South America, Thoughts, Travel

Homeward Bound

Lookin’ good in Buenos Aires.

As I write this post we are currently 3 days out of our flight home.

As you read this, we fly out TONIGHT. We are homeward bound.

No, we are not going to stop traveling. Yes, we still have a LOT of content from our last days in Argentina.

I thought I would write something down while my mind is going crazy and my heart is racing. I apologize if this is the most un-grammatically correct thing you have read in a while – but it is true to the heart.

I’m scared to go home.

I’m not scared OF home but I feel like I belong out here, roaming the world, answering to the gypsy blood in my veins.

It is so hard to explain to family what I’m feeling. I’m not sure that they will ever understand. It isn’t that I don’t want to see them. It isn’t that I don’t want to meet my new niece that was born while we were traveling.

I hate that I’m made to feel guilty for not being gung-ho about coming home.

Oh and stress – OH GOD THE STRESS – I haven’t felt this messed up in a really long time. I’m tired. I’m depressed. OMG MY HAIR IS FALLING OUT (oh wait, no, I’m a girl with long hair).

There are things at home that have drama. We try to stay away from drama but it involved us even if we are 3000 miles away from home.

I feel like I’ve lost friends. People I could lean on – no longer. People I could talk to – well, they moved on with their lives. Rightfully so (I’m trying to convince myself) – we haven’t exactly been at home. We aren’t exactly going to be at home in the future.

As we board our plane I know I’m going to cry.

But there are a few things I do have to look forward to:

  • Meeting my new niece.
  • Hugging family.
  • Shooting an amazing wedding.
  • Seeing my best friends.
  • Feeding my food cravings.
  • Going to Iceland!
  • Heading to Europe!
  • And getting ready for the very big possibility of teaching in Japan.

Latin America has been so amazing. South America was my favorite of the two. I can’t imagine being able to fall in love with another place so deeply (besides Japan).

It is weird to think about the fact that we are being forced into a new part of our lives. We cannot linger here forever.

Our money has run out. Our time has run out. It is time to go home to prepare for the future.

And I’ll be DAMNED if Over Yonderlust disappears. We’re sticking around come hell or high water.

79 thoughts on “Homeward Bound”

  1. Good luck on your return home. I’ve read posts from other long term travelers and it sounds like many have the same feelings as you do. I hope all goes well.

    1. @Pamela: It is definitely hard because we have such conflicting feelings with family, friends and life. Right now we’re just taking it one day at a time.

  2. You guys are just walking further down the path of this amazing adventure. You’ll never stop, you know that. You couldn’t if you wanted to – you can’t go back home. You might be in the same place for a while, but you’re there with new, wider eyes. It’s damn awesome. Travel home the way you traveled abroad. Annnd.. maybe we’ll see you in Asia some time soon! 😉

    1. @Evan: We’re looking at it as we’re just “visiting” right now. I think it is the only way we can get through these few months ahead. <3

  3. I love you both! I know the stress of coming back home, but know that big things are in the works for you. You know that you have a TON of awesome adventures ahead of you, no matter how crazy things may be at home. I’m personally crossing my fingers that you make Japan your future home so I have a place to stay when I visit 😉 😉

    xoxoxoxoxo. I know that things are going to work out. Wishing you both the best in your travels!

    1. @Sheryl: We’re arriving at a crazy ass crossroads soon. I’m really curious to see where we go but we won’t know until November. You will be one of the first to know!

  4. It’s never easy but think of how exciting it is to anticipate a new adventure! I always look forward to having wide open options and having a pick as to what to do next. To never be satisfied, always craving more, is a great goal! Have a safe trip home, and good luck on your next adventure! : )

  5. Nooooooooooooooooo! Trust me I know how hard it is to come home. The hardest part is that you’ve undergone this enormous transformation and most people at home not only haven’t but will only want to hear about what you’ve done for about 5 minutes if at all.

    That’s GREAT thought that you’ve got all these options out there! Here’s hoping they come through so you can have so many more fantastic adventures!

    1. @Aaron: I can already tell how hard things are going to be. I’m curious to see how many friends I have left and how many will want to actually ask about our travels. The friends we are with now are amazing though. They don’t ask. They know. It is a more natural conversation. 🙂

      Here are to options! *cheers*

  6. Hey! I understand your fear, from a reverse perspective; I’m somewhat scared to set out on my own and leave the normal lifestyle behind!

