We have been home now for over 2 months and the strangest part about all of this is that it feels almost like the whole thing never happened! There are times when I replay events in my head and I say to myself "Was that us?"
Of course, there have been the endless questions regarding the trip. "What was your favourite country? Where is the food the best? What's it like in China? Where do you want to go back to?" On and on and on. And I have to admit, it never really gets old telling the stories - they're just fun to tell. So, even though sometimes it feels like the whole thing never happened, we are reminded in the conversations we have every day that we have had the adventure of a lifetime.
The practicalities of life do begin to weigh heavily though as you might imagine. Moving back into our old home, while it was like putting on an old comfortable sweater, in some ways is like taking a step backwards in your life. There is nothing like travel to make you feel like you are only supposed to move forward. And of course, we are not back tracking, but it just feels that way. Work gives the same sort of feeling. That and wondering where all your talent went and how you were ever able to do all the things you once did! I swear, I have either left a part of my brain somewhere else on the planet, or I have simply replaced information in my head with newer and more exciting stuff. I like to think the latter and that I will eventually adjust. But, even after a couple of months, it's still tough.
I think Kristine feels the same way. Although she has been busy making continuous arrangements for dinner parties and rencontres with people we have not seen for so long. It's fun to get together with everyone and catch up, and I think for Kristine, in some ways it keeps her from feeling the anticlimactic clouds that swirl around such a reintroduction into the "real" world.
It could be worse. Vancouver is one hell of a place to come back to, and when you look at the big picture, the whole picture, we are so lucky to be where we are. On so many levels. And now we have this huge accomplishment to carry with us as we figure out the next thing.
The next thing was supposed to be to try and get a new house somewhere in this city, but over the course of our trip, things have once again climbed nearly out of reach. So, the condo it will be for a while at least. Good thing we hung on to it and stayed in the market though! It would have been a huge mistake to have sold the place before leaving considering the run up in prices in our area.
But we will also have to come up with new ideas for things beyond work and beyond the routine of life. For years really we planned this journey, but now what? What do we do with the time we used to put into planning such a trip? What do we do?
For now there are no answers to this. But, one thing is for sure. We now have the confidence to trust that there will be something else. And the next thing will be just as exciting and it will unfold as it should, when it is ready to do so.
That is just the way the world works, isn't it?