Coming Home After 8 Months of RTW Travel

After three wonderful weeks exploring Portugal, it was time to fly home. With a bit of anxiety about whether we were going to be able to maintain and continue to grow our new mindset upon returning to the “real world”, coupled with excitement to see friends and family, we started the last leg of our trip. 

We Hope This Isn’t a Sign

Over the past 8 months we have gone on countless flights, but we both had to laugh when each of these flights were the roughest yet. The turbulence was crazy!! Let’s just say the palms of our hands got a bit sweaty. It was pretty ironic really and certainly gave us a chance to practice maintaining a calm state of mind in stressful situations.

As you can imagine, after this crazy turbulence (along with a flight delay in Boston) we were quite excited to finally land, be done with flying for at least a little while, and see our very good friend waiting for us. He and his wife have been our close friends for nineteen years and supported us in many ways during our travels, so it was no surprise that they offered to help during our transition back home. 

So what was the plan? 

Well, we had no home and no car, so we stayed with our friends who were kind enough to lend us their vehicle while we hunted down a used car to buy. This was no easy task. It took us two full sunrise to sunset days, driving 500+ miles and visiting 10 dealerships around the state of Virginia to finally find something decent and within our budget. 

carpurchase
See those tired eyes? It's not jet lag. It's car shopping!

Next up, we visited Pete’s parents for a couple of days before returning to our friend’s house for one more night. The funny thing is that even at this point we were still living out of our 30 liter backpacks and feeling more like visitors to the USA versus permanent residents. 

Moving Day

It was finally time to move into our apartment! Once again, our friend helped us out big time and loaded up his truck with the stuff we had saved in our small storage unit and brought it to our apartment. What would we do without friends like these guys in our lives!

Chesapeake Bay Sunset
Our first sunset over the Chesapeake Bay since returning home. We did miss this.

Initial Observations

Auditory Overload

There were a few things that struck us right away being back in the USA. When you have spent the past five or so months in countries where English is not the primary language it is a bit weird when suddenly you can understand all the conversations going on around you. It was actually really nice when we couldn’t because it was much easier to just tune things out and be open to your surroundings. We found once back in the USA we had to consciously not listen in on conversations, allow these conversations to interrupt our own thoughts, and most importantly not immediately judge a person based on what they were saying. Click here for our video post about meditation, mindset and being in the moment.

On the flip side, it was funny being understood by others, such as at a checkout counter, the FIRST time. We had gotten so used to having to point to things or miming to convey what we wanted if we weren’t understood the first go around.

Assembly
Bathroom Shelf Assembly - A pastel de nata and glass of port would sure make this easier!
Money Matters

Another thing that struck us was using American money for the first time again in eight months. No more dollar coins or different color bills/banknotes. We had gotten so used to having loads of change in our pockets and not primarily using dollar bills. Plus, it took a bit to not think to ourselves, “now what is the conversion rate here?”

pilates
Rachel's #1 Priority? Getting back on her Pilates reformer!

Our RTW Trip is a Memory

Within the first few days of being back the strange thing was that the entire trip quickly felt like a blip in time. Done and gone.

It’s not like this was a two week vacation. We sold the majority of what we owned, quit our jobs and traveled for 8 months. This was a major event! It really makes you stop and think about the importance of living in the moment and appreciating what is right in front of you. It also further instilled in us the importance of not fixating on experiences (or even stuff for that matter) and expecting these things to provide us with long-lasting happiness. 

We’re Glad We Did It

We are so glad we decided to do our RTW life reset (click here for one of our first blog posts and videos about what a “life reset” is) and truly feel we achieved what we sought out to accomplish on this trip. The experiences we had taught us a great deal about ourselves and gave us the tools to continue to grow more mindful and hopefully focus more on the present versus the past or future.

We are still not quite settled back into our apartment, with boxes scattered everywhere and the mattress on the floor. But we do have clean clothes, a lovely kitchen to cook whatever meals we want to, and are surrounded by many wonderful friends. 

Do you have any thoughts to share about hitting the life reset button? Please post below or contact us directly!
Categories: Transition Home