I’m coming home, coming home

Posted by on Feb 1, 2014 in Countries, Featured, U.S.A. | 7 comments

During the last hours on our journey to unearth the world, I found myself in disbelief.  Did we really just spend 9 months gallivanting the globe?  And is it really over?!  And, after all I have seen, and done, and experienced….I have to go home?

Oddly, the lyrics of Diddy’s song, “Coming Home” echoed in my head over and over:

I’m coming home, I’m coming home. Tell the world I’m coming home.

Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday.

I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes.

I’m coming home, I’m coming home. Tell the world that I’m coming home.

Somehow I don't think my version of coming home will be as sexy

Somehow I don’t think my version of coming home will be as sexy

A little dramatic you say?  You are probably right.  I should be spending my time reflecting on the fabulous year, looking through photos, and being thankful for the amazing opportunity.  But, as I lay in bed the night before our flnal flight to the U.S., I simply could not stop myself from feeling really sad.  Even though Mike was probably very confused to see his teary wife blasting Diddy on our tiny computer speakers, I know that he was the only person in the world at that moment that could possibly understand what I was going through.

Pretty much just like Diddy

Pretty much just like Diddy

Don’t get me wrong, there are many things that I have missed during the past nine months, especially my friends and family.  I have missed talking to my mom on the phone each day, sharing a private inside joke with my Dad outside the confines of Facetime, and raucous family game nights.  I have missed being able to pick up the phone and call my best friends for a “catch up” and actually hear their voices loud and clear on the other end.  And beyond my personal relationships, I have also really missed our physical home.  We rented our condo to a nice family while we were away but I am ready to re-claim our space.  Modern conveniences that had eluded us over the past months like clean laundry, hot showers, and potable drinking water now seem like mirages in the desert.  And, the idea of having a closet full of clothes to choose from each day is equal parts exhilarating and overwhelming.  The list of things that I missed while I was away is long.  But upon reflection, I have a feeling that the list of things I will miss from our travels is just as extensive.  I can only hope that I can adjust during our “re-entry” as easily as I did to life on the road.

What I anticipate missing the most is the constant feeling of uncertainty and adventure.  Every day on our journey was a challenge, a puzzle.  Every day brought unimaginable challenges and need for constant adjustments.  The simple act of feeding ourselves, for example, could occupy hours while we found a safe, clean, open restaurant or market, navigated the menu, and enjoyed our meal. I loved every second of it.  I will also miss the peace that comes with not having a timeframe.  If Mike and I got lost on a walk one day, it didn’t matter.  If we spent two hours talking to a local in a tiny African village and missed a meal, we didn’t bat an eye.  The freedom, adventure, and permission to just “live” is irreplaceable and unreplicable.

While I also loved my life before Mike and I left, I have a feeling that re-entry to our American lifestyle will take much more effort and time than it did to shed it. How will I return to setting an alarm every morning?  To being glued to my smartphone? To the same daily routine – coffee, work, gym, TV, bed?  I don’t know how I will deal with planning for months to take my measly 7-day vacation.  I don’t know how I will attend glamorous weddings or dine in fancy restaurants without overwhelming guilt.  How will I get used to the homogeneity that is and was my life before?

As I pondered all of these self-indulgent questions, I decided to Google “Coming Home” in order to read the rest of the lyrics.  I was surprisingly encouraged by the first verse:

Back where I belong, I’ve never felt so strong,

Feeling like there’s nothing that I can’t try.

And, even though I cannot believe I am going to say this – Diddy is right.  Coming home is not about losing the perspective I have gained or the experiences I have had.  It is not about re-conforming to the typical Western way of life.  It is an opportunity to take my altered viewpoint and my myriad of experiences and apply them to my daily life back in Chicago.  This trip around the world has done more for me than add gorgeous photographs to my FB page or increase my enjoyment of Thai food.  It has freed me to consider the endless possibilities and blessings that life brings.  The journey has given me confidence for I now know that I can do anything I put my mind to – even quit my job to become a nomad for a year. 

It is with this positive thought that I finally turn the hotel light off in an attempt to grab a few hours of sleep prior to our flight.  I am eager to see what this next stage of life brings.  The possibilities are endless – there is nothing I cannot try.  And I can truly say that I have never felt so strong.










  1. You two are amazing! Such a selfless act of love! You touched the lives and hearts of so many! Welcome “home”!

  2. Touched a cord with me- I’m so glad your home. Love you always. Dad

  3. beautifully bittersweet ending. loved reading about your amazing journey! i would love to see you when you’re back! xoxo

  4. Awesome post Kat. I assume there will be book signing deal in the not too distant future!!!

  5. Love this! You are way better than Diddy too…

  6. Wonderful

    • تو مو می بینی و من پیچش مو تو ابرو من اشارتهای ابروتو اون دسته آدمهائی که خودشونو به خواب میزنند و متاسفانه بیدار کردنشان محال است . تو نمیخواستی ببینی نه اینکه چیزی ٛ˜ïیدی!!!!!!!!!!ممƌ

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