Coming Home is Hard

Or ... Where Has All the Time Gone?

We've been back in our own house now for a little over a year, and while it's good to be home, it's also been somewhat of a challenging year.

We arrived back in the United States in July 2015 after 333 days of world travel. We weren't the same people who left. Our outlook on life had changed. What's important to us had changed. Our tolerance for accepting the status quo had changed.

Minimalism Withdrawal

We got rid of a lot of stuff before we left, and even more as we unpacked upon our return. But after spending close to a year living out of three suitcases and a couple of backpacks, dealing with a sudden surge in worldly possessions was daunting. We're still dealing with it.

Our Time is Not Our Own

On our trip we were, for the most part, in control of our time. We could do what we wanted, when we wanted. Of course we had to adhere to certain itineraries—planes, buses, trains, and the occasional tour—but if we missed a flight or it was delayed, it wasn't a big deal. It was all part of the journey.

Back at home, however, we're subject to the schedules of many others as we get caught up in the day-to-day grind of school, work, extra-curricular activities, social obligations, and the more mundane aspects of a fixed-location lifestyle (like car repairs).

Yes, this is part of life, but it's been a difficult adjustment for all four of us.

Some Lessons We Have Learned

That doesn't mean we've totally returned to our pre-trip lifestyle. We have retained a few lessons we'd gleaned from our travels.

  • We only own one car, which is at times problematic in car-centric Los Angeles. But public transit, bicycles, walking, and Lyft all help to mitigate those challenges.
  • We don't have cable television. We make do with an internet connection, although that means we occasionally miss out on certain shows.
  • We eat out less. During our trip, while we tried a lot of different restaurants, we also did a lot of cooking together—and that's continued in our day-to-day lives at home. We're always on the lookout for cool recipes and sometimes even attempt to recreate food we tried on our travels.
  • We're more comfortable with each other. We know each other better and we're more honest with each other. And we actually enjoy the company of each other—it's not unusual to find all four of us lounging around at home in the same room.

What This All Means

Mainly, this means that the Taking on the World blog has suffered. Even when we were back at home but living in apartments in Pasadena, it was easy to maintain a regular posting schedule.

But once we took up residence back in our own house, the blog took a back seat to unpacking, sorting through material possessions, fixing up the house, and looking for work.

Maintaining the Adventure

But it hasn't all been a sedentary, boring lifestyle. We've gone on a few adventures over the years. I returned to Iceland for a few days with my mom and brother. Samantha took a short trip to Sydney, Australia with some friends. We took a family trip to Portland, Oregon, and we recently returned from a cultural exchange visit to Cuba.

So, What Now?

We still have to complete posting about our trip around the world. The posts came to a halt right in the middle of writing about out visit to London (we always ran about a month behind in updating the blog), which was challenging to write up because we spent so much time in the city. It sort of broke the pre-exisiting day-to-day reporting I'd been doing. But it's time to pick that back up. Here's how the future posts will shake out:

  1. We'll be finishing up the travelogue, starting with our final days in London then moving on to Scotland, Iceland, Montreal, and, lastly, our return to the United States in Palm Springs, California.
  2. We'll also be posting some lists (places we stayed, planes we flew, where we did laundry), some lists of awesomeness, and some best of/worst of lists.
  3. A lengthy post on how to budget and plan for a trip around the world.
  4. We'll also write about some of the other trips we've taken since our return, including our explorations around our own city.

A Commitment

After talking it over among ourselves, we're committed to posting here at least once a week, although we'll strive for two.

In addition to writing about our own experiences, we'll cover travel tips, updates and changes to places we've visited, handy tools for travelers, and maybe even feature other traveling families we've met.

Thanks for your patience with us, and we hope to see you here.

is a writer of things with a strong adventurous streak. He also drinks coffee.

Read more of Tom's posts.

Coming Home is Hard
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