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Adjusting to 'Real' Life: An Update

Reality Bites

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Six months on the road seemed like a blessed eternity. With so many new experiences each and every day, I have to say that the six months actually felt like a really long time. We extracted as many hours as we could out of every day, and seized every opportunity. In short, I think we squeezed in a lifetime of travel in a compressed period of time.

Our change of address card highlighted just a few of the many places we'd been...

Back in California, our first month has just flown by, with the whole of January feeling like about three days on the "trip" clock. And, of course, it can't be a surprise that it's felt a whole lot less fulfilling than any of our last six months when we averaged 10,000 miles and four countries a month, each with innumerable unforgettable experiences. Half of me is left thinking that six months wasn't long enough. But the other half warns that the adjustment would be correspondingly more difficult if we had stayed out longer.

Who's this guy? Lloyd tells me that shoes are kind of hard to get used to again...

It might be marginally easier for Lloyd who has thrown himself back into work 110%. For me (and Lloyd kindly labels me an 'uber'-type-A), I'm doing my best to feel fulfilled by a combination of home-building, job search and CFA study, but world travel is a pretty compelling option when it's up against the best job in the world, never mind unemployment. I'm chomping at the bit to get back into the corporate world, and the 'adjustment' phase will likely endure until I'm settled in my new role. Watch this space....

Talking of home-building, we spend the first few weeks back looking at furnished homes for short-term let in the Bay Area. Ironically, we came closest to renting from a couple heading out for their own six month adventure (!), but our final walk through exposed the couple as massively uptight, with an almost obsessive compulsive disorder with regards to their home, despite the pet bird that was allowed to fly freely around the place. I guess there are cat people, and bird people. We don't understand the latter.

New apartment: moving in.

Since the bird people put us off renting furnished entirely, we quickly found an unfurnished apartment to rent in San Jose. Bearing in mind that we sold every stick of furniture with our house last May, we moved into a very sparse apartment on the 19th of January, and headed to the nearest IKEA to furnish the place. And so it is that we find ourselves living in what could easily pass as an IKEA showroom. I guess we could blame my new sister-in-law for the Swedish influence!


Anyway, look for some Trip Statistics, and Top Ten Lists in the coming days. It's a great excuse for us to relive our very happy memories.

Posted by jacquiedro 16:18 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world

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I have enjoyed following your story. And your last entry brought back lots of memories, as in 1978, newly married, my husband and I sold almost everything, bought a camperized van and spent 7 months travelling across Canada and the US. And the re-entry period was horrible! I was quite cross that we had to stop - I tried to talk my husband into selling our remaining possessions for another 6 months!

We always talked about doing another trip, and 29 years later, our youngest child just left home, and we are on road again, this time for a year. And I already am not looking forward to going back to work.... And just commented yesterday that how will I ever go back to wearing real clothes?! While our trip was not as exotic as yours, we are enjoying meeting local people and seeing so much of the backroads of the USA this winter.

Our travel experiences are like money in the bank, and memories will warm your days for years to come. And FYI, our journal settled a lot of disagreements over the years!

All the best in your new life!

by Hermansons

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