Truth is that we have lived so many things, met so many amazing people and experienced so many cultures, foods and cities that we haven’t had the time to step back for a moment and realize what these 6 months have meant for us.
Time to scroll down the homepage of this blog, to go through some posts and look at those pictures. Let’s go back in time, just a little bit…
We like to think about the beginning of our journey across the US, where Greyhound seemed like our office and Couchsurfing our homes… we remain amazed by the gorgeous landscapes of the Grand Canyon, Zion Park and Monument Valley. We are still in love with Charleston, Los Angeles and Austin – “Out of sight, out of mind” is not a true idiom for us… We remember the country music we listened for days after our visit in Nashville and we’re still saying “Hi” to strangers in the streets ‘cause we loved this habit from New Orleans…
We also like to think about our time in Hawaii, where we learnt how to grow papayas and taros, where we saw some of the most breathtaking landscapes we’ve ever seen. From the volcanoes on Big Island to the Napali Coast of Kaua’i, images of Hawaii are set in our memories as landscapes we won’t forget…ever.
To like a country, one should eat it, drink it and hear it sing – Michel DéonAnd then, South East Asia…so many things to say about these countries! We learnt about Buddhism in Thailand, wanted to save Asian elephants in Lao, got to know Mother Nature better in Vietnam and got introduced to meditation in Cambodia. We discovered new customs, met welcoming people keen to share their culture with us, ate goat meat with Vietnamese families, celebrated Songkran with Thai people, climbed up Lao mountains and wandered into Khmer markets…so many rewarding experiences!
In Japan, we understood the words politeness, refinement and discretion but also discovered the Japanese youth, thirsty to break traditions, develop colorful sub-cultures and go further the principle of sacrifice their fathers lived for.
We learnt a lot during these first 6 months of vagabonding and we’re richer than when we left (even if our banker would disagree…). Travelling has been such an eye-opener for us, we now realize that our life was a very lucky one and that we can’t complain about it. But still, without denying who we were and how we used to live 6 months ago, we can add new values to this life.
It’s never too late to be what you might have been – George EliotSharing with others (whatever their social status, origin, age, religion…), taking time to enjoy life with those who are important, getting a deeper understanding on simple things, giving back, taking care of our bodies and minds and living meaningfully seem like positive changes we want to implement.
We can’t summarize the myriad of experiences we had in 6 months but I like to think we will keep the best of each one, and glue all the pieces together at the end to create a beautiful and meaningful frame for our life to come.
As a couple, it has been challenging too, spending 24/7 together for the past 6 months.
Our weekly NYC rate of “togetherness” is spent in 3 ½ days currently, that’s a big lot of “we”! We are discovering the world but, from this perspective, we are also discovering ourselves, even after 10 years of being together!
We have our moments, our clashes and our arguments. We would argue about the budget, the itinerary or the menu (well, not really we’re always on the same page when it comes to food…), we would spend hours not talking to each other or bursting out loud of grumpiness in the quiet streets of Japan… but overall, we’re a pretty good team.
While he is the communication master and can socialize with anyone, would he speak the local language or not, she is the organization queen, keeping time, money and planning under control. While he is the human blue dot of Google map, always able to find out where we are in every single location, she is able to find the best restaurants in town and a super efficient travel agent when it comes to deal with booking.com or agoda… He takes pictures, she tells stories about them…
We developed new abilities, we’re now fast at booking, planning and organizing, at our ease in every situations and environments, should we sleep on the floor or in Japanese capsule hotels, and deeply improved our ability to go to others as our curiosity doesn’t know any limit.
Together, we have complementary skills and we discovered we could deal with all kinds of situations. When one is down, the other will lead the way, we’re a team, travelling companions, a vagabonding couple, for the worst but mainly for the best!
These first 6 months have been enlightening and so rewarding we haven’t regretted our decision to leave our NYC life behind for a second… but the journey is still on and we are sure we’ll learn more, meet folks as amazing as the friends we made on the road and create new wonderful memories. Hopefully!
Make your life a dream, and a dream a reality – St Exupéry