Wow. There is no way possible that we have completed the circle. What I really want to say is, “WAAAAAAAA!” I do have two last Country blogs to finish up. Currently working on both Argentina and Chile. My goal is to continue to blog when we return, however, will just change my blog to Crazy Mom. I enjoy writing and may pursue other creative areas in the writing arena as well. Many people in the last week have asked how I am feeling? Are we ready to come home? Would we continue if possible? Tomorrow we leave on our last plane. In the last 238 days we have flown on over 24 flights. The vast majority of these flights being in the last three months of our trip. Here are some stats on our trip.
Visits to Five Continent
Explored 18 different countries
Swam in the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Tasman Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the South China Sea, and the Southern Ocean.
We have spent the night in the following cities; Brownstown, MI, London, York, Edinburgh, Paris, Avignon, Talousse, Biarritz, San Sebastián, Seville, Madrid, Cadiz, Barcelona, Granada, Valencia, Aix-en-Provence, Rapallo, Santa Margherita, Tuscany, Venice, Lake Como, Geneva, Kaiserslautern, Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Hallstadt, Munich, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Koh Samui, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Min, Ubud, Ulluwatu, Nusa Dua, Apollo Bay, Lorne, Melbourne, Sydney, Port Mackerey, Byron Bay, Noosa, Auckland, Rotorua, Raglan, Lake Taupo, Wellington, Mapua, Punakaiki, Fox Glacier, Queenstown, Dunedin, Timaro, Akaroa, Kaikorai, Mapua, Buenos Aire, Bariloche, Vina Del Mar, and Pichelemu.
We’ve lost at least seven pairs of shoes, three bathing suits, two pair of mens shorts, one pair of sunglasses, books, uncountable stuffed animals that we acquired along the way including Jinxi the Cat and a very large savings account. Well worth it!
We have driven on every side of the road possible. On some days I woke up not knowing where I was and what side of the road to stay on. I drove for the first time in months yesterday and came within seconds of crashing the car.
So how am I feeling? Lucky and so darn fortunate for starters. Definitely excited to be home again. I am so ready to stop unpacking my suitcase every few days. Although, to be honest, in the last two weeks, I have just grabbed something clean from it instead of unpacking. Still have to get through Dallas, a week in MI and then 8 days in San Diego before I can feel settled. I am starting to long for domesticity and routine. I truly am excited to do laundry and get our house unpacked. (Mom, pack your bags!) Ready to have my own bed again and not to have to share sips of my Diet Cokes with my little Minions. I am happy to start the newest chapter of our lives. If there is one common theme throughout the last 9 months, it is that we know we made the right decision by following our hearts to San Diego.
Today I am writing this from the Alaia Hotel in Chile on the Punta Locos peninsula. Legend has it that this specific area is special and magical. I can feel it. I felt is yesterday when we came to check out if they had reservations. I will return here again one day with Carlos and maybe some friends who I know will appreciate the views, the no-frills luxury of this eco-hotel. It is absolutely stunning here and very calm. We have not even left and I am ready to return. Maybe it was the cold air last night coming through the windows as I sat in front of the fireplace and pretended to rock Paloma asleep. Maybe it is the old school fire-warmed hot tube outside on the pool deck. But there is no doubt a special feeling. I would highly recommend staying here or at least eating dinner here if you make it to Pichilemu, Chile. Tonight at dinner, I ordered a cheeseburger for dinner and Paloma ate 90% of it. So I guess I would also include, looking forward to a few more date nights here and there.
I honestly can not believe the trip is over. The last 9 months have been the quickest, best and most adventurous of my life. Prior to leaving Texas I was worried that we would not make it the whole time. There were times when I wanted time alone or thought I was going to kill the kids, but never did I ever want to come home. We were supposed to be gone for another two months, however, we decided to do Manchu Pichu and Peru when the kids are a bit older. There is also that pesky thing called money that came in to play. Time to get back and make the donuts! Today, I asked Paloma what was her favorite thing she learned along the way. She responded, “To say yes ma’am and thank you.” Those are great things, but what did you learn about other cultures?” I asked. She responded, “There are many different types of hairstyles in the world.” Yes, including one really bad choice of hairstyles in Vietnam love. Ha! Cruz told me he enjoyed learning about the Buddhist culture and meeting new friends in different places.
I personally have learned a great deal about myself and my relationship with Carlos as well. After this trip, we can conquer the world together. We are definitely different, but it works. He loves to hike, I like to lay by the pool and read. He likes to eat fish, I am a steak girl. We both crave the ocean, or any large body of natural water, enjoy wine, watching movies and just listening to the sound of the ocean. A good balance. Another thing I realized, is that for as social as I am, I need more alone time to regroup than others. I have to have alone time or I get mentally fried. I am a control-freak when it comes to planning. However, I truly enjoy letting go of the reigns when I do allow this to happen. I do not think this trip has changed me that much.. Just reinforced the thought process of how lucky we are in the United States. Another thing that both Carlos and I realized is how much stuff we do not need and how little of a place we need to live comfortably. I hope we can hold onto the philosophy that memories are worth more than material things. Not that there is anything wrong with material items, however, I have boxes of clothes that I could never see again in storage in Dallas that I have no idea where I am going to put them. Nor do I really even remember what is inside.
I am looking forward to getting the kids in school again. Carlos and I have been teasing them about this day. We told them that we are going to have a huge party each day for the first week they are in school. I AM GOING TO MISS THESE STINKERS TREMENDOUSLY at the same TIME. Carlos as well. I am not sure if I will ever get this chance to spend this much time with them in a year again. The thought of him leaving us on his inevidable future travels for work makes me sad.
Thank you to all of your who have read our blog and supported us this past year. I hope we inspired a little something in you! Shake it up a bit. Take a chance and go with it. I think my next adventure after getting set up will be a hard, yet necessary one. Getting back in shape after this gluttonous nine months. Will keep ya posted!