Home Bound

The Ciudad Perdida trek was a great way to finish off our 10 week trip, especially spending our last night with friends on Chrsitmas Day. I have to admit that I was pretty exhausted though. There is so much to see in Colombia and we had so little time, I had created a jam packed schedule. I was hoping a week in Buenos Aires would have allowed us to rest and prepare for the crazy itinerary but it was tough. (This was even more apparent as I compared my Colombia blog posts to every other country.)

What I missed

After 10 weeks of traveling, I couldn’t wait to come home. I obviously missed my family and friends and immediately packed my weekends to catch up with everyone. I also really missed Asian food. I struggled with the lack of good Asian options in South America. We had “pho” in Bolivia that tasted more like Chinese noodle soup with garlic. In Colombia, we had “sushi” with fresh fish but then combined with some weird rice. We had Chinese food in Chile that just sucked. We even had “ramen” when camping in Patagonia and it was like noodles in chicken bouillon. Naturally, the first thing I did when I got back home was order pho for delivery. (Marc, on the other hand, ordered Colombian food on his return. I think he really wanted to affirm that Colombian food was available to us in NYC but it just wasn’t the same.) I then went on an Asian food binge. I think I might still be on it.

I missed the variety of fitness classes available to me (aka ClassPass). Marc and I were easily achieving 10,000 steps a day on our adventures abroad and we were doing lots of walking and hiking, but I missed the variety of workouts: yoga, kickboxing, running, etc. I wasn’t able to fit sneakers in my pack so I really couldn’t do much of a workout on the trip. Plus, traveling and exploring took up most of our time and energy.

Being home

Marc and I came back to NYC feeling a new sense of calm. Instead of being sleep deprived and stressed out, we were both a little more relaxed than when we left. I really wanted to hold on to this feeling. Unfortunately, it didn’t last beyond the first week. I started working late nights again and… Well, hello stress. It’s time to change my lifestyle.

Reflection

This trip was a reminder that my American/NYC lifestyle was not normal. It’s such a huge contrast to people’s lives in other countries. Every time we told someone we were from the States, other travelers would ask us how we Americans were able to take so much time off. Then we would have to explain we were on unpaid leave, not paid vacation. Europeans and Australians, on the other hand, get a lot more vacation days and are able to travel for extended periods. I still can’t believe only 46% of Americans have passports. American culture is strange.

I probably won’t travel long term any time soon but we will probably get a car so we can get away from the city more often. In the meantime, we are going to rethink our lifestyle and figure out our next big plan.

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