After 3 flights and 27 hours of travel, we landed in Paris 3 weeks ago.
It was weird, but also very pleasant to be suddenly immersed in a well known environment that was actually feeling exotic again ! This gave us part of the answer to a question we had in mind for a long time : How does it feel to go back to a normal life and routine after such a long, rich and exciting journey ?
Of course, we were very happy to see family and friends. The children had missed their grand-parents a lot and seeing them reunited was deeply moving. We were also very glad to have access to a kitchen and a fridge full of French goodness. Alvar and Austine were excited to be back into their own little world again : their books, toys, games, scooters and bikes,
playing with a plane instead of taking another long flight.
Personally, I needed a break from packing and queuing at airport security counters and Ben was ready for action after 3 months away from the office.
Being 24/24 – 7/7 together in either the same room, the same car, or the same plane can sometimes be really oppressing. We were therefore very glad to have some time alone, the parents without the children, the children without their parents, the wife without the husband, the brother without the sister and vice-versa.
Physically, it took us nearly a week to recover from the last stretch. Austine was jet-lagged for a while, and we are still struggling to put her to bed at a reasonable time at night. Our backs suffered from lifting suitcases, carrying backpacks and our 12kg baby girl. It was nice to “unload”.
Regarding the routine, it hasn’t struck us yet as we are still in between places. As some of you may know, we are about to move to Seattle. Ben went first, and is now completing his first week as an immigrant to the “US of A”. We will be following August 15th. In the meantime, we are packing our stuff (yet again!) and sending it all by boat.
This means there was a lot of paperwork waiting for us when we got back. This was a not so good part of “coming home”. Dealing with the American visa, the leak in our toilets, the moving company, or the pile of invoices waiting to be paid, together with an emergency trip to Ikea to buy a bunk-bed for the children was somewhat of a shock after all the freedom we experienced.
When you come back, it is quite difficult to speak about such a journey. It has been such a long adventure, you can’t possibly talk about every place you’ve seen, every anecdote you’ve encountered on the way. Also, you don’t want to insist too much on how lucky you were to live such an adventure when your relatives and the rest of the world were working hard and enduring a very long and depressing winter. So you briefly sum up your discoveries in a few words, which is quite a shame when you think about all the exceptional and the magnificent places we have seen. Anyway, words are too small to describe the world, the feelings, the experience. So I hope the pictures will help us share and remember every minute of this special time in our life. There are thousands of them, that I need to edit and print in a book. A project for the gloomy winter, when we will remember how lucky we were to spend 11 weeks together on the other side of this gorgeous planet.
To those who followed our adventure, thank you very much for your attention and comments. We will be continuing the blog throughout the summer, until we get to Seattle and after, to keep in touch with friends, family and relatives.
“The big adventure” continues, and will let you know about our life in the Pacific Northwest.
But for now, it is all about enjoying the French summer !