I’m currently sitting in Houston Airport, United Club Lounge during my 10 hour lay-over having had zero hours sleep since waking up on the 28th of February in Valparaiso. I think the exhaustion will get worse as my flights progress, but hey, I’ve still got a smile on my face, and a drink in my hand (one may be helping the other). Did you know on some flights beer and wine is free ? And if you get into an airport lounge the bar is open, you can start having Mimosas (classy, I know), at 9 in the morning, and there is always food on offer? Life is good.
I thought I’d try to put down in words what it feels like coming home after travelling solo from the Equator to the most Southern sections of South America. I counted up the miles I’ve travelled over the past few months (in kilometres because seriously, miles are confusing!).
Once I’m home I will have flown a total of 46,332km leaving from Melbourne and returning to Melbourne, and sat in a dusty old bus as we bumbled along 9,064km of twisty, flat, hilly, straight, dirty and ‘are you sure this is a road?’, roads on many, many buses of varying comfort. A total of 178 hours on buses (roughly).
That accounts to a total of 55,396km of travelling, and 241 hrs and 22mins of sitting on my butt watching the world go past out my window. This doesn’t count all the local buses, or any of the hitch hiking, walking, or horse riding, or friends…. but that’s getting a bit too much for my mimosa filled head!
It seems so strange to think I made it from the predictable equator in Ecuador, where the weather is the same everyday, and you can count on the sun rising and setting 6-6 everyday, winding my way down the continent to wild and isolated Patagonia (need I say more?).
I guess you’re supposed to come home somewhat wiser, more worldly and full of culture, and maybe on some level that’s true. I don’t know if I feel any different though. Im excited to see my family, my horses and dogs, to sleep in the one spot for longer then a week, in a room I’m not Sharing with strangers. I’m not sure if looking forward to the familiarity of home means I haven’t learnt anything along my travels though (did that make sense?).
I think we don’t ever leave without the intention of coming home. Maybe we hope that our experiences along the way will make us grow a bit and allow us to return home a little wiser, with more understanding of how the world works, having met people who live different lives and put up with different worries then we do back home. Maybe it’s about opening your eyes to how big the world is, and how small your problems really are.
I guess I’m coming home with a bit of all of this, it’s been a trip full of learning points, risk management, adventure, unexpected outcomes, and mixed emotions (mostly joyful, i am a fairly happy sort of person). But I’m also just coming home because it’s the end. It’s the end of this chapter. I’d like to think I’ve become more understanding, easy going, and a calmer sort of person with an even better sense of humour then before (is that even possible? I know, I didn’t think so either, I’m the funniest person I know – except for you mum.). But I’m ready to leave this adventure behind and start the next one!
Quite simply, what it feels like coming home, I really have no idea. It feels like I’m coming home (because I am). Maybe I’ll know more when I’m actually home – I’ll keep you posted!
I’ve also got to keep in mind that I’ll only be home for a few weeks before jumping back across the globe and starting my exciting new job in Iceland – I think there are plenty more adventures to come and lots more to write about in the near future.
Peace and love, drink some bubbles, I’ll tell you more soon!