We've been home for three days and we are fully back into the swing of things. It is a good time to reflect on the trip and where the trip and travel fit into the transitioned life of semi-retirement.
Bravo the Jet Lag Fighting Experiment - We both have bounced back much, much quicker than in the past. The stopping after the first leg back and spending the night works great. Think we can tweak it to get even better results. And we found that only upgrading the West to East overnight air leg was fine with us. Saves tons of money.
We Really Love to Travel - This trip confirmed it again. There is something about the whole challenge of it. The figuring out how to get around and all the various aspects of living in a place. You see so much and meet so many people you never would. I suspect it will continue to be a major part of our lifestyle as long as we can physically do it. I'm already looking forward to our next trip in the fall.
Home Is Awesome Too! - Coming home is like going to another great place in the world except that you know it real well and you have THE best rental you could ever have. I am always blown away by how beautiful our home and how that beauty brings joy to my soul every time we get back. And I think that New Mexico (at least our part of it) continues to be a feast for the eyes and as great a place to look at as any place we go.
Travel Is Really Healthy for Us - Neither Wife nor I gained a pound over this whole trip. I did work in the garden today and commented to Wife how much stronger my back felt. I think this is because we are walking, carry our packs, for easily three hours every day when we travel except for those few rest days we build in.
The Dollar-Euro Rate Makes Things So Much More Fun - The rise in the dollar compared to the Euro really reduces the costs of lots of thing and makes the whole trip more affordable. This is especially true of eating out. We had this horrible reverse sticker shock when we had our dinner in Chicago on the way back when, for not that much food, we paid 50% more than the most expensive meal we had on our trip.
This Trip Was a Gastronomic Home Run - We had some many great experiences from our food tour and the restaurant on the Princes Islands in Istanbul, to our meals at Ta Kris in Malta, to our wonderful dinners in Amsterdam, and the world class cassoulet in Bastongne just to name a few. And never did we pay all that much!
I Love Transitioning So Easily from Semi-Work to Travel and Back - I did a little work on the trip but mostly things were taken care of before we left. And I had things set up so that I was able to immediately pick up things when I got back. I really like that ability to switch back and forth.
Five and a Half Weeks May Be The Limit - I think the thing that gets to us eventually is sleep. Whether it is a rental or a hotel or visiting someone, it 50-50 at best that you will get (or I should say we will get) a bed/mattress that is really conducive to great sleep. In the first part of the trip you are very excited and it doesn't quite matter as much. But as the weeks go on it can wear a bit. There is nothing quite so sweet as sleeping in your own bed when you get back.