I have been away a year and a quarter from America and I have seen strange and interesting things alike in the heart of the wilderness and in the capitals of the mightiest and most highly polished civilized nations. Nonetheless, I am more glad than I can say to get home, back in my own country, back among the people I love. – Theodore Roosevelt
9/20 – After 16 months on the road, it’s time for us to head home. There are always more places to go, but the time comes when you just want to rest for a while and hug grandkids. We booked a two hour domestic flight from Bali to Jakarta, Indonesia, a four hour flight from Jakarta to Manila, Phillipines, then a 13 flight from Manila to LAX. The more we traveled east, the more hours were added to the day. It was a very long Sunday.
We spent a week in California, to visit with Jim’s brother Dave, his sister-in-law Jerry, nieces Dawn and Kelly and great-nephew Liam. We slept a lot to recover from jet lag, and spent an afternoon making sandwiches for the homeless. I’ll blame the jet lag for our neglecting to snap a pic of us all together.
We had lunch with Patricia and Ray, a couple we met while walking the Camino last year in Portugal. We were lucky to catch them before their flight to Spain to walk another Camino!
Then we took our final flight home to Norfolk, Virginia.
Now we are happily camped at son Peter and Lauren’s beautiful home, enjoying the attentions of the lovely Emma Rose, while we look for a new home of our own nearby. Emma at 2 and 3/4:
We’ve shared this blog with more than 3300 visitors from 81 different countries, with over 11,000 post views. Our most popular blog post was the tale of our freighter trip across the Caspian Sea, which has been read 153 times, and continues to get a few more hits practically every week.
We’ve learned a lot, made new friends and experienced so many new things. We are frequently asked what our favorite country was. We always answer by saying we are enjoying the place we are right now, and that’s always true. What was the most unusual thing we ate? Probably fried bugs for Jim, and horse meat and durian for me. There were lots of things we ate without really knowing what they were! My most important observation is that there are Nice People everywhere, and that there are plenty of ways to communicate without sharing a language.
Are we glad to be back? You bet. Would we do it again? In a heartbeat. If you get a chance to travel, grab it and run. You won’t regret a single minute. Buen Camino!