Jul 5th, 2009

Back Home

by Maria
Posted in Post Trip

We arrived back in Vancouver on July 16th, a whopping 17 months, 1 week and 6 days after we left. It has been truly fantastic to reconnect with old friends. That is one of the very few things we did miss.

Since we’ve been back in Canada, the same three questions keep coming up:

So, how does it feel to be back after so long? Ummm…how can I explain it? Flying into Vancouver was like…like that crushing feeling you get when you realize you just ate the last bite of that amazing ice cream cone (sorry, couldn’t resist one more food reference. ;-) ) Sure, you’re happy you had the ice cream cone, sure you know you’ve had more then you should have, more then is good for you. You know you should be happy, you know you can’t complain but you want more damn it…MORE…MUCH, MUCH MORE ….AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH…….. ARGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Sigh.

Thankfully though, we did have some time in South Africa to get used to being back in western society again and weed out some of the odd behaviours we were predicting back when we were in Cambodia; all but “eating enormous amounts of food at an alarming rate” that is. Oh, and I still reserve the right to steal your toilet paper. Hey, if stealing your toilet paper will allow me to feel alive again, to recapture some semblance of sanity after a few months of sitting in an office cubicle staring at a monitor, I’m gonna do it!! No apologies either!

So, as I was saying, we’re “back home”, it just doesn’t quite feel like “home”, at least not yet. We feel deeply pensive, a little dumbstruck and a little awkward. Oh, and more then a little gobsmacked by the cost of things here…groceries, coffee, transportation, everything. WTF?!!!

Which is your favourite country? That’s a really difficult question. I can’t pick just one. I loved so many for different reasons. South Africa for the inspiration, Ethiopia and Namibia for the beauty, Italy for the Tuscan landscapes, Tanzania and France for the cycling…I can go on and on. Overall though, I would say this: Europe is glorious, Asia is fascinating, but Africa…Africa gave my goose-bumps. I may be back amongst glass skyscrapers and big box stores but thoughts of sand dunes, camels and baobab trees are never far from my mind. It’s what I see when I close my eyes. As beautiful as she is vast, as mysterious as she is complex, I’m not quite sure how to get her, Africa, out my system. I don’t think I would want to anyway.

So what’s next? Well, we have some ideas but we’ll be taking it one day at a time. Right now the plan is to go to Costco to get a year’s supply of mac’n cheese (gotta save them pennies for the next trip you know) and then we’ll go for a bike ride. We hope to occasionally add some news to the blog, perhaps a rant or two, but we’ll have to leave the tales from the road, the tales about following your dreams to someone else for a little while. In fact, I believe it’s your turn now. ;-) Good Luck!

10 Responses to “Back Home”

  1. Doug and Julie Says:

    Wow, all we can say is WELCOME HOME even though we know you really would rather still be “out there.” Unfortunately it costs lotsa pesos and grit to do what you guys did! Here’s a plan to save money, call all your friends and tell tham you will discuss your whole trip with them but only if they pay for :breakfast,lunch,dinner-pick one….hmmmmmmmmm. LOL

    Doug and Julie

  2. James Says:

    THANKS – for sharing the fabulous photos and the wonderful stories…

    for coming home safe …

    and for letting us share a little bit of your experience.

    Maria – I have known for a LONG time what a special gal you are… but this blog has given me a chance to meet your other hlaf and learn how extraordinary a fellow he is as well.

    Besides – I saw the pictures – he builds a damn fine fire in the desert.

  3. Maria Says:

    Hi Doug and Julie,

    Thank you! Hope we can get together sometime.

    Awwww, do we have to pick just one? ;-)

  4. Maria Says:


    LOL, he really does build a damn fine fire. He’s pleased you remembered.

    Thank you James for being so supportive from the very beginning. It means so much to us. :-)

    Please let us know if you are ever in Vancouver.

  5. sandy Says:

    All I can say is WOW.

    You know now that anything is possible. You reminded me of that also…

    Keep on Keepin on….


  6. Maria Says:

    Thanks Sandy!!!!!! Yes, you’re right; anything is possible. Thanks so much for all your support. :-)

  7. shnewt Says:

    Now I feel like I’ve just had the last bite of an ice cream cone. You may not feel like updating your blog now that your back but you guys write so well. And the pictures are unbelievable.

    I for one hope you find the time to occasionally keep it updated. Roads least traveled don’t always have to be away from the place you live.

  8. Maria Says:

    - “Roads least traveled don’t always have to be away from the place you live”

    Excellent point! Thanks so much! :-)

  9. Dave and Deb Says:

    Hey Maria and Spiros.
    Excellent sum up of your time away. Welcome home and good luck with everything in store for the years to come. I am sure that you will be doing something extraordinary in the near future after such and incredible life changing trip. Congratulations, what an accomplishment!

  10. Maria Says:

    Thanks Dave and Deb!!

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