Sunset over Mount Fuji, Tokyo, Japan: On our Christmas Day flight home to Portland, Oregon…
Blink, and a year goes by.
Here, just three days from the anniversary of our January 5th departure (“Dawn” over Mount Hood), I find myself dwelling on the similarities between this year and last. During this symbolic month of new beginnings, Ted and I anticipate a new 12 month string of discovery…this time, though, the mysteries make me squirm.
We’re back in Oregon. Bags unpacked for the time being.
We winged our way home on Christmas Day and rushed gladly into the arms of our family and our friends.
Greeted at the airport by Ted’s parents, my parents, and all five of my six-foot-plus-tall brothers.
We put away the travel budget notebook and the currency converters. We traded out the well-worn travel gear for comfy old PJs and snazzy new outfits. (Well, one classy outfit each. Thank you, New Zealand shopping malls.)
We’ve spent the past week+ celebrating and catching up (on friendships and coffee more than on sleep, actually). We bookended our January 1st, 2012 Going-Away party with a December 31st, 2012 New Years Eve party.
And now, Dawn has reached Dusk.
A new sort of adventure begins.
This quote found its way to the list of words that kept me ticking throughout the planning and the pulling-off of our year-long stunt:
Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
My other favorite, listed at the end of our travel plan hopes and schemes, convicts me today to trust just as much now as I did when we first stepped foot on the first plane from Portland:
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
Here on the blog, I’m eager to continue sharing other-side-of-the-planet adventures, and I’ll sprinkle in tidbits and update on what 2013 holds as it becomes known to us.
Looking back at what’s come before: I have more tales and photos from Thailand and New Zealand, and I plan to clue you in on the missing-gap-mysteries from Brazil and Spain and the Canary Islands and Morocco and Cape Verde and even a bit from Italy, too.
Looking forward: We’re planning visits to beautiful spots in Oregon, and we have a few overseas tricks up our sleeves, too. Would you believe there are tickets with our names on them departing Portland, heading toward London?
Who knows how life’s puzzle pieces will ultimately fit together?
We look forward.
We scheme and wonder just how plans might turn out…
I try not to wriggle around in discomfort when I answer peoples, “What now?” questions with “I don’t know yet…”
Though, on the other hand, I’ve been happy to receive some terrific questions about the trip since we’ve returned to Oregon. Questions like, “What was, literally, the most colorful place you visited?” Or, “Where were you surprised to feel most at home?” And, “What was the first thing you noticed about America when you returned that you never really missed?”
I can rattle off a few answers to the good old “Where was your favorite place?” and “So, how was the trip?” inquiries, but I’m grateful, too, for questions that challenge me to think deeply and ponder and processes. If you’ve followed this blog for long, you know that posts often grow out of a decent amount of lag-time between events and write-ups. I like to think on things for a while before spouting off too much…
Which brings me to a request for you, our readers.
After a twelve-month trip around the world, you’d better believe I’m bursting with more thoughts and memories and impressions and opinions than could ever be written in one place. Maybe you’d like to help narrow down the list of thoughts and answers you’d actually enjoy reading?
I’d love it if you wanted to throw out a question or two or ten. Enter below, click “submit,” and I’ll receive them privately and then use the entries to help create a new post… Go ahead, ask those burning questions!
Thank you so much, each one of you, for reading along, for commenting, for being cheerleaders and joy-sharers. Our travels and our lives are better for the richness you have shared with us. Wishing you a hope-filled New Year, wherever you are in the world!