Today is the day our moms thought might never come: we booked our tickets home!*
<My heart beats a little bit faster as I type this…>
We don’t even know what to say about it and we’re both a little stunned, but this big, amazing, fantastic, wonderful, incredible trip is coming to an end….in February. Or at least it’s going on hiatus until the lotto win. Have we won yet, Papa Barr? We’re ready! No? Sigh.
As we watch our bank account dwindle, we’ve come to the realization that nothing lasts forever. Even though we wish it could! We’ve had so many mind-blowing experiences in the last 13 months – we’re thinking of you Bolivian Salt Flats, and you Mongolia, and you Great Migration, and you Sagrada Familia (blog in the works), and you street art, and, and, and – but the time has come to look our funds in the eye and say “Ok, we’re coming home.” That being said, I think you know that there’s no way we’d go quietly. Oh, no, we’re going out with a bang!!!
Here’s how it’s all gonna go down:
- Finish our housesit in Spain, which includes plenty-o-blogging, some olive picking, tapas galore and a super-awesome visit from our friends Ed and Brigit. Sharing this experience with friends and family is one of the funnest parts.
- Explore Amsterdam for ten days with some of our best friends, Karen N and Aunt Janice with a cameo by Karen H, where we will celebrate Anner’s birthday with the gusto normally reserved only for Kardashians. We’re gonna needs some boas, that’s all I know. Anyone else going to join us? January 8-19 – the more the merrier!
- We’ll then head to Stockholm, Sweden for a few days of really cold and really dark. Um, why? Well, not exactly sure. Certainly we’ll find some interesting sights (suggestions anyone?), but mostly this is the cheapest city for flying to…..
- Iceland! Where we will hopefully see the auroras AND go winter snorkeling!! That’s right. Snorkeling. In winter. In ICELAND! We said we want to end doing something big and we meant it! Bang!
And if that weren’t enough…
- Boston. Finally we re-enter the US on January 29, just before our Europe/Schengen visa expires. Why Boston? Sure, it’s one of Anner’s all-time favorite cities in the world, but really it’s because the fabulous TJ and Taylor live there. Our favorite travel-friends who we met up with TWICE in South America, including spending 10 days together in Buenos Aires, and we can’t think of a more fun way to return.
After Boston things get fuzzy, but we will be on US soil once again. We have mixed feelings, for sure. We love America, so no mixed feelings about the States themselves, just sad that our adventures are about to change.
To cope, we are focusing on the fantastic remaining stops and all the good things we are looking forward to at home: seeing all our friends, Aaron’s new fabulous art project that we’ve been dreaming about since Tanzania – more details to come on this next year, starting new jobs/careers, re-making the inside of our house including a fresh coat of paint (we want even brighter colors…no, really), kitty-sitting for the fabulous Emily and Smilla, seeing if anything is still alive in our garden, Aaron’s weekly game night, a return to our ‘dance education’ (and boy do we need more education!), and who knows what else? We certainly don’t. We are embracing the unknown once again. One thing we know for sure – and this trip proved it over and over again – we can do anything when we’re together.
So with that, Homecoming 2016 is set! Not sure when we’ll actually get back to Seattle, but that time is definitely coming, too. Maybe in February, maybe a bit later, as we are open to house-sitting assignments in the States (perhaps long-term, so we could temp during it) and both of us are looking for jobs. So if you have any leads, please, please, please send them our way! Seriously!
We are also working out how NoMapRequired will evolve with our return home, but we are definitely planning to keep the blog going. We hope you stick with us.
Anner & Aaron
*A note for any potential employers out there: we are packed and ready to move to your exotic, international locale. Just need to say ‘hi’ to our moms (very important!), grab a change of clothes (slightly less important) and we’ll be on our way.
Hi there –
I read about your trip a while back in the Allegheny alumni mag and have been following you a bit. I worked for an organization with US citizens who were abroad. At one point we had considered doing a seminar for our staff who were returning to the States. It never got off the ground, but I did some research and found a book that you might want to check out: “The Art of Coming Home” by Craig Storti, published by Intercultural Press. I have no idea if it’s still in print, but I found it very eye opening in understanding the point of view of our staff who had recently returned to the States.
Looking forward to reading about your next adventures!
Hi Susan – thanks for following along! We’ve seen you on FB and wondered how you found us. Now we know! What was the organization you worked with? Not still there? We’ll definitely search and see if we can find The Art of Coming Home – thanks for the suggestion. So far our favorite response has been from some fellow travel bloggers who responded with “Not to worry, it’s just your first visit home.” That’s the right attitude!
As I was reading this, I thought, “What will I do without their blog!” To be continued, YES!!
Love the photos above especially you Anner in the ostrich feather plume hat. Too bad you didn’t buy that hat. It’s so you….
As you turn your thoughts back to the US, I have two thoughts: (1) the presidential race politics and the Seattle weather are just wild right now, and (2). AFRICA 2018! It ain’t over.
We’ll definitely continue. The adventures might get closer to home or transform in some other way, but we’re hooked on blogging now. 🙂
Africa 2018 – you’re so right, it definitely ain’t over!
Ahhh….enjoy! I will be very happy to see you, if even for a short time!!!
Emily is waiting for you- especially as February means getting out of cage-rest too…
And your garden doesn’t look this bad at least if you don’t count the bad weather And please let us know when to get the airbed out of the shed…
Have fun till the very end,
Not to worry – there’s still 50 more days of fun and adventure to be had and we’ll definitely make the most of them!!!