Itâ€™s hard enough to stay current on a travel blog while you are actually traveling â€“ never mind once youâ€™ve returned home. Even after the shock of reality wears off and, worse yet, you start to feel as if youâ€™ve never left, continuing your blog is something you want to do as a way to relive all those great adventures you had (yes, they really did happen!). But the pesky reality of life back home (looking for work and then actually being employed again, settling back into a routine and waking up to an alarm clock to go make money instead of catch a plane/train/bus to another city/country/adventure not to mention how fun it is to go through a yearâ€™s worth of mail and a bunch of boxes in storage) really gets in the way of writing.The great things about being home like seeing friends and family, not having to wear the same clothes for the millionth time (especially if they barely pass the sniff test) and not having to think about where you are going/how to get there/the proper way to purchase produceâ€¦and the simple fact that everyone understands you when you speak (and vice versa) are all pretty great. But itâ€™s still a HUGE adjustment returning home after a one year journey around the world.
What made our homecoming even more unique is that we came back pregnant. Yep, thatâ€™s right, the Flashpackers are going to become Flashparents. Flashbaby is due in August and was conceived in Spain (much to the disappointment of our friend and landlady in Portugal who has ordered us back when itâ€™s time for baby number two).
Between the demands of my job and the tiring effects of my ever expanding belly, I have completely neglected telling the story of the last months of our wonderful journey â€“ which I will do â€“ just not as quickly as I should. The last few months were some of the best. We received visitors from home in Spain who we had a blast with, spent Christmas and New Years in Portugal, a week in Barcelona, Valentineâ€™s Day in Paris, a week in Nice, time in Brugge, Amsterdam and Berlin â€“ all amazing cities.
If anyone has a good suggestion (excluding my sister Shelley whoâ€™s enamored with â€œBeanâ€) for naming the baby, please comment!
Next post: Madrid!
My blog posts aren’t happening in real time – I’m months behind in telling the tales of all the cool countries we’ve been to.
Since London we’ve been to Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain and are now resting our heads in Portugal.
I want to keep my posts in sequence – telling you the tales from our journey exactly as they happened.
But a recent visit to the Arab Baths in Granada was such a great experience that I wanted to write about it now and not wait until after all the other stories. So I did a guest post on another travel blog.
Check it out at 3 Troopin’ Travelers.
Stay tuned for tales of Venice – the perfect place to spend my birthday!
Things I will never take for granted again:
real coffee (not the instant crap!)
The first two are pretty much my only requirements at the moment! 24 hour electricity is nice, but not too big of a deal.
Iâ€™ve fallen in love with air conditioningâ€¦but alas I have to enjoy my few stolen moments with it when Iâ€™m in the 7/11. I donâ€™t think I will ever complain about the cold again! I actually get quite excited when it turns cloudy now and especially when it rains! Anything to keep the burning hot rays of the sun off my skin for however long it lasts is a welcome relief.
I hate the bugs here! I wouldnâ€™t mind them so much if they would quit eating me alive. Am I really that tasty? Iâ€™ve got big red welts all over my body to prove it! I just came back from the pool and Iâ€™ve got a new bite right on my elbow. My elbow! Seriously, another huge welt right on the bone.
There are things I will miss when we arenâ€™t here though. Mainly:
Cheap and tasty food (especially the sidewalk vendors!)
Cheap clothes (when I can find something that actually fits)
Things we donâ€™t do at home but Iâ€™m used to now:
Take off our flip flops before going inside a restaurant, store, our own bungalow, even to the reception area of wherever we are staying. (except in Bangkok, you leave your shoes on in Bangkok!)
Cold showers. Gotta love â€˜em!
Eat with a spoon. Thais never put forks in their mouths, the fork is used only for putting the food onto the spoon.
The wait staff really do wait. If they come over to take your order and youâ€™re not ready yet, they stand by your table and wait until you are. When they bring the bill (which you always have to ask for), they stand and wait until you give them the money.
In a store, itâ€™s very common for the sales people to follow you around while you look at things. Like literally follow you around like a lost puppy. If someone did that at home, I would walk out but here they are just trying to be helpful.
Things I hope I never get used to:
1. Old fat white men with young pretty Thai women. They are everywhere!
About a year ago, Curtis came up with the idea that we quit our jobs and leave the pressures of the city behind us to embark on an adventure around the world. It sounded like a great fantasy….but not a very realistic goal.
It was soon dismissed, only to be reawakened several months later. This time it was me who wanted to turn the fantasy into a reality. I wanted to turn the routine of my 9 to 5 existence into something MORE. Taking a trip around the world was something I had dreamed about for as long as I could remember and I realized that if we didn’t do it now, we probably never would.
So we quit the security and comfort (and steady paycheque) of our jobs, rented out our condo, put all of our stuff into storage, got our shots and visas and a couple of Lonely Planets, packed our backpacks and are now sitting at the airport in Vancouver waiting for our first flight.
The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of packing, saying our goodbyes to co-workers, family and friends and doing all the prep work that comes with leaving the country for a year. We just did our taxes last night!
The itinerary is: 4 months in Thailand, 3 months in Australia and then 5 months in Europe. Not sure exactly whereÂ we are staying or what we’ll be doing yet. But that’s half the fun!
It is with a huge sigh of relief that I sit here blogging waiting for our 10 hour flight to Frankfurt. There is nothing left for me to do except sit and relax. Oh, and figure out where we are going to sleep once we get to Thailand. We’re definitely winging it…but we’ve got 3 plane rides to figure that out.