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« Photo Blog: Amazon - Part 2 | Main | Video Blog: South American Explorers -- Cusco Clubhouse »

Home again, Home again, Jiggedy Jig

During this year we've been following the blogs of other families that were traveling, like we were. A handful of our favorites ended their travels, and headed home during the year. Before we left Cusco, as the days counted down, we went back and re-read those blogs on 're-entry'. Every family was different, and also had a lot in common, and the stories of coming home and re-adjusting pulled at us. They talked about pulling back into the driveway, and walking into the living room, with everything the same as the day they left. About the symmetry of leaving in the early morning darkness, and a year later coming home to the late night darkness. 

Our homecoming has been very different. We sold nearly everything we owned before we left. We've got to come back, and re-create our lives, piece by piece. Our symmetry is leaving one house in Pasadena, loaned by friends who were out of town, and coming back to another house in Pasadena, loaned by friends (friends we've never met) who are out of town.

We've been running since we landed. In a little over a week we've: rented a house, bought a car, scoured a dozen charity shops for tables and dressers, beds and lamps. We've visited the domestic alphabet: GWP, DMV, USPS, and the Gas Company (they really need to get in on the alphabet action). We've had a lot of 'first time back' moments: first day back at church, first Warner Bros work meeting, first Monday Potluck in the Park, first Trader Joes shopping...

On Monday our storage pod will be delivered, and we'll start to unload. Our whole family keeps saying the same thing, "It's going to be like Christmas!" Re-discovering our possessions should be a lot of fun. And in this way - I have to say - I'm really happy that we are coming back to a fresh start, instead of pulling into the driveway of a house we left a year ago, with everything the same. My outlook on 'possessions' has changed. I want to own less. I want to live smaller. After having everything we own packed into a few suitcases for the last year, even one storage pod seems a bit much to me, truthfully. 

We'll see how long it lasts. The All-American pull to live 'big' is everywhere. And it's so very seductive.

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Reader Comments (8)

Welcome Home from your amazing journey Redpath Family!! I've have really enjoyed living vicariously thru you this past year. Thank you so much and welcome back to LA! Joni

Aug 22, 2010 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoni Becker

We have very little left of what we had before we went to Africa and are currently staying with my husband's family until we find out what's next. My outlook on possessions has done a complete 180 and I'm glad we sold almost everything before we left. There are a few things here and there that I miss, but overall, I know that it's much better this way. It won't be as much of a task when we get to where we're going because we simply don't NEED as much! Isn't is funny how we, Americans, have to completely change our lives and live in different culture to alter our consumeristic notions? It's amazing how little we actually need as opposed to want. Blessings on your return-good luck-you're still a bit further along than we are even though we've been back since June!

Aug 23, 2010 at 3:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnita

Today marks two years exactly since we returned from our rtw trip. Do we still remember it? Of course. Do we still talk about it ? Yes. I should think daily there is something that crops up that reminds us of a time on that trip. Because the trip seems like it was lived not in months, weeks or days, but in MILLISECONDS, every memory has been catalogued - easy to find and recall. I find it amazing that out of the fog of parenting toddlers, my brain is still able to do this!

You mention how seductive the all-american pull of consumerism is. Try to resist it, make this year count. So you can look back in two years and say 'because of that, we did this.' We now live in Spain, having made the decision to live more as a unit and make our time together count. My children have embraced a new culture and new language and a new home with ease, because that's what they did for 342 days in a row.

I love your writing so please keep doing it!
CRFS xxxx

Aug 23, 2010 at 5:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Welcome home, Redpath family - enjoy the surreality of being "back", along with all the perks like being able to order food in English and buying giant packs of your favorite toilet paper!

You are so right about how easy it is to get sucked back into the old spending and accumulating habits - something we've been struggling with for the last year, it's a very slippery slope.

Before you know it, you'll be looking at that map again and thinking of all the places you haven't yet seen. Living smaller and owning less will just make it easier when you decide to take off again!

Aug 23, 2010 at 5:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarc

Welcome back Redpath indeed!
I moved to the US 17 years ago just with two suit cases. We lived with a mattress on the floor one table and two chairs for a long time, only one car, and two bicycles
Slowly but steadily, "things" started to come in, and now i feel my house is full of stuff I have not touched since years!
Simplicity is an art, letting go is a healing practice. I will get to it right now, today. Thank you again for the inspiration you bring into my live, the reminder of simplicity and the gut to live your live your way, with courage and determination.
I hope to see you guys soon! Much Love!

Aug 23, 2010 at 7:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterRegine

Welcome home! Hope to see you at park day on Thursday! :)

Aug 30, 2010 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterColleen

Welcome home!!!!!!!!

Sep 16, 2010 at 3:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterClaudia

We are so glad you all have returned safe and sound! We've loved reading your posts and seeing your amazing pictures.
Can't wait until we can all get together again. Miss you and love to all!

Alfie and John

Oct 27, 2010 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlfie and John

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