    It’s all a part of the traveler’s life, though, and without that aspect, well…it just means that the wanderlust burns strong within us, and that there fear that someone at home will stop us from moving forward.

    By the way, when will you all be teaching in Japan? I’m likely to head over that way after I graduate college in a year – that is, after my RTW journey by bicycle!

    1. @Patrick: It was a bit scary to leave everything behind but so liberating once you are out there.

      We’re hoping for a teaching job in Osaka. I’m working with a friend to get us into the company she works with. We shall see!

  7. I totally understand how you feel. Most things will seem surreal when you get back. Just wait until you see Austin! We were only gone for 5 months and I feel like the city changed before my eyes. Welcome back & keep roamin’!

  8. Though it’s alwaysd quite hard to come back home after being travelling for longtime, your days in your hometown seem to be packed with a lot of stuff! You won’t get bored, definitely and will be probably easier to get used to you ordinary life.

  9. **Slow clap for Erica and Shaun**

    You two have done SO well. You’ve followed your dreams of traveling the world, and you’ve brought a lot of joy to so many people in the process.

    The end? The beginning. Looking forward to seeing where you go next!

    1. @Kate: Aww, thank you lady. You’re going to make me all weepy. Hopefully we will be able to see you some time this year. Thank you so much for commenting. I love to see you around here. <3

  10. Muchos ánimos chicos! everything will fit in it’s place sooner rather than later. Japan? Europe?, this will keep your hopes up! for sure. It’s a pity, we are leaving in 50 days from Barcelona, If you guys would have come, we would of given you a room fowfree,so you could have made the most out of this exbackpacker firendlly city.
    A seguir viajando!
    Now go get em Tiger!

  11. Have been thinking about you often over the last couple of weeks as I read your tweets and FB updates. It takes me back to last year and how I felt for a couple of months before I left Oz and for a couple of months after my return.

    I’m so glad you have some travel plans on the horizon to look forward to and fun things to do and people to see at home. Even with all the good, it’s still a stressful, awkward, emotional time. Be patient with yourselves and continue acknowledging these feelings! They’re normal and a part of the process. You had loads of people who have experienced something similar to help you navigate this transition!

    1. @Heather: I’ve been following all your cute ideas for your wedding on Pinterest! So excited for you on that front lady! I think right now I’m avoiding the feelings for some reason. I’m scared when the wall hits.

  12. I felt the same guilt heading back to Australia before we moved to Norway. Suddenly time had flown by so fast and I wasn’t at all excited about going “home.” I was excited about a few things here and there like our friends’ wedding and seeing parents and friends, but overall I wasn’t super-excited to be there. And about a month and a half into our time with family we had major drama that made me want to flee right on out of there. Not fun. So I know where you’re coming from. And we did leave about a month and a half after that and I was stoked to go and, crap, there was that guilt again. You just have to let yourself feel how you feel and enjoy all those wonderful moments while you’re there and feel safe in the knowledge that you have big, exciting things on the horizon. Can’t wait to hear about it all!

    1. @Andrea: Seriously. The drama we’re about to walk into is epic. *sigh* I hope I can keep my cool. It just turns me off to the whole idea of home. I’m just glad (even though it sucks) that we’re not the only ones dealing with these feelings.

  13. I feel for you. Though this particular post is years away for me, I know I’ll be writing it too one day. Remember that home is just a stop on your longer journey that will take you through Europe, Japan and whatever comes after that. It’s part of your travels, really. My thoughts are with you guys today!

    1. @Kim: Somehow when we left I didn’t think that a year would have gone by so quickly. It came here sooner than I would have thought. I’m curious to see where this year will lead us.

  14. I am already nervous about going home and I have only been away for 5 months and in a place in the same country and just about 3 hours away.
    I can just imagine how you feel! But I know it will be nice for a while to pamper yourself in comfort before hitting the road again. I hope our paths will cross too 🙂
    Safe travels home, good luck with the upcoming adventures and… a big hug!

  15. Oh, I so know what you mean about being scared to go home. I’m afraid that if I leave, I won’t return. I hope you have safe travels and enjoy meeting your new niece. I hope you can avoid drama, and it avoids you. And mostly, I’m glad you’re not going anywhere. I really enjoy your blog and your twitter.
    Another gypsy girl, Mary

    1. @Mary: I didn’t think that I wouldn’t want to go back home. I left and it felt like home abroad. The people we had met were amazing. The locations were magical. Believe me, we just started our adventures!

