When I first heard about the family of four cycling from Alaska to Argentina, a trip I have done myself, I was pleasantly surprised! My own daughter had just arrived and I wondered if that was the end of my travels. I than came across the Vogel Family, at that time somewhere in the north of Argentina, the mother, Nancy, had gone down with pneumonia. I still felt a lot of hope for the future and more traveling! A very inspiring read! Even though when I browsed through their site, the first thing I noticed was that they had been attacked as careless parents who took their more than grown up boys on their trip! I was slightly upset, shocked and sad that there´s so many people wasting their time in finding faults of others, especially when it is a brilliant idea! You wonder, doesn´t people know their own genetics? Human beings are not genetically set to live a non-nomadic life and doesn´t seem to be at their best by doing that. Of all stupid things I have come across the last year, this is the most irritating one! However, I did have one thought though, having known family´s who have spent 7 years travelling by boat around the world, what does it feel like coming home? Not easy, right?
It’s funny how thoughts of home kept me motivated as we approached Tierra del Fuego after nearly three years of travel – if we pedaled faster I could get home sooner. And yet now that I’m home, I think about hitting the road again and fantasize about how wonderful life on the road is. I suppose the grass really is greener on the other side.
I was so excited about finally reaching our goal of Ushuaia. We had cycled 17,300 miles through fifteen countries. I was tired. I had steadily plodded along for three years, slowly making progress toward our goal. For the vast majority of those three years I didn’t really even think about getting back home – I was living in the here and now.
But as we drew nearer to Tierra del Fuego and Ushuaia, thoughts of home swirled and twirled in my brain. Images of our house… my beads… my own kitchen where I could simply turn a knob and a burner magically lit up… It was home – and I couldn’t wait to get there!
And now, we’re here. In Boise, Idaho. Home. And it’s not all the glamour and romance I had been imagining.
Don’t get me wrong – in many ways it’s wonderful to be back home. I’m loving knowing where the supermarket is and knowing what I’ll find there. I’m loving being able to heat up water for tea with a quick turn of a knob. I’m loving being able to take a shower every day – a hot one at that!
There are so many aspects about life in Boise that I am truly enjoying. It’s only been eight weeks, so maybe it’s still the novelty of it all – but I suspect that wonder and joy of simple things will stay with me.
And yet – I feel like there’s something missing from my life now. I’ve tried to figure out what that is, but can’t seem to isolate it. Maybe it’s the vulnerability we felt while on the bikes – we were open to people and Mother Nature. We were just part of the food chain out there on our bikes. Now we’re not.
Maybe what I’m missing is the unpredictability of life on the road. Yes, it’s nice to have an idea of what might come in the day, but those unexpected twists and turns were delightful too. We still have those, but on a much lesser scale now.
Or is it the very fact that I’m not outside as much these days? Maybe feeling the sun on your cheeks and wind in your hair is what it takes to make you feel alive?
I keep telling myself these thoughts and feelings are a normal part of change. As we go through life and face the myriad of changes life brings, we miss the old and look forward to the new. Some days I do better than others on that one – maybe that’s a part of the process too?
I’m excited to be home. I’m thrilled that I can curl into my comfortable mattress on the floor with a good book knowing I won’t have to dash out into freezing cold pouring rain just to use the toilet. It’s exciting to buy frozen fruit knowing we don’t have to eat it all in the next couple of hours. I don’t have to lash, strap, or buckle everything I own on my bicycle every morning.
But I also know the day is coming when I’d give anything to go back on my bike. And when I’m there, I’ll give anything to come right back here.
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