Life at home (post-travel)

Trip Start Feb 18, 2004
1
80
Trip End Dec 05, 2005


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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Friday, December 16, 2005

"Come back home for another year
And find yourself in the thick of it
Come back home for another year
I always thought that you could handle this"

- Pete Yorn, "come back home"

The trip around the world is over and I'm having to return to "normal" life and find a job. I saw so many places and experienced so much...it's hard to comprehend it all. I'm worried I'll settle back into life in Portland and it won't seem like I was really gone. I'm reluctant to let go of the traveling life and the memories. People ask me if I'm excited to be home. Are you excited to go back to work after a vacation? It is comforting to be back amongst family and friends. The conveniences and familiarity of the U.S. are nice too. But once you've been traveling for a period of time you find everyday life a bit lacking. Traveling means constant change and new experiences - new cities, new people. Each day traveling seems to hold so many more possibilities than a day at home. That's what I'll miss most - waking up and not knowing what to expect from my day.

...And thus sets in the post-travel blues. It's a common thing for people who've travelled a long period of time and return home. All the bits of reality that I got to kind of avoid while traveling come settling in - money, job, winter, health, etc... So it feels like the weight of the world has been dumped back on my shoulders. Add to that a deep sense of loss I feel at having just lost a bunch of new friends. While I was still traveling there was always the chance that I could run into them again. Now those chances are very slim. I need a personal teleporter so I can visit my friends all over the world. Damn reality.
I'm just about broke so need to find a job to start paying off debts. The company I used to work for doesn't have any openings so I'm having to go through the standard apply/interview process. I'll probably have to take a sizeable cut in salary. D'oh! Of course it's winter here and freakin' cold. My body is still in shock and not adjusting well. Need warmth... My cold still hasn't gone away. It seems to have run its course then reversed and is taking me back through all the symptoms. *#$@! Speaking of being sick, I need to start going to the doctor again (more $) - gotta get a crown for the root canal I had in Bangkok, need to have my eye checked out again, should get tested for bilharzia from the water in Africa, etc... I continue to check on reimbursement from my travel insurance for the eye surgery but that doesn't look promising. I've also been sending the details of the incident when I got hit in the eye to law firms in the UK, but none say they can handle such a case (the international aspect of it makes it difficult). My storage unit is full of junk and I need to figure out some way to sell it or get rid of it. A garage sale would be good, but it's not the right time of the year for that. On top of all this, I have a HUGE list of things to do (mostly computer related) including organizing all my digital pictures (13,000), creating a "best of" DVD from those pictures, editing some pictures for the cafepress merchandise (www.cafepress.com/spanky04), updating the new website (www.monkey-travels.com), and the tiny task of recording to computer and organizing ALL my music. That last one could take a lifetime. You would think life wouldn't be too stressful without a job, but it most certainly is. The other day I was thinking I really could use an assistant. She should be pretty with a cute accent, just a lil' shorter than me. Marcela, when you going to move here!?! ;)

I saw a good 'welcome home' bumper sticker the other day - "you're in America, speak English!". Ahhh, ignorance and racism all in one. Good 'ol USofA. Can't beat it. How much you wanna bet the person driving that car would be one of the types that goes to a foreign country and speaks English REALLY LOUD and sllllooowwww expecting that to make people understand? FYI people, the United States doesn't even have an official language. And, technically, ALL of North and South America are part of 'America', and last I checked most the countries speak Spanish.

So my flight from London arrived in Seattle Dec 5. My sister picked me up and took me back to her house where I got to play around with the nephew. He's talking a lot more now. I spent a few days there and got to see Ben & Julia and Amber. My car insurance didn't go back into effect until the 7th so I was a bit stranded that first full day there.
I drove down to Portland Dec 8 with no car problems. Can't be too sure with the car being idle for the last couple months and a year before that. My first stop was Nike to pick up keys from Billy. I also got the chance to visit MO and Dana. In the evening I went over to John's and saw my new nephew and played around with the niece. I stayed at Billy's for a few days and helped him put up Christmas decorations on Saturday. My storage unit proved to be a nightmare finding things. Of course the stuff I was looking for was buried in boxes in the back corner. As of Sunday, I've been staying at Teeter's in the [cold] upstairs spare bedroom (my bed is actually stored there). Mostly been working on the resume and applying for jobs. Also been loading pictures and music onto the computer. Being sick has kept me from going out and doing much, though I did go out for happy hour food with Duane, Nick and others Wed night (no booze for me).

I hope this travelblog has reminded you how fortunate you are to be living in a western country with so many opportunities available to you. Please don't forget about all the poor in the world (and at home). A few dollars can go a long way in many of these countries. If you really want to make a difference, get out there and volunteer. Not everyone can realistically do that, so find a good charity and donate a little. It's one small way to make a difference in this world.

That's about it for what's going on post-travel. Looking for a job, trying to get over a cold and occasionally getting to visit with friends. Doesn't make for quite as interesting travelblogs, but oh well. I'll try to keep www.monkey-travels.com up to date with the latest goings on. The 2004-2005 rtw trip blog is officially at an end. :(
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