End of the Road: Where are they now?

| May 18, 2010 | 2 Comments
endoftheroad End of the Road: Where are they now?
When something ends—something begins. But now it’s just the end of the road,

“We had finally found the magic land at the end of the road and we never dreamed the extent of the magic.”

—Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 4, Chapter 5

I’ve been meaning to take care of this chore for weeks—cleaning out and updating our round-the-world blogroll. That’s when I noticed that a good number of folks Kathryn and I had been following on their long-tem travels have recently returned home. Hence, we wanted a moment to take stock, welcome them back and see what they are up to now. Some trips ended in pain (ouch—Dan!), others with new beginnings (congratulations, Rebecca)—still others ended early (Corina and Jason), while some are back on the road (you go, Sam!)

It felt a little strange for us to be thinking about returning home—seeing as we’re still looking down the long end of a year before our tentative departure. And even that is dependent on a number of things! But we’ve been there before—returning home after a long time spend abroad. We know how exciting—and how miserable—it can feel. Re-entry to your pre-travel life can sometimes be a little difficult to bear.

Reverse Culture Shock

Let’s face it, those who’ve travelled long-term have experienced a great deal of change, have re-shuffled their priorities and re-examined their values in the course of their travels. Your perception of yourself—and the place from which you come, is likely very different. In all likelihood, this ‘reverse culture shock’ will be more difficult to deal with than that initial culture shock you felt when first travelling.

What’s more—you’re likely to have held on to an idealized view of home while you were abroad, and will have an expectation of total familiarity upon your return home. Of course, home may fall short of what you had envisioned—and things may have changed while you were away

When returning from our time abroad, Kathryn and I began to remark to one another on how loud our friends had become—and how rude diners had become when dining out, talking over one another. Of course, nothing at home had changed—but we had. Time spent abroad in Korea meant we hadn’t heard English spoken at length in quite some time. We just weren’t used to it. And because our expectations weren’t aligned with reality, we became easily annoyed by the same people in which we used to find comfort.

That’s not to say that your experience will be the same—it likely won’t be. However, we do believe that everybody should be prepared to deak with reverse culture shock in some capacity.

Roster of Returnees

Welcome back everybody! Thank you for letting Kathryn and I live vicariously through you for the past year—or more in some cases! Consider this post a ping—and please consider updating us now that you’ve returned! Here’s what we know so far:

“It’s not the end—only the end of this adventure” write Saben Emmons and Lindsey Kee, having recently returned from their 15 months abroad. They continue: We may choose to be stationary for a few years but we have definitely not lost our love of travel.” Keep an eye out for a full-on trip wrap up once they have settled back home. Check out their post here, “The End of the Road”. Thanks, guys, for some great insight into your experience. And further congrats, Saben, for winning your ongoing rummy game with Lin. May your aspirations of becoming a professional whistler bear fruit!

Rebecca and Gadi—a recently married couple who share a passion for traveling—decided to liquidate their belongings, quit their jobs and travel around the world just over a year ago. Well, now they are back. Kind of. While Gadi returned to his previous job, Rebecca’s taken a new gig in Montevideo and writes about it on their blog, Glogtrotters. Check out her post here. Congratulations, Rebecca! Let’s see some pics of Montevideo!

Chris and Marta’s round-the-world odyssey is over, as well—see their post “Been RTW, now what?” from their blog A Travel Around The World. Thank you for sharing your pictures and progress with us!

Even though their one-year journey around the world finished back in September, 2009, I wanted to include William and Sam’s blog here (Two Guys Around the World), as at least one half of this blogging duo has returned to the road—check out Sam’s post: “The Travel Adventure Continues”. Sam will be posting travel updates from his personal website over at SamPowers.NET. After donning the robes of a monk, he is presently in Kiev, Ukraine, growing his hair and eyebrows back!

Corina and Jason—a couple from Winnipeg—are back from their trip abroad after visiting 26 different countries and 65 different cities and towns, ranging from massive cities the size of Tokyo (32.5m) to dimuinutive towns the size of Trinidade and Anafi (~200–400). Check out their trip by the numbers, here.

Dan’s trip (he of Dan’s Adventure fame) ended unceremeniously due to injury—see his post entitled “Game Over”. We wish Dan a speedy recovery—and hope that he returns to South America as soon as possible!

Conclusion

So welcome back, everybody! And remember, the bend in the road is not the end of the road—unless you refuse to take the turn!

Upon your return from abroad you’ll gradually readjust to life at home and are likely to fall back into some kind of routine—but things will never again be the same. It’s a blessing—you’ve developed new attitudes, new beliefs and habits. No doubt, you see things differently now. Embrace it—that’s the road working its way into your everyday life! We can’t wait to get back out there again one day soon!


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About the Author ()

For nearly ten years now, Daniel of Two Go Round-The-World has explored how travel captures our imagination and engages our deepest emotions. One half of the duo that maintains the widely read Two Go Round-The-World blog, Daniel treats his subjects not only as works of art but also as symbols of the cultural and political forces that inspire them. Check him out on Google+.

Comments (2)

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  1. Saben says:


    Thanks for following along! I will be following you guys every minute.

  2. Laura says:


    I feel sadness when coming back home. Well, not in the first moment, but a day or two after. The ever changing scenary and people and hotel rooms give me a sense of freedom that beats the pain in my feet.

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