It is hard to believe that we just finished packing for the last time on our big adventure; although certainly not our last time. Too many new places on our must visit list. As with all learning, learning about the world through travel has only made us aware of how much more there is to learn.
I can’t yet find words, at least not concise ones, to capture the welter of feelings right now: Excitement to be back home and to see friends and family again. Apprehension about all there is to do. We sold two cars the day we left on the trip; we’ll need to buy one when we get back. There is another feeling like a distant cousin of grief, an apprehension of future loss, that comes from knowing that our family time will be shared out and fractured; that we won’t be waking each day to tackle another foreign travel challenge or see and learn about things that until now we only knew through documentaries or books, or didn’t know at all. The adrenaline rush of a South East Asian street crossing, to be replaced by the normalcy of stop signs and traffic rules that we understand. Even on days when we were not our best, when our amygdalytic guard dogs got right out to the ends of their chains, we were still rolling in ‘hopefully not just once in a lifetime’ experiences. And while there has been homesickness and friends and family have been greatly missed, it will be strange not to be traveling.
The one-liner of the evening came from Oliver, when we were sorting out our snack bag, with its collection of wet wipes, plastic spoons, zip-locks, and mystery crumbs, when a ‘fruitolino’ surfaced. “Oh, boy, I think we’ve had this since Panama, can we have it?” The labelling was from the Helvetic Confederation, meaning that we had not had it since last September, but relatively recently, from early January. So it was fresh. Of course we could have some. It tasted of dates, and was just a little nutty.