by Allie on July 6, 2011

Santa Fe sunset

Sunset in Santa Fe

One week ago, we pulled into our driveway in Incline Village. We unlocked our front door and stepped inside. We noticed the stillness of the house. Dust motes floated in the air. We were home.

And this time, we are emptying our backpacks and putting the passports deep in a drawer.

Our 18 months of travel – finished.

It feels a little strange to say this, but we are ready to stop traveling. I wasn’t sure if the travel itch could ever be truly scratched, but has been – for awhile, anyway.

We knew we were ready to stop traveling early in this last trip, when we found ourselves fantasizing about sleeping in the same bed for more than four nights in a row, imagining what we would cook for dinner and reordering our Netflix queue.

We started listing all the vegetables we want to grow in our future garden (Fava beans! Green zebra heirloom tomatoes! Totsoi!). Let’s face a fact:  you need to be stationary for a spell to grow a garden. It is time to park the car for awhile and hang up our backpacks.

Traveling in our own country was less challenging too. We had many conveniences we didn’t have on other trips, like our smartphones and Starbucks with its tempting free wi-fi. Speaking English in an English-speaking country is pretty convenient too.

We traveled in our own car, which we packed to the brim with things we thought we might need. We brought FAR too much stuff, one representative example being the nine bottles of partially used sunscreen we thought we’d gradually use up. It rained consistently for the first month of our trip, and two months later we had used up exactly one bottle. How we acquired nine bottles to begin with is a bit of a mystery, and a reminder to be mindful of what we bring into our lives.  You can carry around a lot of unnecessary stuff if you aren’t careful.

Over the past two months we visited 12 states, plus Toronto, Canada. Our original plan was to head further east, but the sheer size of this country proved greater than our stamina for days spent driving. Simply put, the 6,514 miles driven beat us down.

woman washing clothes in bath tub

A travel reality - the bath tub often doubles as washing machine

Over the past 18 months, we visited 16 countries: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Japan, Greece, Turkey, Slovenia, Austria, The Netherlands, England, Nepal, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and those few days in Canada.

And so now we are home. We are ready to start on new projects, build our work and community, spend more time with friends and family, and learn new skills. We feel incredibly fortunate to have had these experiences; watching the sun rise behind the Himalayas, diving with red-tooth triggerfish and whale sharks, sleeping in caves, drinking fresh-still-at-the-plantation tea, making new friends, and so many more. And we’ll continue to write about them here, as we sort through our photos and reflect on our time spent “away”. Please visit!

We wonder how long it will be before the itch returns. Our friend Diana recently posed that travel is an addiction, and for now we’ve gotten our fix.


Click here for photos of our U.S. road trip

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Craig July 7, 2011 at 12:18 am

Wow, what an awesome journey! I have enjoyed reading every blog (and enjoyed being part of your journey even more, thank you so much for coming down and spending time with Adi and I). Good luck to you both with whatever you choose to do next, I am sure something fantastic will come your way very soon. Stay in touch…

2 Allie July 7, 2011 at 7:28 am

Craig, thank YOU for being such a dedicated reader! And for the gentle nudges to get back to the keyboard when it’s been too long between posts. More to come, my friend. It was wonderful to see you and Adi, and I hope you two make it to our corner of the world soon, or give us a good reason to come back down to yours ;^)

3 Ann Jessen July 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Welcome home!!! Marin is THE premier spot for growing vegetables you know (hint)!!!

4 Allie July 8, 2011 at 9:32 am

Hi Ann! The hint is duly noted and will be taken under advisement :^)

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