Category Archives: home

One Year Later

What happens when two people quit their jobs, sell their cars, store their stuff, find temporary placement for their 3 pets, pack a couple of backpacks, backpack around the world for 10 months and then return home- homeless, jobless, petsless, carless, and penniless (well not literally penniless)?

They get jobs, find a home, get their pets back and add another one, buy cars, and start living life again. Yes, you can leave it all behind and come home and get back to normal if that’s what you’re after. It can happen and it does happen and we’re (along with lots of other people) living proof. Since we’ve been reflecting on our adventure as our 1 year anniversary has come and gone, we thought we would share “a one year later” update for anyone thinking about a great adventure of their own and curious about what happens when it’s all over. Continue reading


Filed under culture shock, Details, home, Preparation

A New Reality

It’s been more than a month since we’ve been home now (40 days to be exact) and we’ve certainly had our ups and downs adjusting to life back in the States. We were excited to come home to the comforts and conveniences we knew, and to spend time with our friends and family. As Nick mentioned, it was both a comforting and strange re-entry, because although it was familiar it seemed very foreign at the same time.  Continue reading

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Filed under culture shock, home, Musings

The end is sweet. Not bitter.

Well, Rachel and I have returned home to South Florida. We are currently residing at my parent’s house in Boca Raton until we are both employed and then we will search for a place of our own; that is the deal we made. Rachel has been trucking along filling out applications each day while using all her resources and networks to find a job she will enjoy in the non-profit industry. She has a wonderful group of family and friends who are doing all they can to help her out. I have filled out applications, networked with friends in the industry, and had a few interviews, which have been successful so far. There is one job in particular that I will most likely start with in a few weeks. In today’s economy, I feel honored and privileged to have offers and choices (hopefully I don’t jinx myself!).

I’d always thought returning home would be just like any other day for me, and this seemed true…at first. Continue reading


Filed under culture shock, Details, home, Musings

Laid Back Cruisin’ in Europe

As you read in our previous posts, India was everything and nothing that we expected. It is just as beautiful and chaotic as people and literature say it is, but the full extent of all this came to light when we landed in Barcelona, Spain to meet up with Rachel’s parents to go on a 12 day Mediterranean cruise. Nothing was more shocking than having all the luxuries of the boat and first world living at our disposal.

The single greatest part of our cruise was being with Rachel’s parents. Even though we had each other during our journey, there still was a feeling of loneliness from being apart from family and friends. We had our blog and email to share our experiences with everyone, but nothing can take the place of conversation in person, face to face, especially over dinner and wine. I was so excited to be around familiar faces that it feels like I personally didn’t stop talking for the entire trip. Continue reading


Filed under Corsica, Croatia, Crossing Borders, cruise, culture shock, France, Friends, home, Italy, Spain, Tours, Transportation

Maharajas, Palaces, and Tombs, Oh My!

We finally found it. The India that everyone talks about: crazy, chaotic, overwhelming India. For 2 weeks we kept saying to ourselves, I don’t get it…this is not nearly as bad as people said it would be. We kept wondering what they were complaining about. Well, they were probably complaining about the provinces of North-Central India. Southern India is laid back and peaceful and so is the far North, but once we made it back to Delhi after Dharamsala, and then to Jaipur and Agra, we finally experienced the side of India that scares many tourists away and causes many never to return.

Our first experience in Delhi was pretty good. We were there for less than a day, in transit between Goa and Dharamsala. On our way back from Dharamsala, we had to spend another night and full day in Delhi. We had had a pretty awful overnight bus ride from Dharamsala and arrived at 5:30am exhausted and ready to get to the hotel. We hopped into a cab at the bus stop, agreed to a price of 600 rupees (approx $12 & probably about 4 times too much), while very tired and not in the mood to haggle. Well when we arrived at our hotel, the driver demanded 600 rupees per person! That’s about eight times the normal fare. Unfortunately the combination of tiredness and not having exact change meant Nick agreed to pay the driver 800 rupees, a fantastic ripoff. But wait! There’s more…

Continue reading


Filed under Cambodia, Crossing Borders, culture shock, home, India, Laos, Recommendations, Thailand, Tours, Transportation, Vietnam, Wonders of the World

On bad coffee and toilet paper

We’re sitting in our hotel in Hoi An, Vietnam waiting from 6:30pm to roll around (it’s 5pm) so we can catch our ride to the airport, and thinking about home. The topic came up when I said, “man I wish there was a Barnes & Noble here so we could read magazines in the cold air conditioning while we wait” as we walked around in 90 degree heat in the afternoon sun, sweat covering our bodies (and no Barnes & Noble in sight).  I want to go to Barnes & Noble (a mega-bookstore chain for our non-American readers) because I am tired of these travel days where we have to check out of our hotel at noon when our flight isn’t until 9pm. If we were staying at say, a Hilton, we would have nice air-conditioned lobby to lounge in before we head out, but because we stay in budget hotels and hostels, we often board the bus/train/plane after a full day of walking or waiting around in the heat. I know, I should shut up because hello, I’m in Vietnam and should be grateful but these things wear on you after 8 months of constant travel and I don’t feel guilty for admitting it! You would get tired of it too and would wish for a Barnes & Noble or a Starbucks if you were in my shoes, promise.  Continue reading


Filed under culture shock, Details, home, strange but true

Turkey Day in the Land of Beef

When we started to plan our Great Adventure, we knew we would not be with family or friends for the holidays. With my career, I am used to not being home for many celebrations. It makes me sad, but it is what it is and I brush it off most of the time as it is the career I chose and what I desire to succeed in. However, this time being away from home for Thanksgiving, the feeling of sadness was much stronger, probably because we are away on our own accord. For Rachel, large family holiday gatherings is how it has always been. So Rachel and I made the most out of spending Thanksgiving away from the ones we love in Cordoba, Argentina- a country that does not celebrate the holiday (or has any turkeys). But it will be one of the most memorable ones for us for years to come because of that.  Continue reading


Filed under Argentina, Drinks, Food, Friends, home, Lodging

Happy Halloween!

Wishing you a Happy Halloween and most importantly, a very Happy 23rd Birthday to my sister Nicole!

Jessica & Roger Rabbit Halloween 2010

Happy Birthday and lots of love from Copacabana, Bolivia to our Halloween birthday girl!



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R.I.P beloved dog Bailey Freeman

I am not one to post emotional personal infomation online through facebook, twitter, or blogs, that just is not my style. However, since this Great Adventure is our story about this year, I feel everything that happens while we’re traveling is relevant. With that said, today was a very sad day for me and my family. While we were posting on our blog from Lima, our Freeman family dog Bailey passed away. He was an 11 year old white lab, and had to be put down due to many debilitating neurological and physical problems, most likely from a tumor in his spine or possibly cancer.

For us, our animals are family. They receive the same love and care that we give to each other. Since Bailey was the most harmless dog, the most gentle and kindest of pets, and the most loving, it makes it especially hard to know his friendly face with innocent eyes, his happy tail wagging, and slow, calm demeanor will not longer fill the house for my family and me when we return home. If there was any simple way to describe him, it would have been this: the one animal on the planet that truly would not hurt a fly. It gives some comfort knowing he lived his last days in the cool weather of North Carolina lounging by the lake with our much younger dogs Bentley and Indy. He will truly be missed.

Bailey 2000-2011


Filed under home