Sunday, June 16, 2013

Home Sweet Home

After four months of nonstop adventure and exploration, we arrived safely back in Buffalo late last Thursday night. Friday and Saturday we began to get settled back into our house, despite extreme delusion caused by jet lag. Over the past week we've been busy "nesting" and cleaning up and reorganizing the inside and outside of our home!

Yesterday was Drew's 30th birthday and we had many of our friends and family over to reconnect, share some stories, and celebrate life! It's been amazing to see everyone again and kind of feels like we've never been gone.

Tomorrow I go back to work. I'm looking forward to seeing my friends, but it is a bit nerve-wracking. I'm really not sure how easily I will adjust to working full time again. I loved my job before I left, so I think that will make it easier, but going from a very open schedule with tons of new experiences, people, and sights everyday to a set routine and the same scenery day after day might be difficult. I guess only time will tell.

Overall, sitting in my house, it's sort of hard to believe that we've been gone for four months because not much has changed here. But I am a different person and I'm sure I will only realize this more and more as time goes on. I'm happy to be back, but (of course) sad that our journey is actually over. I know that we will have many new adventures to come so I don't worry that this is the end, but still, it's sort of crazy that this huge thing I've been dreaming about for many, many years, and planning and working on diligently for over a year has truly come to an end.

Luckily, I have almost 10,000 photos to show for it, some cool souvenirs, and a million amazing memories that I share with my best friend. The next step will be creating my photo book (which I do for every trip we take). I've already started, but I'm only about a week in! It's going to take a long time but I appreciate that I get to relive each step of our journey every time I sit down to work on it!

Many people have asked the same questions, so here's a few answers to things you may be wondering:

  • Yes, it was absolutely everything I could have dreamed of and more. I'm not one for setting too many expectations, especially when it comes to travel, but the trip was my dream come true! We were lucky enough to meet so many incredible people along the way, who helped us and became friends, our travel plans all fell together and we never had any big issues, and we stayed safe and healthy (after Drew got over his ear infection in Ecuador!)
  • No, I cannot pick a favorite place. Each country, city and attraction we visited was unique and there was really nowhere that I would not return to. I have a few favorites, but it's impossible to pick one! 
    • The Galapagos were a dream come true and the most amazing diving I've ever experienced. I'm obsessed with sea lions and I got to swim with them and see them inches from my face many times!
    • Machu Picchu was another place I've always wanted to go and it truly exceeded any expectations. It's incredible.
    • Spain was an amazing country and every city we had the opportunity to visit was beautiful!
    • Italy was incredible! The food, the history, the character of each place we saw was outstanding!
    • Santorini was gorgeous and we will definitely go back to this Greek island since we only had several hours to appreciate it and it deserves several days!
    • Turkey was amazing. The people, the history, and the places we saw were fabulous.
    • Dubai was truly another world and a place I'd like to see in five to ten years because I know it will be even more over the top!
    • Egypt brought us back down to earth after the futuristic city of Dubai. It was an incredible place to end our journey. We got to see THE PYRAMIDS in person! We rode a felluca on the Nile! We rode a camel in the Sahara! We took pictures of the Sphinx! We laid by the pool of our hotel and could see the Pyramids!
    • I feel bad not going into detail about every country and city we visited because, truly, they were each so memorable and beautiful in their own way.
  • Yes, four months was a great amount of time. I would have loved to continue for longer, but on the other hand, it's natural that you sort of begin to prepare yourself for what's ahead. So we knew we were going to be gone four months, and a few weeks before our scheduled return we started to wind down and mentally adjust to the idea of coming home.
The tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai
The amazing Pyramids of Giza on a camel in the Sahara!
Sad faces...the morning we left Cairo for home

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to stay abreast of our journey. It has been neat to hear people ask me about things I wrote in the blog, and even cool when people said they noticed those times when I didn't write for weeks and they got worried. I appreciate all the support before, during, and now after this incredible journey!

 That's all I have for now. I did want to share this map below - all this travel and the travel I've done throughout my life, and still I've only seen 14% of the world! Really?!

Create your own travel map - TravBuddy


  1. I'm so glad that you had the opportunity to take this trip! What an amazing experience.

    I hope you get the chance to travel to the other 86% of the countries of the world!

    1. Thank you so much, Jen! I appreciate your kind words and support! And I hope we get to the other 86% too!! :-)