Life Nomadic is far from over, but today I'm in the US, back in Austin. We've been away from Austin for seven months and have circled the globe entirely. We're already planning more trips, but armed with experience, we don't plan on being on the road for such long stretches in the future.
For me the trip was an epic journey, one that I will remember in great detail for the rest of my life. We could have very easily stayed in Austin and had very little change in my life, but we didn't.
Instead we walked on the canal in Panama. We sat with friends under the cherry blossom trees in Tokyo. We looked out from the tallest building in the world in Taipei. We drove ATVs through the dunes of Qatar. In France we walked through rooms of bones in an unauthorized jaunt through the Paris Catacombs. We ran with the bulls in Spain and lived to tell the story.
We stayed in Taiwan's only six star hotel and we slept on cardboard boxes in a freezing cold cave in Japan. We rode in the world class Queen Mary 2 across the Atlantic and we bailed water out of a handmade canoe in a remote bay in Panama. We went through the longest tunnel in the world in a Japanese bullet train and sat on the roof of a rickety falling apart train in Cambodia.
We visited friends living abroad, made a lot of new friends in many cities, and were visited by family and friends from the US. People in five different countries gave us beds to sleep in.
We learned phrases in a dozen languages and each developed a respectable level of proficiency in Spanish, French, Chinese, and Japanese.
All of these things are just scratching the surface of the experiences we had. And although they are some of the most grand sounding, the real joy came from walking down streets that I didn't know existed a month prior with the familiarity of my own neighborhood.
Saying that I'm thankful to have gone on this trip would be a gross understatement of the way I felt every time I looked out at a new wonder of the world and whispered to myself, "what a life!"
I'm grateful to have been able to afford the trip, for everything throughout history that has shaped the incredible places we went, for the technology that kept us comfortable and productive, and for having a friend like Todd to share the adventure with.
All that's left now is to top it next year... (well... and to catch up on stories from this trip that we haven't posted yet)
As a truck driver I have seen much of the US and Canada. I travel for work and fun and dream of going overseas. I just stumbled onto your page and now i'll have to spend more time reading your stories.
After all of this time away does Austin look very different to you?
Every time I go home it seems like there is a new highrise going up in downtown.
Enjoy your travels,
Hook em Horns!!
Congrats on the return home!
I'm sure I don't just speak for myself when I say that I'll be awaiting not only the further stories from your last 7 months but anxiously waiting for new and great stories from your next jaunt around the world.
Thanks for sharing your experiences ... it's definitely helps give me the travel bug. :)
Absolutely inspiring. I've been following your blog since the beginning and have lived vicariously through all of your experiences... fantastic.
If you guys have time (yeah, right!), I'd love to see a final summary post of what you've learned about travelling for others considering trying it (final review of equipment you liked, places to stay, how to find cheap airfare and other travel hacks).
Thanks for sharing your travels with us and I look forward to Round 2.
Here's what's going on with Life Nomadic. The site still isn't ready, but it's getting close. I also said that it was close a month ago, so take that with a grain of salt.
The primary delay is that the site is being coded by hand from scratch. It's not built on wordpress, drupal, or anything else like that. Todd is custom coding it from the ground up. This means that it takes a lot longer to get ready, but will also be way more advanced than any other site like it.
The second delay is that we basically did zero work for two weeks while we went everywhere in Panama. Can't say I regret that at all.
For posterity, I wanted to document some of the most memorable moments I experienced in 2009. There have been some amazingly wonderful times . . .
Last January, I was blessed to visit my good friends Leigh and Chris in Seattle. I stayed for a few days and brought along Oreo and Buttercup. I ate a HUGE burrito, hung out with a troll, visited Bainbridge Island, visited the grave of Bruce Lee and his son, had a lovely ferry ride, wandered aimlessly through a cubist library, and pretty much took photos of O and B all around the city. More than anything, I enjoyed spending time with Leigh, Chris, and their beautiful daughter Sophia! It was the best trip ever.
In February, my sister made a second attempt at teaching me how to knit. The first time it happened I got really frustrated and tossed it all aside. For whatever reason, something stuck this time around. My first project was a beautiful maroon and beige scarf that I still wear to this day. So far, I've knitted eight scarves, two hats, a bracelet, and half of a throw blanket ever since. It is such relaxing and rewarding way to pass the time. I'll be knitting more in the next year. Here is a photo of the first scarf I ever knitted:
Last February, I visited Atlanta with my friend Chris. We were mainly there to see an Antony and the Johnsons concert, but we decided to make a whole weekend out of it. Of course, I took Oreo and Buttercup along. We visited some fancy malls, and I ate this AMAZING butternut squash dish that I will never forget as long as I live. It was a really wonderful trip. My friend Chris was the best host ever! Here he is being slightly embarrassed having his picture taken with a miniature piano and a rowdy bench:
Simply put, it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. This was one band that did not need a bunch of crazy pyrotechnics and theatrics to put on a beautiful show. They were on tour to support the release of the new album "The Crying Light" and sang most of the songs from it. There was even a cover of Beyonce's hit song "Crazy In Love". I sat in the front row in direct sight of Antony playing the piano. It was so mesmerizing. After the show, my friend Chris and I got to meet Antony. He signed a copy of his CD for me, and I gave him a copy of my album "Seahorses". It was the best concert ever! For sure, I will see them perform again whenever I possibly can.