Hard to believe, but our trip is now halfway over. I guess in a way it’s not too hard to believe. It seems like we’ve been gone a long time. But on the other hand, time has moved very quickly and it seems like we’ll be home before we know it. The good news is that we’re still on track to end our trip in Oktoberfest, assuming everything continues to go as planned. We’ve scaled back quite a bit from our original plans. Africa has been cut entirely, along with some of Europe. We just don’t have enough time or money to do all of that. (And besides, we have to save something for the next trip!) What we’re planning now is still fairly ambitious (at least ten more countries), but much more practical.
You might be wondering if we’re still enjoying life on the road. Six and a half months is a long time, after all, but the answer is yes, we still like it. Or, to be more specific, it depends on where we are and what we’re doing. Our lives aren’t nearly as glamorous and exciting as you may think. If we take an uncomfortable eight hour bus ride to a boring town and get sick in some dingy hotel room, we’re both going to be miserable. When we’re seeing beautiful, interesting places and meeting fun people, life couldn’t be better. Most of the things that I was worried about before we left, like constantly moving from place to place or wearing the same clothes every day, just aren’t an issue. On the contrary, I tend to get bored and anxious to move on when we’re in the same city for more than a few days. And who cares about clothes?
Of all our problems, homesickness is the most obvious one and yes, there are times when I just want to be at the Old Fashioned with my friends and family, but the internet makes home seem much closer. Sometimes I get really sad when we meet someone cool and just have to say goodbye two hours later. On the other hand, sometimes we meet obnoxious backpackers that we can’t stand to be around. (This is one reason we tend to avoid whatever local backpacker “scene” is around.) But those aren’t serious problems. The real problems are more profound and troubling, especially because there are no easy answers. Life is tough in the developing world. You can try to brace yourself for it before you leave, but it’s hard to prepare for how you’ll feel when you see a homeless, barefoot woman digging through the trash with her children. Or a dog as road kill in the gutter. Or the horrific results of war, some of which your home country was involved in. I mean, what do you say to that? Nothing. You really can’t say anything.
And I’m sure you’re wondering how Brad and I get along when we’re together almost 24-7. Luckily, we still have fun together and enjoy each other’s company. We do drive each other nuts, of course, but probably not as frequently as you would think. I’d say the key is to have a short memory. Usually when we argue it’s because we’re in a frustrating situation, not because we’re actually mad at each other. Once the situation is resolved, we’re back to our regular, nauseating, Gooseyllamabear selves.
When October rolls around, it will be nice to return home, but I’m certainly not in any hurry. For now, I just want to continue to experience everything vagabonding has to offer, both the good and the bad.