“Welcome home guys” the customs official told us when he stamped our U.S entry stamps into our passports. 16 months outside the States, 17ish countries. We almost needed to staple an extra sheet of paper to our entry forms to fill out the “countries visited on this trip prior to U.S arrival” and that’s with leaving out Cuba!
The customs official explained to us that we only needed to list the countries that we had visited on that trip, not every country we had visited in our lives. He made sure to speak slowly and patiently as if he was used to dealing with dim people on a daily basis. When we told him that was a list of of all the countries we had visited on our current trip he started to inundate us with questions.
“Really, why were you traveling for so long?”
“What do you guys do for money?”
“What was your favorite country?”
We are used to these questions though we usually don’t answer them while there is a line of tired and impatient travelers waiting behind us. Shifting their weight impatiently from foot to foot and rolling their eyes in frustration.
Though we were welcomed home by our enthusiastic customs official, it was walking out of the gate and seeing my brother Harry waiting to pick us up that made it real. This was supposed to be home. I just don’t know if it is anymore.
Not in a bad way, it’s just that every other time I had come home from a trip I felt a “time to settle down to regular life” kind of a feeling. We certainly did not feel that way landing in New York, we just felt like we were moving on to the U.S portion of our great adventure. I think all this really means is that somewhere along the way we lost the chance of ever having any kind of “regular” life. And that’s rad.
Let the U.S adventures begin!