Finding our way (at) home

We’re home.

We drove back into a driveway filled with love. My parents were waiting arms outstretched and for the first time I realized how much my kids had missed them…how much we all had.

cam home 2012

My parents held out their arms and this little guy ran straight into them.

 

We’ve had this feeling on repeat over the last few days.

We’re trying to come to grips with a new reality. One that looks like something we used to know and yet feels very very different.

Change is a funny thing. I didn’t think I had changed at all (waistline excepted) but the longer I’m home the more I realize all four of us have. Our discussions are deeper. Our restlessness is palpable.

So happy to be home. So unsure of what home means anymore.

What has been abundantly clear from the moment we set off on this amazing, amazing ride was that YOU made all the difference.

We didn’t miss home while we were away because so many of you came with us.

 

mom 2012

Mom and I back together again. Let the plant re-potting begin! ;)

We heard you: cheering from the sidelines. Telling us what we were doing was incredible, unbelievable, a gift to our children, an inspiration.

We never doubted what we wanted from this trip but sometimes when you’re standing on the inside of it, those things begin to blur. You kept it clear.

Globetrotting Mama started out as a bit of a dream. It was, and remains, an intensely personal decision.

And yet, in sharing this trip with all of you it gained strength.

You told me jokes and kept me up to speed on what was happening at home. You included me in your invites and sent birthday and Halloween and Christmas greetings to my family. You Skyped me in to watch me cry. You said “hello” to my kids and emailed them in French. In cities around the world you invited us to dinner in your homes, told us which neighbourhoods were best, offered your own tips on what we couldn’t afford to miss and then took us there.  You sent me writing assignments and boat invitations and personal messages. You tweeted and you Facebooked. You shared our highs and our lows.

You kept us going.

home again 2012

Two of my biggest supporters. They were the last people we were with when we left and the first to greet us when we got home.

 

I’ve heard from so many people who are now also taking the steps necessary to follow their dreams.

Some of them claim we’ve inspired them. Some say watching us do it gave them the final push.  You’ll never know how much that matters to me.

In the weeks ahead we’ll be retooling Globetrotting Mama so that it can better serve you.

Our stories will continue – there are so many more to tell – but we’ll also offer more of the concrete how-to’s that so many of you seem to be craving and we’ll  be inviting you to share the outcome of dreams you’re pursuing as well.

Our journey isn’t over.

The reintegration process is proving to be just as tough as I’d imagined.

We’re going slow and trying to hold on to some of the things we learned along the way.

I’m so grateful for your patience and your company here and look forward to sharing much more with you in the weeks and months to come.

Thank You all, for everything.

Heather, Ish, Ethan and Cameron

Jumping for Joy

Already looking forward to new adventures

 

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{ 17 comments… add one }

Guest July 9, 2012, 10:35 AM

I’ve been following your journey via your blog for sometime (mid way through the South American leg). It’s amazing how much you have accomplished and I can sense that this journey has brought your family closer. You all are very inspiring and I hope in some shape or form you continue to update us on what’s going on with your lives. I feel connected to you even though I don’t know you lol. Congratulations and I wish you nothing but the best on the rest of your life journey! :)

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Heather July 9, 2012, 10:59 AM

Thank you! What you’ve described is exactly the kind of quiet support that has given us strength. Very grateful

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Carol Cain July 9, 2012, 6:03 PM

GO YOU!!! You are an inspiration to so many! Welcome home!!! xoxo

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Heather July 10, 2012, 10:46 AM

 I could say the same about you! Thank you.

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Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments July 9, 2012, 6:39 PM

Sending you welcome home (((hugs))) and excitement in where you will go and what you will do next. You truly are an inspiration Heather and I for one am honoured you shared your adventures with us.

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Heather July 10, 2012, 10:43 AM

 Back atcha Maija. Hope to see you soon.

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Emiel van den Boomen July 10, 2012, 1:46 AM

Beautiful post, welcome home! Looking forward to the continuation of your trip, in whatever way that may be…

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Heather July 10, 2012, 10:43 AM

 Thanks Emiel

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Alex July 10, 2012, 10:34 AM

It has been an absolute privilege following your journey. You’re all such inspirations. Thanks for sharing it all with us

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Heather July 10, 2012, 10:44 AM

 So grateful you came along for the ride Alex.

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Dianne / @smilenwaven July 10, 2012, 10:42 AM

Welcome home… BUT it sure was some year!! Thanks SO much for sharing and letting us come along… I had such a great view on your shoulder! Not sure how many people I told… ‘I have a friend and her family that are travelling around the world!!’

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Heather July 10, 2012, 10:45 AM

 :) It was a year but the effects are going to last a lifetime!

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Sue Sinclair July 10, 2012, 12:08 PM

What a story AND such an inspiration.  My family and I aspire to one day travel around the world but for now, we are taking little practice trips.  Last year we spent 6 weeks in Australia (my DH’s homeland) and we are currently living in London and travelling around Europe this summer for two months.  

Not quite the same duration but the experiences, quality family time and memories we have created have already far exceeded my expectations.  

Our kids are aged 7 and 5 (almost 6) so a bit younger than yours and the amount they have been exposed to in such a short time hopefully stays with them for a lifetime.  The main memories I have from when I was a child is from travelling with my mom and dad.  Usually car trips in the ’72 Volvo and generally within Canada and the US but these adventures are what fueled my desire to explore the world.  Congratulations to you and your family for making extraordinary happen.  Kudos to you for going out there and making this a reality most people only dream about.With fond regards,
Sue

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Heather July 11, 2012, 6:54 AM

Love that you’re doing practice trips! How does it feel? Too short? Too long? And I agree it’s not how long you take that matters it’s what you get out of it. Enjoy Europe!

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Sue Sinclair July 11, 2012, 7:02 AM

It feels great.  We went to Australia for 6 weeks last year (DH is from there) and when you are travelling long distances, you really need to allow 3-4 weeks minimum to get the most out of it.  

Europe has been awesome and it is nice to be able to settle in although we are off to Paris tomorrow, followed by the Canary Islands and then back to London for another two weeks.  

There is so much to see and do and I wish we could see another country or two while we are here as we just don’t know when we will get back but it has been nice getting to know the areas we have travelled too more intimately.  I think I’ve got the tubes more or less figured out!
Cannot wait for more of your posts/learnings and stories from your extraordinary adventure.From one traveller to another,Sue

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Sheena July 11, 2012, 4:22 AM

It was wonderful to meet your lovely family in Etosha, Heather, and I’ve followed your trip and general roller coaster ride since then – great inspiration indeed! Glad you got home safely.

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Michaela Hall August 11, 2012, 10:44 AM

I can relate to that comforting feeling of returning home, followed by the restlessness that spurs another trip. Travel excites and enlightens me, but home is where I recharge. I look forward to following your family’s continued journey.

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