Leslie’s Personal Notes: We met this awesome family by sheer luck in Krabi, Thailand. We were celebrating Songkran (watch for our future YT video on it!) and ended up at the same beach restaurant/bar area. They introduced themselves and we spent a few hours enjoying conversation with other adults! We also met up another night for soccer, swimming and street food. I’ve loved following their journey, traveling the world for a year, since then and fretting over them as they headed back home.
I’ve been so curious…. what is it like to head back “home”? Does it feel like home again? What is difficult and what is wonderful?
I reached out to Erika to ask for her thoughts on this process! While we don’t have plans to head to any kind of “home” yet, it’s always in the back of our minds. Since we are also looking for our new home, it could happen any time!
I’m SO grateful to Erika for sharing her thoughts and feelings and being honest. It’s a beautiful thing to peak into someone’s heart and feelings. I hope we meet up again someday .
After an amazing time traveling the world for a year, we are beginning to settle back in. Kind of.
No one could have prepared us for what the trip has done for our family.
We set out to see some of the places on our bucket list and had some amazing adventures, but we ended up creating the most magical bond with each other and having experiences we never dreamed of. We went through major periods of transition while we were away (i.e. figuring out how we could possibly manage to be with just each other 24/7 for the next 365 days to then figuring out how we keep this adventure from never ending) but in the end it just made us stronger and more connected. We spent endless hours talking about how things would be when we got home or if we even wanted to go back home. Because we had a business to run, we knew we had to go home, even if it was just for awhile.
TWO MONTHS LATER
It’s been two months now and we can finally say we’re adjusting. As we prepared to come home, we had so many people tell us to give ourselves some grace and let us know just how hard it could be. We dismissed it to some degree because we thought we were ready. We really couldn’t have been more wrong. After telling a friend (who had spent a lot of time living abroad) we were having a hard time and feeling a bit depressed, she mentioned that we were probably in mourning. It really resonated with us. We realized right then that was exactly how we were feeling. We finally did give ourselves that grace and time to process it all and we were able to move forward. But our outlook on life has changed.
THE NEW PLAN
Instead of planning on that forever home and the perfect place to settle, we’re making choices that will keep us traveling long-term. We’re living smaller and with less stuff because we now know that’s when we are happiest. We are also very intentional about how we spend our free time and making sure we always have time carved out for each other and to spend time in nature because that is what most of our favorite trip memories are made of…..us, together, exploring new places, learning new things and pushing ourselves outside our of comfort zone. We also know we have to do it all again someday soon!
THIS ISN’T THE END, ITS THE BEGINNING
At the end of the day, just the fact that we let ourselves mourn and feel all the feelings was enough. What really helped was spending time with all the loved ones that we missed while we were away….we missed our people and community so much. It was another big reason for our return. The kids especially missed family and friends and watching them reconnect and make new friends at school has made it all easier. Another huge factor that helped with the process was changing our goals and mindset and gearing more toward making long term travel not just dissipate into one fabulous year in our lives. We all agree (well, most of us!) that it was the best year of our life and that it won’t be the end for us. Besides friends and family and our dog, there isn’t anything we really missed. Now that we’re home, we miss so much about traveling as a family that we took for granted at the time!
There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning in a beautiful place, eating some local food and heading out on big adventures. Also, spending so much time together as a family without distractions and schedules!
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