Trip Start Mar 08, 2011
84Trip End Jun 11, 2011
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Well hello later! Even if you find Shangri-la (which I’m convinced I found several times over the last 3 months), then you need to figure out how to sustain it. Well fed, well travelled and exhausted we eventually ran out of money and time and returned home. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely missed our family, friends and our loyal terrier, Hannah. I even welcomed returning to work, all my old friends and colleagues were so happy to see me and hear about our trip, it was all I got to talk about for 2 weeks. But once I settled back into the same routines I had before we left something felt strange. I had been through a lifetime of experiences but everything back home remained the same. I’m seeing and hearing the same people and sounds that I did 4 months ago but it all feels so far away now.
We could have chucked it all, canceled our return flights and I could have quit my job completely if we really wanted to stay traveling. Granted, we would have had to find some sort of income source along the way, probably several career levels behind where we stand now in the U.S., and the job would definitely have been dirty! And we would have missed our family and friends terribly, not to mention missing out on the American Dream – the 4 bedroom house in the ‘burbs with our 2.5 children. But sitting at my desk back at work I got to thinking that the American Dream is different for everyone and part of me feels like we just achieved it. We scrimped and saved, and lived in Iowa for a summer for god’s sake, and then we realized our dream of traveling the world for an extended period of time. Maybe my American Dream looked different and I got to see it a little sooner than other people experience. So that begs the question, what next? What do you do after realizing your dreams? I’ll tell you what’s next: the map of the world on my office wall has pins in all the places still on our travel list. I wonder how much a ticket to Cuba costs?
Acknowledgements: Thank you to all of our loyal readers who stayed with our lengthy and sometimes very delayed entries! We'd like to thank our parents for hosting, housing, storing and caring for our stuff, our dog, and us. And a special shout-out to Amy's parents for patiently viewing all 7,000+ pictures we brought back with us...and paying attention!