Originally we planned to continue on for a few more months after Russia—traveling to Egypt, Jordan, and Africa. We dreamed of visiting the ancient cities of the Middle East and taking safaris on the plains of Africa. But as with everything in life, plans often change. We decided to shorten our trip by a few months and once that decision was made, my lovely wife chose to serenade me nearly every day with Simon and Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound”. Just reflect on that for a moment; I’m sure you’ll feel my pain.

Our decision was based on quite a few factors. And after being back now a few months, we don’t regret it at all. Although we will say this, traveling is a heck of a lot easier than returning home. Culture shock doesn’t even begin to explain it. Plenty of folks wondered why we changed our plans, so read on for the details.

There just happened to be a number of family events that we really wanted to help celebrate. Jodi’s oldest sister and youngest nephew were both celebrating milestone birthdays (the fortieth and the first). A big party was planned with the whole family renting a cabin and having a weekend getaway. Plus, her dad was finally retiring from teaching, a retirement that he has been threatening for the last five years. Upon finally pulling the trigger, we were hard pressed not to┬ábe there for this historic event in his life. It was such big news even the local paper wrote about it.

Before our travels, Jodi started working on her master’s degree at John Hopkins School of Public Health. The original idea was for her to work full-time and go to school online at night and on the weekends. But once she quit her job to travel, it gave her the opportunity to go full-time on campus and get a better education. It also would cut her course time down from three years to a mere nine months. And by going full-time and finishing up sooner it would save us a significant amount of money on tuition. We originally planned to be back just two weeks before school started. However, we spent more time in a few countries than originally planned and we were running out of time. A whirlwind tour of Africa was just not what we wanted to happen. If we were going to spend all this money to see the African wildlife we were not going to rush it and that is exactly what would have happened. Plus, we thought that by coming home a bit early it would give us some extra time to make the move to Baltimore.

Although we had enough money to finish out our journey, I got a little freaked out by the bad economy. Safaris are seriously pricey, and we would be pretty well tapped out by the time we got home. So, by ending the trip early it would give us some cushion room in case of any unforeseen expenses. Who knows how long it would take me to get a job when we returned. (We’re now 2 months and counting….)

But I think that the main reason we stopped was not totally due to missing our family, school obligations, and money issues. What it comes down to is that it was just time for us to head home. While we could have continued on, our hearts were not fully into it. And going off to exotic locations that once excited us but now seemed ho hum was not what we wanted. Africa and the Middle East will be there for our next adventure. Stay tuned….

2 Responses to “Homeward bound…I wish I was, homeward bound”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I am laughing because, in the month leading up to our return, I, too, sang that song ALL THE TIME. Like you, Chris, I think Maikael was pretty batty towards the end.

  2. Cindi says:

    I can definitely relate with that. We were supposed to go to Australia and New Zealand for 2 months after Africa and we were just done. I knew I wouldn’t fully appreciate either of these places if we went – so we’ll have to save it for another time.

    However, it took only a month of being home that I was ready to go back. Go figure.