So, it’s true, we are back in the great white north, although its 20 something degrees right now and not white at all, thank goodness!
We left New Zealand after six weeks of living in a van, had one last hoorah for a week in Bangkok, then boarded the plane with the surreal knowledge that we were finished our year of travel, and would soon be landing at the YVR airport.
There is so much to be said about being home, but for now, here are some words to sum up our year.
OUR BIG HUGE RIDICULOUSLY MIND-BLOWING YEAR
We walked, ran, climbed, hiked, trekked, drove, rode, cycled, scooted, flew and hitched our way through seven countries; swam, dove, snorkeled, paddled and surfed eight seas, endless rivers, many lakes, streams and even a fjord. We got sick, got tired, got lost, got lucky, got perspective, got inspired, got tricked, got lice, got infections, got a tan, got laughed at, and got invited for dinner while we sweat our butts off, laughed ourselves silly, puked our guts out, and collapsed from exhaustion. We breathed the thin air of the Himalayas, walked on the ocean floor in the Gulf of Thailand, swam in the crater lake of an Indonesian volcano, grieved at the killing fields in Cambodia, and touched the ancient city of Angkor Wat. We motorbiked with Sweds, dove with Germans, hiked with Israelis, fished with the Vietnamese, kayaked with Kiwis, surfed with Indonesians, drank with the English, underwater fought with a Russian, danced with Indians, rode trains with the Irish, and in-between slept on beds, floors, trains, buses, tents, food court benches and for six weeks a van. We lost clothing, sunglasses, plane tickets, a bicycle, almost lost our minds and definitely lost our cool. Oh, and one big toenail in India and the other in New Zealand. We got chased by a monkey, rode camels through the desert, got bit by a dog, spotted a wild elephant, saw molting penguins, watched a shark jump out of the water, got barked at by a sea lion, found a scorpion on our pillow, and fell asleep to cicadas and geckos. Throughout the year hearts were broken, tears were shed, wounds were healed, relationships were restored, friends were made and dreams became reality. We said goodbye to my Oma and found out we are going to be an auntie and uncle. Our marriage is stronger than ever and our vision for our lives has morphed and grown. We were shocked, amazed, in love, in awe, torn apart and put back together, thrilled to be alive and yet sometimes barely alive. On those mountain tops and in those streets we have breathed deeper than we ever have before and now there is no settling. We want to wake up every morning with the advice of the Dalai Lama in our heads and remind ourselves, “Today I am fortunate to have woken up. I am ALIVE, I have a precious human life. I am NOT going to waste it.”