Waterloo & Ames

Post trip blues

March 5, 2006

Remember the Backpacker Blues Craig sang when I had holes in every article of clothing I was wearing?? Well that just scratches the surface compared to how we are feeling now that we are back home.

While we sat in various hostel rooms we envisioned making tons of trips to visit our friends throughout the country and all of the neat projects we'd start when we had the resources that a home brings. I'm not sure what we were thinking. Within the first 7 weeks home we did make a few trips between Waterloo and Ames to see our friends and family, but that was the extent of it. The transition back to life in the States hit us both pretty hard and we didn’t visit as many people as we would have liked. We went into seclusion. It was just so hard to accept that we were no longer experiencing a new adventure every single day. Even the mundane task of getting groceries and finding a room for the night was an adventure and it was a test of our patience at times. There were new products to try and we could apply our negotiating skills which were improving daily. Once we were back, the trips to Target were boring and avoided at all costs. We had to drive everywhere and nothing seemed to have changed. The stores all look the same and filling up our gas tank, which costs about $40, is annoying to say the least. I hate to say it, but at times is almost feels like our trip didn't even happen. Although I will say that once I get back on our website the memories come back immediately and it's a double-edged sword. Were we ready to come home? Yes. Do we have any regrets? No. But now that we're back do we want to continue our journey? Most of the time we'd answer yes. I think it's just the feeling that we know how to live this type of existence, after 30 some years it's ingrained. Our trip was consistently challenging what we thought we were made of and it tested our physical and mental limits. We miss the variety that traveling afforded us as well as the clarity that we gained from living simply. Material possessions became a thing of the past and the journey took over. After living without our "stuff" for over a year has made us realize that we can be happy with very little. I know it might sound a tad bit cliché, but how often do we reward ourselves with material possessions? How do you feel after owning that item after a week or a year? In the end it probably is just a "filler" in your house or a closet. It seems our society has become obsessed with moments of quick gratification. You see it every year with children at Christmas. We buy and buy and the kids want more and more. How many times does the gift go unnoticed and the box it came in becomes the best thing in the world? What we think will bring us happiness all too often falls short of our expectations. We didn't know what to expect from this journey. We tried to keep everything in perspective on those bad days, because there were bad days where we were ready to pack it all up. In the end we knew that around the next corner was a whole new piece of our world for us to discover and we didn't want to miss out on it. The experiences meant the most to us. Those are things we forget when we are running around trying to cram our lives into 24 hours. I just hope we don't forget this lesson. We have thoroughly caught the travel bug and we are already planning our next trip, hopefully Argentina.

Although our future trips will be shorter, we know our travels will continue to expand our minds. We hope our site has inspired some of you to do the same. Get out there and see the world!

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