Welcome Home

Last night, I attended the Zac Brown Band concert at the Hollywood Bowl with some girlfriends. I didn’t go because I’m a fan of the band, or country music at all really, but because they had free tickets and I had nothing better to do on Sunday evening.

Surprisingly, I knew more songs that I thought I would; however, that’s because the band played nearly as many covers as originals. Nevertheless, it was a great performance and I was moved by the band’s partnership with Wells Fargo in an effort to help wounded Veterans through various philanthropic programs.

The band’s Welcome Home tour became the inspiration I needed to finally write a blog about my transition coming home after nearly nine months of traveling. However, my own Welcome Home tour has been a bit of a let down to say the least.

Yes, it has been wonderful to be reunited with family and friends, and to have some of the comforts of “home” (I’m mostly talking about a dryer for laundry!), but it’s weird being back. I knew from other travelers that it’s common to come home and fall into a bit of post-travel depression.

What I didn’t understand, was just how hard it was going to be to come home without an actual home, or car, or job, and to try to fit back in. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a room at my mom’s house, and friends who are willing to host me, or need a dog sitter in Santa Monica. But living out of a backpack at “home” is not the same as doing it while traveling.

Some of my closest friends have been religiously reading my blogs and were disappointed with my lack of writing as of late. I appreciate those of you who read and remembered my blogs, and asked me about my travels when I returned – it really means so much to me.

I honestly don’t have a good reason for not blogging other than I just wasn’t as inspired. In the beginning, I was learning so much and seeing amazing sights, experiencing new cuisines, and really just soaking it all in. Southeast Asia, Myanmar, India, Bhutan, and South America were all new experiences for me, and it was easy to want to write about them.


Europe was different because I had been there before, and even though I went to countries I hadn’t previously traveled to, such as Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Denmark, I had started doing freelance work by then and I didn’t want to spend any more time on the computer than I already was.

Being a travel blogger is a lot of work, and takes dedication and determination. Of course, I possess all of those qualities, but for some reason, I just didn’t have it in me to continue writing. I also felt like I was writing more for my memories and to entertain those of you following me, whereas most travel bloggers are trying to provide helpful travel tips on what they’ve learned through their own travels.

Sure, I could’ve written about the best gelato in Rome (Frigidarium obviously), how to see the Cinque Terre in a day, or the best Game of Thrones tour in Northern Ireland, but I just didn’t. Maybe I’ll go back and write blogs about some of my most memorable experiences (and yes, the GoT tour was one of them) and offer some tips for future travelers, but I suppose that just wasn’t in the cards for abroadleap.


Of the many things I learned about myself on this trip, there are a few that stand out: being more of a minimalist, and appreciating how fortunate I am to have what I do and all the wonderful people in my life; being a calmer driver and not letting the stress of LA traffic get to me (it’s nothing when compared to driving a stick left-handed on the left side of the road in Ireland, or driving amongst the crazy tailgating Italians); and the desire to find a way to help people in my next career so that I know at the end of the day what I’m doing is making a difference.

My Welcome Home tour will continue through November when I embark on a road trip to Ferndale, WA to be with my Hindes family for Thanksgiving. In between, I will be stopping to see friends in Fresno and Davis, CA, Medford and Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. It’s too hard to sit around couch surfing or dog sitting in LA, or vegging at my mom’s house when I’ve been used to the constant travel and don’t have the comforts of my own home.

For now, I’ll just be enjoying the roadtrip and catching up with more friends and family for the next month, and then we’ll see. I have a great opportunity to stay in LA and finally get all of my stuff out of storage (minimalist purge coming!) so that I can actually start to feel that I’m home. Hopefully, there will be more to come on my next adventure.


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