(Pretty much) The End

When we landed in LAX the symmetry of what we had just done didn’t quite hit me. It was a few hours later, after showering in our (comparatively) luxurious bathroom and getting into our plush bed, that I realized how almost one year to the day had passed since the last time we arrived here.

Places hold memories, and this bedroom is full of nervous nights – thinking about what to take with us and what to leave behind – trying to imagine what our life would be like for the proximate future. I relive those thoughts and can’t help but sigh in relief. We accomplished something and have the satisfaction of coming out on the other side unscathed.

But for me, the symmetry of us being here again is charged with anxiety over the legacy of our trip. There’s a saying (perhaps a little cliched now) that goes around the backpacker community: upon returning home from a trip, one finds that the only thing that changed during your absence was you. This can certainly be baffling, as sometimes the sheer length of time that you’ve been away demands that something has changed. And yet, your friends and loved ones continue their lives in the same way – your trip destined to be an awkward hole in your relationship with them.

The fear that we’ve somehow traveled 13,000+ miles only to end up in the exact same place, with very little physical evidence that we did much at all – that horrible symmetry – is really what greeted me during our first day here. But as quickly as it consumed me, it fled. I sighed with relief because this time around we aren’t leaving for a year-long trip. Instead, we will continue our glorious victory lap up the west coast – visiting people that we care about and sharing our stories. It’s with a certain satisfaction that I realize I’m not worrying about my future. I’m not stressing about the next step. My mind feels more clear. The most wonderful thing is that Sheena and I made it through this crazy thing and we’re going home together.

I guess I realized that I don’t want to focus on messy legacies. What we did was very real and tangible to Sheena and I – we can reach out and touch it. So while the near future is unknown to us, and we may look around at our cities and neighborhoods and realize that nothing much has changed, I feel comfortable with that. Travel is a funny thing – something maybe best served to play tricks on your mind – but I believe it to be a worthwhile endeavor. Thanks so much for following along during the last year. I hope you’ll miss reading as much as I’ll miss posting.

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4 thoughts on “(Pretty much) The End

  1. Nooo! This can’t be the end, I’ve really enjoyed your blog! I discovered it about 6 months ago when I was in the middle of my own move to Hong Kong (from England) and it was the one where Sheena was talking about the food she missed from America. Ever since then my boyfriend and I have been reading your blog, always sharing the moments of “wow! we gotta do this some day! (Living abroad just isn’t the same as traveling)” and I’ve so enjoyed reading the posts from both of you and seeing the differences in what you each liked and found hard. I do hope you carry on your blog just about life readjusting, what you guys are doing back home and whether you’ll be planning holidays. I will really miss the photos of exoctic places and the stories of the rain…and the rain…and a bit more rain :D and how you guys still made the best of all the situations! What will you do with the photos?

    See! So many questions, I hope you carry on writing and inspiring :-)

    • Thank you so much for the comment! We LOVE hearing that people cared that much about what we were doing =). We’re both going to continue a few posts here and there, and then there will certainly be future trips, so don’t despair!

      I have no idea what we’ll do with all the photos… I took some black and white film during the trip, so I’m very excited to get to work on that once we’re back in Seattle. I also started an instragram (@scho.scho) to showcase some of the thousands of photos that didn’t make it onto the blog… And there will be so much rain in Seattle to complain about!

      Thanks again!

  2. Thank you for sharing your love of travel, your stories and photos. I was always excited to see the next post , and share your journey in spirit through the electronic connection. Welcome home!

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