I’ve read a lot of posts in the last few years about the kinds of internal shifts that happen to people when they travel. I’ve also read a fair share about people who expected to come back transformed, and then were surprised when they felt like nothing much really had changed. I didn’t anticipate a big revelation personally because, quite honestly, that occurred after my first international trip to Italy when I was just out of high school. It was that particular trip that sparked my wanderlust, and opened my eyes to the fact that there is a lot going on outside of my little bubble.
The thing is, there’s also a lot going on inside our bubble. We have nieces and nephews that we didn’t see for nearly two years. That’s way too long, especially when we’re talking about young children who can change drastically in the span of just a few months. In addition, when we returned we felt pretty out of touch with the lives of our friends. We have a close knit group and without the daily communication that we had pre-trip, we missed a lot of the minutia of life that contributes to the deep understandings we have about each other.
The world is a huge and amazing place and we feel so blessed to be able to have seen and experienced all the things we did. After 15 months away from it all, we are more certain than ever that all the most important things to us are right here at home.
Just after we returned my father was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and it has been a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, periods of anxious waiting, and months of chemo and radiation that will now be followed by more months of anxious waiting to see if the treatment has been effective. I have lived at least 1000 miles away from my family for more than 15 years, and to be home for this has been another big wake up call for us.
We embarked on our journey partly because of the realization that life is precious and fleeting, and we have returned to our roots for basically the same reason. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how many places we’ve been, or how many mountains we climbed. What really matters is that we are surrounded by the people we love, and those who love us, because as we already knew, it can all change in an instant.
I just renewed this blog’s address because I really do plan to post more about our trip. We never did finish the New Zealand Roundup, and I have started posts about how we kept our budget, gross things we ate and the incredible scenery we tramped through. Not to mention that we’re not done with travel, we WILL be having more adventures in the years to come, it’s just that our priorities are elsewhere right now. So keep us in your reader, and you’ll be hearing from us again eventually. In the meantime, if you have any juju, thoughts, prayers, or love and light to send to my dad, we’ll take all we can get.