Canada this fall.