  16. Thanks so much for your blog. Easily my favorite out there, and we’re all looking forward to more updates. Keep up the great work!!!

  17. When you are feeling sad, drink a really awesome IPA and think of how much you missed that 😉

    Seriously, I think you’ll adjust quickly because it’s all about your attitude and making the best of any situation. Who knows…. maybe you won’t want to leave again!

    1. @Stephanie: The beer is what I’m looking forward to the most when I go home (in regards to food). We will see what we feel like in a few months!

  18. I know exactly how you are feeling. Take comfort in knowing its the start of a quick chapter, which will be the start to an entirely different book of travels. You two have been so amazing in your travels, it won’t end here. AND … a certain someone forgot to mention another thing they are looking forward to!! #winosontheroad. Love you both.

  19. I think first and foremost, you need to think of the fact that you had lived your dream… albeit maybe it didn’t last as long as you wanted, you still did it. Sure you have to go back, but was the life you left that horrible? If it was, you are both probably alot less risk averse now than you were before you left, so take advantage of that and make the changes you need to. Go back to school? Take a job that you will enjoy, over one which pays a bit more…move to a different part of the city, one which will help you to embrace the lifestyle you are aiming for.

    Initially we considered the idea of ‘eternal’ travel, but honestly, I do not even know if we would want to these days…even if it was offered up as a possibility. We like to many of the consistencies that come with having a home, we LOVE our families and being with them, and well…we like making a decent wage…. all things that would have to be compromised if we travelled forever/indefinitely.

    That being said, I am sure we will be writing a similar post when we head home in late 2012-ish…so please remember that and be sure to send this comment back to us when we do 🙂

    Welcome home!

    1. @Skott and Shawna: The life we left was awesome, but just not what I want right now. As for the school thing, we’re just a bit saddened that it is almost impossible to afford to live and go to school in Austin (I have a degree, Shaun does not). The starting rate for a job that needs a bachelor’s degree is $10/hour. I worked for a company for 3 years and made it to #13. Woo. The whole situation is depressing. There is no way to afford where we want to live. We considered buying a house a while ago – but it is impossible to afford a $250k house on $12 an hour. I think tasting the opportunities abroad for lives other than the US may have “spoiled” us.

      I just wish things were better financially.

  20. So well put! That’s exactly how I felt about coming home after three nomadic years… except now, fortunately, I’ve learned how to be a wanderer and a nomad at home. It’s a free-ing feeling. Still, I’m looking forward to your impressions of what “coming home” means, especially since you get to fly the coop once again! (Just discovered your blog through the Top 100 list. You guys are fantastic!)

    1. @Barbara: I’m hoping to see what it is like to re-discover Austin from a different view for sure. <3 Thank you so much for your kind words and I hope to see you around here more often!

    1. @Andi: I plan on it! I get to see a few bloggers making their way through Austin. I get to see a few things I hadn’t had the chance to while living there. Hopefully I can see YOU sometime!

  21. I’m happy you guys are coming home, but I know that travelling makes you super happy (you can’t fake the smiles you had in your pictures). So, while I’ll be super happy to see you when I get to, I (and Jon) will always support your dreams anyway we can, ’cause I love you!

  22. Much love+respect for you two 🙂 We’ve been following your travel adventures+advice since we decided to go out and see the world. We almost caught up with you two!! Can’t wait to read up on your next adventures. You guys are just in the beginning of your journeys 🙂

  23. It was great spending a week with you two. You’ll be fine at home, and I’ll see you two in Europe before you know it.


  24. It was great to see your journey through Over Yonderlust! Looking forward to meet you in Summer and follow your travel plans! 🙂

  25. It’s all good! One door closes another one opens. Teaching in Japan? Amazing. I did that a few years ago and I can honestly say it was one of best adventures of my life. The number of crazy weird things you will see every day and … well I won’t say anymore. Only that I am jealous lol

  26. Aww reading this almost made me cry. I can’t believe y’all are heading home already. Seems like just yesterday I arrived in Oaxaca at 5am and got into the bunk bed next to yours & you said “JAIME”…lmfao!!! Ahh I had good times traveling with you in Mexico & Guatemala. Some of my fav… I love that I have been following yall way before the trip and through out the trip as well. I ove y’all and am so happy for yall. Yall followed yalls dreams did what you wanted to do & now are going to continue on making it all possible. As for going home I know how you feel… I know my return date is a long ways to come, but I miss it but feel the way you feel about things. Know that in the end things will all work out and if home doesn’t welcome you then make the world your home. Xoxo

    1. @Jaime: I know! It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago. It has almost been a year! We’re hopefully heading out again. We will see… we shall SEE! Miss you so much.

