Why we’re excited to come home after nearly 8 months of travel

Why are we excited?

Why aren’t we sad that the trip is ending? Why are we not depressed that there is no new interesting country coming up after India? We love to travel SO MUCH. So why are we excited about coming home?

We decided to write this post because someone asked us at a bar last night if we’re excited to go home and we both said yes, probably a bit too eagerly. That night we started feeling awkward about it. We’re supposed to be this wanderlust couple that doesn’t need anything else besides beautiful destinations, backpacks and each other. Aren’t true wanderers and travelers meant to be able to keep going forever (if the money allowed)? We are literally living the dream right now – are we being ungrateful or even disrespectful to this incredible journey, by not feeling completely devastated that its ending?

Deciding to write this post has actually helped us come to terms with these feelings. So this ones probably for us, but heres our thoughts anyway.

We are pretty bleak that our dream trip of backpacking through Asia for just under 8 months is ending. It has been BEYOND AMAZING AND LIFE CHANGING!! But, we have discovered a couple of things that are making us excited it is:

We are down right emotionally exhausted!!

No we are not stressed, lol. Quite the opposite. We are super blessed and sunkissed and feeling ready to conquer the world to be truthfully honest. We feel in a way that we are finally being exactly who we are, without the stress and society stuff that can sometimes alters our personalities. We are also probably healthier and fitter than we have ever been. We’ve even lost over 20 kgs between the two of us. But lately, we are struggling emotionally to keep up.

For the last 7 and a half months, we have moved to a completely new destination every 3 to 5 days. We haven’t worked or settled down in any way. We have simply had the pure bliss and priveldge of traveling and exploring 24/7. The best way we can describe this type of life, is a “rollercoaster of extreme highs with the occasional lows”. Excuse the weird graph visual but we’re not always good with words:

Our emotional state

At home we have a lot of ‘simply content’ moments. I don’t mean boring, I mean “a relaxed kind of happy” – without all the butterflies in our stomachs, anxious excitement in our knees and mind blowing heart races in our chests. We were just discussing, that at home, a lot of the normal work week is this content feeling, where we feel in control or at least relaxed in the familiar. We’re excited about the drinks with friends on Friday and nervous about the big deadlines at work but not so much that we feel overwhelmed. We experience small joys from Sunday night movies on the couch to that feeling when you leave gym after a productive day. Then there’s the big stuff too like that weekend away, that amazing wedding or that unexpected super thrilling day. But these super high moments happen once a month, with lots of time to spend looking forward to them!

This is a great life. And we can honestly say we were loving life at home. Was work always great, no. Did we have the perfect marriage where we never ever fought, no. But were we happy, in love and always making the most of beautiful Cape Town and our amazing friends and family, yes

Traveling on the other hand, can be absolutely exhilarating every single day. Everyday you wake up and you are either so excited because your dream to swim with turtles or sleep in the Laos jungle or see the Taj Mahal is about to come true, OR, so anxious because you’re dreading that 17 hour bus ride with a driver whose more than likely 15 and tipsy. Almost every day you are challenging yourself, adjusting to a new area, culture, climate, cuisine.. Mentally you are always on your A game.

Sometimes we have to laugh at our Instagram page. In the day we’ll be lying in the most pictuersque hammock on a secluded beach, living like absolute royals. Then that night we’ll throw a bucket of cold water over our heads, dodge a swarm of mosquitos, do some laundry in the hand basin and call it a night before dusting the sand off our bed. It’s been the absolute best, but an emotionally testing journey for sure.

Our incredible high moments in paradise

And all the moments in between πŸ˜‰

These last few weeks, we have started to feel that, although we know what we are about to do is super exciting and mind blowing, we are struggling to physically feel that on the level that it deserves. It’s almost like our bodies just can’t operate on such a high intensity of excitement and shock anymore. Ahhhh!! This sounds so ungrateful and terrible. And we hate it too. But we can’t help it. 

Like the other day with the Taj Mahal. It’s a world icon, a place we have always dreamt about seeing, an iconic Indian piece of architectural MASTERY! But the morning that we set the alarm for 4:30am to be the first in line for sunrise, we woke up to our alarm and not excitement. The best way to describe this, is imagine the thing you get super excited for. For us its travel, but it could also be your birthday, or a wedding, or a Friday night in town. It’s the BEST and you wish you had it everyday. But in reality, as much as I LOVE weddings, if I had one every second day it would get pretty hectic. I wouldn’t not like it any less, but emotionally I would start feeling run down by the constant hype of emotions. Every Friday needs it’s lazy Sunday??

This has been a non-issue the entire trip. Our excitement levels have been equalized with some pretty relaxed sessions in heaven. And when we leave one country to enter the next we always take time to just process our thoughts and experiences and force ourselves to stay in our room every now and again and make tea and watch series etc. But recently it feels like we’re in a daze – like too much sun or something?!

Anyway, our bodies are telling us it’s time to pause for a while. We are beyond excited for the most random things. Hot showers, an actual cupboard for our clothes, cuppachinos with people who really know us. We knew something was very strange when we lay in a hammock at 1pm on a Tuesday and reminisced about peanut butter toast dinners and Masterchef on the couch. Hello, who reminisces about home dates when you’re in India! WHO ARE WE EVEN??!!

So as much as we would like to turn into nomads and have no desire for our comforts and comfort people. We really need a bubble bath and a boerewors roll right about now! 

Not that we’re not nervous to come home. Me (Jen) is nervous about adapting to not having Rudi with me 24/7 and whether or not I can even drive anymore. And Rudi’s worried about this minor admin of getting employment again and whether my parent’s dog will still rememberer him. But mostly, I guess we’re worried that it all just comes back too quickly, the alarms, the non-appreciation for having a home and soft towels, the idea that our trip will completely vanish and no one will ever want to speak about it.

It has been 7,5 months – but for us, it has been a lifetime of lessons, experiences and highs! It’s hard to really explain it, and for that we appreciate that we did it together. But happiness and adventure is always a choice, and we choose to continue it back home. I know we should feel scared that we are returning to a slightly more “boring life”, but we don’t really feel like our life has ever been boring – we are just moving from this adventure to the next. And the fact that we are not sure what awaits us back home is all part of it!

Oh, and give us like max 2 weeks..
We’ll probably have already planned our next trip ;)!!

Enjoying our last few days in India

So in the words of Kanye, We’re coming, home.”