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)