  27. Hey guys, don’t forget that you can take an unlimited number of trips in the US too. When I got back from my first adventure I decided to take a weekend a month and go see something in the US. Wow, I found some great stuff! I live in So. Utah so the first order of biz was to go to all the places I never went to in Utah and let me tell ya, if you like the outdoors this is the place to be!

    Then after every adventure I would pick a state and make a point to go discover it. It was so much easier to do after an adventure because I was used to couchsurfing, hostels, bates motels and camping. Not having to stay 5 stars and not having to eat 5 star made each trip doable for me.

    Explore, discover and enjoy!!!!!!

    1. @Sindy: Would LOVE to visit Utah some time this year. We’re hoping to do a massive road trip at some point. All part of the whole experience. <3 Thank you for your suggestions!

  28. As someone whose money ran out faster than anticipated due to our pup having surgery, and our car breaking down – I can relate to the WTF moments that are going through your head. I sit now in a cube, and lord isn’t that a mess. All I can think of is experiencing a cool new city, and start saving for the next trip – which will hopefully last a lot longer. So glad you both got to do your thing & want to keep doing it!

    1. @Tricia: Our thoughts are with you for a speedy savings recovery! We’ve definitely had a few WTF moments – like when Shaun got into an accident 2 months before our trip and put our car out of commission for a month and a nast $1000 deductible. I was piiiiiissed.

      But keep your chin up. We’re trying to. We’ll see you out soon enough.

    1. @Adam: I’m not sure if I would consider Buenos Aires relaxing per say – but definitely worth the visit.

      P.S. We’re loving the tattoos too. <3

  29. It’s tough that’s for sure, going back to a place you don’t really want to be. But you two are such rad individuals and you’ll be back on the road before you know it… Best of luck, and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

  30. I can vividly remember when we got together over in Sayulita, at the very beginning of your trip! And I totally understand your roller-coaster emotions… but I’m sure you’ll be out and about very soon…you’ll see! 🙂

    1. @Ayngelina: They are opposites but I do love how different they are. Japan is a country of extremes – craziness AND calm. <3

    1. @Abby: I have my priorities! 😀 It was so nice seeing you the other day. Thank you for keeping us company in our wee party.

  31. When are your European adventures and any chance they’ll take you to Scotland? Scott and I are planning an end-of-summer vacation there. I used to live in Edinburgh and haven’t been back since 2006.

    Also! You can totally still be a travel blogger without being on the road full time. Being home won’t stop you =) I like it better that way, actually, as it’s nice having a place of permanence (or rather, somewhere to keep all my shit).

    1. @C&C: Quite possibly? When exactly are you planning on being around that area? We’re trying to be in the UK before and after our trip.

      I’m not sure we’re the home base type of people. Being back home is already driving me crazy. Like, I’m trying not to write a whiny little post. It is REALLY BAD.

  32. I can’t imagine what that would be like returning home after such a long trip. I can totally understand why you’re stressed; I would be too. But it will be so fun to see your friends, meet your niece, and just re-group. Give me a shout once you’ve settled in–I’d love to hear about some of your adventures in person!

    1. @Emily: We are working on getting everything settled this week and will be catching up with peeps soon. I honestly want to be a hermit right now though. <3

  33. I somehow missed this one last month while we were in Turkey. I know our situations are not the same, but I understand how hard it is to deal with the fact that people at home move on. For a lot of people it really is hard to sustain a friendship when they don’t get to see you or spend time with you. I’m even finding it hard to figure out how to keep in touch because so many of my friends are people I’m used to just hanging out with and talking about random shit, that suddenly an email to catch up feels stiff and forced. I know it’s not easy to be home when you want to be out traveling, but I hope you figure out the money thing so you can hit the road again.

    1. The money thing is so much easier this time around but the weird thing is making friends and giving them a heads up that we’re not around much.

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