Re-entry Part 1

RTWRoute
They say if you get far enough away
You’ll be on your way back home

Tom Waits – Blind Love

Well, I suppose it’s time I made it official. After 4 continents, 25 countries, 54 hostels/guesthouses/hotels and 217 beers (admittedly, that one is more of a rough estimate than a hard number), my year-long round-the-world trip is over and I’m back on home soil. Kind of (more on that later). The trip actually ended on March 25th so this update is more than a little late. What can I say? After a trip like that, can you blame me if I wasn’t quite ready to put away my passport? Sure, sure, “Change is a part of life” and “Things end so that new things can begin” and blah, blah, blah. Don’t get me wrong – I loved seeing my friends and family again. Being so far away from them for so long was the hardest part of the trip. Nonetheless, I really like waking up in strange cities with a wad of colorful money in my pocket and no idea what the day will bring. It gets addictive after a while and it’s a tough habit to kick.

So when I got back, I put the blog on the back burner, focused on other priorities and let time do what time does. I also eased my transition back to “normal” life by gradually slowing the pace of my travels down rather than just ending them abruptly. I spent April and May stopping in to see/mooch off various friends and family, staying until I had exhausted either their beer or their patience, whichever ran out first. It’s a nice option if you’ve got the time, and it just so happened that I did. Being unemployed really frees up your calendar.

My first stop was in Washington, on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains, where I spent two weeks catching up with my best friend, eating incredibly well, raiding his wine collection and seeing…

My goddaughter Elizabeth practicing her mad ice skating skills.
My goddaughter Elizabeth practicing her mad ice skating skills.


My first Bob Seger concert (with Joe Walsh as the opening act)! I still love that old time rock and roll.
My first Bob Seger concert (with Joe Walsh as the opening act)! I still love that old time rock and roll.


Joe with Elizabeth's kendama, a fad that took off on the West Coast while I was gone and which doesn't involve cell phones, boy bands or ultraviolence. I just don't get you crazy kids these days.
Joe with Elizabeth’s kendama, a fad that took off on the West Coast while I was gone and which doesn’t involve cell phones, boy bands or ultraviolence. I just don’t get you crazy kids these days.


Joe and Lisamarie's new home! No wait, that's not right...
Joe and Lisamarie’s new home! No wait, that’s not right…


Ahh, that's better.
Ahh, that’s better.

I had a great time in Washington but family was patiently(?) waiting for me in Michigan. I was looking forward to seeing them too. It had been a year, after all. So after two weeks, I said goodbye to my friends in Wenatchee, got on a plane to Seattle aaaaand…proceeded to miss my connection to Flint. Yes, I had traveled all the way around the world, sometimes on fairly dodgy airlines, but it wasn’t till I got back to the States that I ended up actually missing a flight. I suppose it’s like Vegas. If you play long enough, the odds will catch up with you (as I learned from bitter experience). I wound up cooling my heels in Seattle for 12 hours before catching a red-eye out, I was a half day late and groggy from lack of sleep, but I made it home. To be continued…

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