Monthly Archives: October 2015

Being Home

It’s good to be home, it’s good to be home!

It’s been five weeks since we landed and we’re still a bit nomadic visiting family and friends all over the Midwest. We have signed a lease in our old apartment complex and I almost have a job squared away so our nomadic life is almost over. I am really, really, really, looking forward to a normal life. I traveled 50-75% of the time during my last 18 months of my job, spent 13 months traveling around the world with Jacquelyn, and will have traveled around the US for around two months before finally settling down. After almost three years of being a nomad, my feet are no longer itchy and I’m ready to have some sort of roots!

It’s been fun to hear what we missed during the last 13 months and catch up with the people who mean the most to us. I thought we did OK keeping up with what was happing back in the US but it’s clear we missed a lot. I’m happy we’ve had a handful of weeks to catch up with family and friends before jumping back into real life!

We haven’t had any real difficulty coming back to the US and haven’t had ‘reverse culture shock’ at all. I have a couple theories why: 1) we never had time to fully adapt to a different culture since we moved around so much, 2) we were ready to come home. The most difficult issue I encountered, driving on the correct side of the road, is no longer a problem so I’d say we didn’t have any problems returning and were able to sort of pick up from where we left off.

The weirdest thing I encountered was realizing I have lost A LOT of English words. This has been especially difficult when interviewing for technical positions as there’s a lot of words I haven’t used for some time so I’ve had a difficult time explaining technical/complex problems simply because I’ve lost the words! But that’s not the worst, the worst is forgetting simple words like ’rust’; I’ve had to resort to saying things, ‘that red stuff that grows on metal when it’s wet’. It has been surprising to say the least.

I’m happy we came back to the US in the fall. It’s been great weather so far and I’ve been able to enjoy some hiking, star gazing, and beautiful leaves. Overall, it’s great to be back :).

Enjoy the photos!

Chris W.

Return Home!!

We are home! After 13 months, 160 cities, 42 countries, and six continents, our trip is over. Jacquelyn and I have been back in the US for a bit over two weeks and it’s definitely good to be back. It’s been wonderful to catch up with our families and friends, eat familiar foods, and see familiar places. We were warned about ‘reverse culture shock’ and difficulties coming back to the US but so far problems are very few. The biggest problem I’ve had is remembering to drive on the correct side of the road! We spent about 61% of the time driving on the left and we switched back and forth a few times so I need to think hard about where I should be whenever I drive. Otherwise, we really haven’t had any problems!

We are slipping back into our former lives and re-discovering the things we enjoyed. In a way our travels were very similar to where we are now; there are a million little details to be sorted so we can re-start our lives. Instead of finding where/what we’re going to eat, learning how to get from A to B, and finding our lodging we are now finding cell phone providers, shopping for different insurances, looking for places to live, trying to get jobs, and so on. A lot of very important details have changed in the last year and there’s a lot for us to learn.

Since we’re back it’s been fun to compare similarities between the places we’ve visited and the US:

  • Clothing styles are similar, especially for men.
  • Everyone thinks the drivers in their country are bad.
  • Everyone thinks their region has very erratic weather.
  •  Pretty much everyone likes America, especially Americans.
  • Every country has something like the TSA and they are equally bad.
  • Somehow, Australia and New Zealand have the worst internet in the world.
  • People pretty much want the same things in life but express it slightly differently.
  • Customer service when resolving problems is pretty bad all around. Except Japan.
  • People suck at counting. We regularly received the wrong change back, both too little and too much.
  • Everyone thinks their government is filled with idiots and their current government is the worst ever.
  • Lastly, around the world, BMWs don’t come with functional blinkers. It’s not a USA thing.

We had an immense amount of good fortune and luck on this trip. We: never missed a plane, we never had a cancelled flight, made every single transportation connection, we were never robbed, we never had to change our travel plans because something didn’t work out, and the most expensive scam we fell prey to was about $10.

We met a lot of incredible people along the way and we learned that pretty much everyone wants the same things for themselves and their families. I do believe that there are no friendlier and welcoming people than Australians. We met a lot of really cool and friendly people but there’s something to Australian’s openness and kindness. All we had to do was show up and it seemed like we already had friends in Australia! Australians aside, the world is a friendly place and we received so much help from some many people along the way it was unreal.

We had quite the adventure and it was an amazing experience. That said, all-in-all, we are very happy to be back in the US. We’re still going to be nomads because we are traveling around to see family and do some fun stuff before we finally settle down. We’ve visited Colorado, Minnesota, and South Dakota and have plans to visit Washington DC, South Dakota again, Washington state, and maybe Wisconsin before we’re done. It’ll be good to have our own place we call home :).

Enjoy the photos!

Chris W.