We travelled round the world. And now we are going back home in a few days. I feel like crying, mainly for two reasons. Firstly, because I feel sad that this incredible longterm backpacking journey is about to end. And secondly, because I feel joy for being able to see again soon all the dearest and nearest to us.
We have backpacked around the globe since beginning of December last year (2016), for 6,5 months now. We’ve visited about twenty different countries and flown many more kilometres than actual direct roundtheworld flights are. We’ll publish our journey in figures once the last flight has taken us home. And the experience – well, I could write a book about them! I can describe a summary of what this amazing journey has provided for us, but the sentimental value is hard to describe. If I just say it feels like bursting richness, it will maybe begin to describe the scale of sentiments we have right now.
The last nine days of our RTW journey we have spent in beloved Spain, in the northeast corner Catalonia. All other destinations and countries were new to us. In our route plan we included such destinations that are harded to reach from Finland on purpose.
So, why familiar Spain as the last destination? Well, early summer in any destination on the Mediterranean sea is just amazing. Originally one of Merja’s dreams was to spend time in the little fisherman villages on the French Riviera. Similarly, only capital city Barcelona was familiar to us of the area of Catalonia. And when we did our research on how to best reach this area when flying from SE Asia, Barcelona turned out to be the most sensible choise time and moneywise. Only this time we did not want to stay in the city, though as interesting as Barcelona is(!), but instead we headed for smaller rural villages on the coast. Based on the Airbnb availability we ended up booking a flat in Roses about 100km north of Barcelona.
From charming Roses (which we’ll blog about separately soon!), we have done little daytrips to villages nearby. We have also just rested and relaxed as we were a bit jetlagged due to time difference of 6hrs between Hong Kong and here. In addition, our junior has been still suffering from a quite bad ear infection, now in both ears. Hot and tropical SE Asia was apparently an excellent surface for bacteria as two out of three of us got ear infections! Surely no wonder, both of us spent hours just laying on the pool water for hours… Antibiotics we have been carrying along with us all our journey have finally come in very useful. We’ll include a post on our travel gear shortly after returning home and will include a listing of what was useful and what not…
Moment of return
A dear friend of mine just asked me a short while ago whether I already feel return home anxiety and travel hangover. Yes and no. I’m sure the worst anxiety is yet relieved by the tingeling wait of being able to particitpate in many events in which we will see so many of nearest and dearest shortly after homecoming. Our calendar is quite full of reservations, however, also nicely empty until the end of July.
We both took eight months leave of absence from work. And we are to return to work beginning od August. Now, you may wonder why on earth we are not travelling for eight months, but instead returning home already after 6,5 months. Well, for the single most important reason of being able to spend the best summer month in Finland. We’ll have six weeks of vacation left to spend in our lovely summer house by the lake. I believe we would feel very anxious if we were to return towork directly after travelling. This way we get a softer landing back normal everyday life. And our summer house is the one and only reason we never travel abroad in July anyways!
Travel hangover will mostly likely hit right after homecoming! Our journey has been the most incredible one. Surely we’ll suffer from some sort of a hangover, just like you get from any good party… I’m guessing the possible hangover will not be about feeling imbaressed but rather hopeless of whether this type of a journey is possible ever again?! Surely it will, if we keep on believing in our dreams…
Six months is enought for things to be put into perspective. You do get enough distance to actually start missing your everyday life. You start thinking about your life, the choises youmake and possibilities available every day. Perhaps the biggest question being what will I want to be when I grow up. After being able to see spme of the harsher sides of living in less developed countries while travelling, you inevitably start to rethink your values. And if not rethink completely, at least their meaning in thechoises you make. At least this journey has been a good example to ourselves and most of all our now eight-year-old son. And maybe to a few others to make a statement: it’s imprtant to have dreams and pursue them. They even may come true by the choises you make yourself!
(Photo credit: Roosa Sintonen)