Friday, November 7 - HOME AGAIN!!!

Steve: WE MADE IT! After traveling over 19,000 miles, walking an additional 545 miles and staying in 27 different cities, we arrived home safely this evening in Boston on schedule. Paula's Dad has been keeping a running total of all our statistics, which also include 13 countries visited, 3 continents visited (reflecting our brief day in Asia!), 92 cities/towns visited, 133 days of travel, and 2,400 photos posted. Phew!

The past four months have been a fascinating adventure, and we all feel a great collective sense of pride regarding what we've accomplished. We've grown closer as a family, and have learned a tremendous amount in the process. In addition, we've made several new friends during our journeys who we've been keeping in touch with and hope to host someday back in Boston.

This morning we had a family discussion regarding how we all felt as we were getting ready to re-engage back home. We're all very excited about reuniting with our friends and family, and are especially looking forward to being home for the holidays. But none of us are "sick" of traveling, and we're not coming home tired. In a strange way, after the first couple of months we all began to feel like travel had simply become "normal." Everything that goes along with the travel - sleeping in different beds, living from suitcases, eating out most of the time - at some point had stopped becoming a burden and was simply part of how we were living our lives during these months. With this being the longest (and in some respects the most difficult) trip of our three, we're all now very confident in our ability to deal with the associated rigors and hassles of our future travels, and to focus on enjoying our adventures. With that perspective, we're all very enthusiastic about what our upcoming trips will bring.

Our next trip begins on January 10, and will take us to New Zealand, Australia, India, Thailand, China and Japan. There is still much planning that still needs to happen for this journey, plus our final adventure that will take us to S. America and Africa starting next May. One of our realizations from our travels in Europe is that we'll need to have more of the logistics arranged in advance for these next two trips, so that will be an important activity for us while we're home.

We look forward to continuing these journals starting again in January. On the plane ride home this evening, Paula and I greatly enjoyed reading through our diaries and reminiscing about the experiences we've all shared. We have found that the details we've captured here are invaluable in helping us to remember everything that we've done and accomplished. The memories are special, and it's a wonderful feeling to have experienced them all as a family.













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