I’m standing, dazed and shivering, in the dairy section of our local grocery store deliberating over 0% or 2% yogurt; I can’t remember what we normally buy. It’s been so long and I can’t think straight. My eyes burn with exhaustion, my body is hollow with fatigue and the dizziness in my head exaggerates the surreal nature of the moment. A flush of familiarity washes over me and for a split second the last fourteen months we’ve been away feel more like a dream than a reality.
Less than 48 hours earlier we were drinking coffee on the other side of the world. Sitting in the common area of our homestay in Kerala, India, we were exchanging future travel plans and Facebook information with fellow travelers when we got an urgent message from home – news of a family emergency and an urging to come back immediately. Within hours we had notified the airlines, changed our tickets home, packed our bags and were on our way to the nearest airport in Kochi, two hours away. From there we flew to the international airport in Mumbai where we waited for six long hours before boarding a 1am flight that would take us from Mumbai to Amsterdam. We landed in Amsterdam with just enough time to walk two gates over and queue up for the next eight and a half hour flight to Detroit. In Detroit we drudged through customs, grabbed a sandwich to eat on the plane and made a quick trip to the bathroom before lining up for the last leg. The final flight was just under three hours and we arrived back in Dallas thirty-nine restless and emotional hours after getting the news.
Last week I sat on the balcony of that same homestay writing about how our trip was coming to an end and my feelings about the impending return home.
Somewhere we crossed an imaginary line. I’m not sure exactly where or when it happened but seemingly overnight we found ourselves on the other side. We’ve gone from recounting our first six months of travel, to commemorating ten, to celebrating a whole year, to counting down the final days.
Seventy-nine days from now we’ll be back in Dallas.
I’ll be spending the last four weeks of our trip in an intense yoga teaching training program so that means there are only six short weeks of free-wheeling travel left before we fly home.
Little did we know.
There is something so amazing about our mind and how quickly it performs whatever mental gymnastics necessary to reframe circumstances in a way that works for us.
As soon as we learned we needed to come home I began to find all the reasons why it was a good idea, not the least of which is to be with our family to offer love and support at this time. Adrian and I have been quite open about our lives on this blog but our families might not appreciate us sharing their lives in the same way so out of respect for them we’re leaving out the details for now.
Times like these, when our best laid plans fall apart before us and things just don’t seem to go the way we wish they would, I hear the words of Byron Katie echoing in my mind – This is exactly the way it’s supposed to be. How do you know? Because this is the way it is.
It’s hard to argue with that.