Beginnings and Endings

So, how many of you still think we’re in Berlin? Because, um, since then we’ve been to London, Hawaii, and home for almost three weeks. Maybe no one is even reading this anymore, in which case I can basically write whatever I want without fear of retribution (I still love the Backstreet Boys so much it hurts a little; sometimes I put empty Nutella jars back into the cupboard to try and fool Mark into not noticing that I’ve finished them off; I secretly helped plan my “surprise” 16th birthday party; once I put on two bras by accident and wore them the entire day without realizing; in grade one I faked being sick so I could come home from school and then stole a Full House series book from the Lost and Found so I would have something to read that afternoon; once I told Mark I was going to kickboxing class but when I couldn’t find parking, I instead went to McDonald’s, ordered french fries and sat in my car for an hour, listening to Harry Potter audiobooks).

Whew! It feels good to get that off my (doubly-supported) chest. After leaving Berlin, we went our separate ways for a few days. I flew to London, where I mostly tried to avoid the horrific crowds (Queen’s Diamond Jubilee + Olympics = awful) and watched a shameful amount of Friday Night Lights. Texas Forever! Or something.

I have to admit, and this is going to sound like the sappiest thing ever, that although it was nice to have a bit of solo time and feel slightly independent again, by the end of the first day I missed him so much that I almost couldn’t sleep. When you spend 24/7 with someone for an entire year, it can be really difficult at times, and I have often felt like I was becoming a bit too dependent on him (something I try very hard to avoid), but sleeping in a bed without him was terrible and confusing. You may all commence eye-rolling now.

In any case, after three days he came and met me in London and shortly after, we took a veeeeeery long two flights to Hawaii. It was really painful. I think we were in transit for something like 29 hours, although typing that out, it seems wildly exaggerated, so maybe that’s just how it felt. We did, however, manage to finish circumnavigating the globe on that flight, since we flew west!

Here is our reason for being in Hawaii:

These are our good friends Radka and Allan. Happily for us, they decided to get married in Hawaii and even though we were across the globe when we started looking at tickets, we knew we wanted to be there if at all possible. I am so glad we went. We got to see friends! FRIENDS! I was getting really sad and lonely by that point. We got some sun, got some sunburns (both of us! Not just Mark), snorkeled with sea turtles, made fantastic food, saw Radka and Allan get married (I bawled through their wedding ceremony. It is so nice to cry happy tears!), and then decided that that was a pretty great way to finish our trip. So we came home.

This was a rather abrupt ending, and we actually had a return flight to London booked…but being in the company of our friends and so close to home made us both realize that we were ready to be done. I’m sure a lot of you could tell by the tone of the blog, but we were getting pretty road-weary during the last few weeks. Berlin was a particularly low point for me. I spent a lot of time anxiously scrunched up into a ball, desperately homesick and knowing that I wanted to go home so badly, but also feeling weirdly guilty about calling it quits earlier than we wanted to. Some small part of me felt like we should at least stick it out for a year, because we had originally said we would. Typing it out, I can see how stupid that looks, and that if it was feeling like “sticking it out” then clearly I was done. I don’t know. I really struggled with it, and I worried a lot about whether or not Mark was on the same page as me. How do you compromise on something like that, right? Anyway, we had decided that we would fly to Hawaii and then reassess. After a few days there, we discussed it, and both of us felt ready to come home. Having made that decision, the last 10 days of our trip were phenomenal. Hawaii is stunning and I already want to go back.

Radka and Allan had a beautiful wedding at a paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) ranch. There were vintage touches everywhere and their wedding reflected them so well.

In a slightly crazy turn of events, when we were in Hawaii and had made the decision to come home, we decided to take a quick look at real estate listings in Victoria, and found what is basically the perfect house for us. We kept referring to it as “our” house, even though we knew there was about an 90% chance it wouldn’t work out for various reasons – being sold, looking better in pictures, etc. We kept an eye on the listing the rest of the time we were in Hawaii, and it was still on the market when we got home. We arrived in Victoria on a Wednesday night, saw it on Saturday morning and made an offer on Monday. We move in five days from now. It’s crazy but feels so perfect for us.

We are both so excited to settle and make a home – having moved 10 times in 10 years, I am done with change and transit, and totally ready to nest (but not in the baby sense yet, since that seems to be everyone’s next question). We still have one more small (ish) trip planned for the end of July, when we go visit my grandmother in India, and I know we’re not done traveling forever – I hope we travel well into our senior years – but it is a little bittersweet that our nomader days are pretty much over. I think, overall, we did really well. We saw so much of what we wanted to see, and so much of what we never expected. We were helped out by strangers so many times, and didn’t lose our passports once. We ate amazing food and some that was terrible but still memorable. Mostly, I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface of what we want to see in the world. This makes me very, very happy.

Thanks for all the blog love and comments! We loved sharing our travels with friends and family this way.

Until next time, please always remember us like this…because this is most likely how we look:

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5 Responses to Beginnings and Endings

  1. marissa says:

    Welcome Home! And thank you for sharing your adventure!
    Hugs, M

  2. Nicole says:

    A beautiful, bittersweet posting. We have enjoyed following your adventure!

  3. Vanessa says:

    Pia, I am sure that you are meant to write blogs… especially ones that start out like this first paragraph!!! Seriously, two bras??? How did you not notice? haha!!! Anyways, loved reading and loved all the pictures…but mostly love that you are home now and I can come see you. yay!

  4. Corinna Cochrane says:

    Those are some disturbing facts Pia, I don’t think we can be friends anymore Just kidding!!! So happy you are home and have a beautiful home to nest in :)

  5. Heidi says:

    You did what? Where? I totally read this blog entry and will now hold these facts against you. So happy you guys are home, but more importantly that you had an awesome and safe trip!

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