So what does it feel like to be home?

Being home after over 2 years was always going to be a new adventure, full of unknowns and new experiences!! As we approached Brisbane and our Qantas plane was getting ready for its final approach, we could see Manly where we live, its boat harbour, we could guess where our home was. The butterflies are tickling my stomach with sudden excitement. Being met at the airport by friends was wonderful. Walking through our front door and into our home felt great: we have completed our motorcycle trip and are now home safely.

What took us 4 months to get to Dubai is now taking us 5 hours... I know where I would rather be...

What took us 4 months to get to Dubai is now taking us 5 hours… I know where I would rather be…


We are nearly home!

We are nearly home!

We have been home over 5 weeks now and the one question everyone has asked us is: so what is it like being home? Such a huge question disguised in that tiny sentence! That question is still followed by an awkward joint “hmmm” as Anthony and I look at each other. How do we respond. So many thoughts and feelings rushing through our heads. “Great, it feels great”. Another pause. “It still feels strange”. That’s the best way we can answer this innocuous yet huge question.

The luxury of sleeping in the same bed every night, of knowing where the bathroom is in the middle of the night, of recognising everything in the supermarket, of being able to cook and eat what we feel like, of being able to talk and catch up with friends, of having a washing machine to do all the washing, of being able to make a cup of tea whenever we feel like, these all still feel like luxuries one month on. We are enjoying our routine of daily morning and afternoon walks.

We got home in time to see the glorious flame trees still in bloom

We got home in time to see the glorious flame trees still in bloom

So what have we been doing with our time since we got home? Maintenance!!! Everything is over 2 years older than when we left. And many home appliances either broke down or needed a good service, like the garage door, air conditioning, car, motorbike, bicycles. And our bodies too apparently. It was a lot easier just being on the road and getting on with our adventure! Our routine annual blood tests sent us to see various specialists to get suspicious results investigated but we are all good for another year. What a relief. I just need to get suspicious moles re-cut out with bigger margins – a common occurrence here and the price I pay for having fair skin and living in Queensland. The good news is that Anthony is not longer itchy and scratchy and his blisters have nearly all healed.

Anthony has been working on getting our old telephone line recommissioned for our internet and is now having to convince the main telco that although their records states we are in unit 1 as per their documentation, we are actually unit C as per council plans. What fun…

After the joy of seeing friends again, the luxury of having a home, the enjoyment of our daily walks, we have been getting great satisfaction from decluttering. When we first left our home 27 months ago, we got a tenant for an initial period of 6 months and emptied all our cupboards. Not knowing at the time that we were going to be away for that long, everything was placed in storage downstairs but not particularly well labelled. So while home was familiar, it still feels like we are in a hotel as all the cupboards are still empty. Why?! Because we are determined not to get back to our old habits and having cupboards that would nearly spill out as you opened them, like a jack in a box. One month on, we are proud not to have succumbed to the temptation of simply storing everything back where it used to be. Every item is evaluated: keep as definitely required, give away as not necessary and still in good condition, or recycle/throw out. It is a slow process. While it is a great feeling taking bags and bags to the local charity shop, it is embarrassing to see how wasteful we were in the past, buying useless or duplicate items…

What was I thinking when I bought this outrageously frivolous avocado cutter, stoner and slicer – so embarrassing…

What was I thinking when I bought this stupid avocado slicer?!

What was I thinking when I bought this stupid avocado slicer?!

Even grocery shopping is getting the ‘do we really need this’ treatment as the after a big weekly shop photo shows:

Our fridge after a full weekly shop one month after our return

Our fridge after a full weekly shop one month after our return

It is great to feel so detached from possessions which once seemed so necessary or valuable. It is very freeing. It seems to leave more room for what is important in life. We are still pathologically sentimental about things at times, so we are taking photos of items for memory sake and thanking them before giving them away. It seems perfect. We don’t need them and someone else can enjoy them.

Why had I kept this jewellery bag an old boyfriend gave me while I was still at school?!

Why did I keep this jewellery bag a boyfriend gave me 41 years ago?

Why did I keep this jewellery bag a boyfriend gave me 41 years ago?

We have also enjoyed seeing our friends again. We catch up as if we had never been away, with no change in our relationship. That feels great. Most had read our blog which was lovely to find out as they were not all official followers, and we enjoy hearing what they enjoyed or what touched them. And it has been really interesting to find out of acquaintances who had kept up with our blog while some friends had read nothing. Because people read as much or as little as they were interested in, there has not been much discussion about our trip. Life is about now. It is grounding us.

It doesn’t take much for Anthony and I to talk about our next trip though… The sound of a passing motorcycle, the feel of the breeze on our faces while we walk, the sound of rustling leaves in the trees, yes, we miss the open road, but being home, for now, is very comfortable. We even dressed up recently to go to the ballet, courtesy of generous friends who could no longer go for health reasons.

Until next time we blog, have a very merry Christmas and a very happy new year. May 2016 bring you all much happiness, joy, success, good health and all younwish for and may we see more tolerance in the world…

Our beloved 35 year old Christmas tree with miniature mementoes of our travels

Our beloved 35 year old Christmas tree with miniature mementoes of our travels

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

– Anne

25 comments on “So what does it feel like to be home?

  1. Well my thoughts wandered your way as I sat in front of the computer. It was just the most wonderful thing to have you in our home . Nothing and no money can buy that “happy ” feeling.
    Blessed ! So pleased Anthony is well and truly healed and hope you also managed to get rid of the itchy sores .
    That decluttering is such a liberation – trying to do the same -have to admire you .
    It sounds as though all is slowly settling down and you are finding a rhythm that suits you .
    How magnificent is that tree?

    Well all that remains to be said is that we wish you a very Merry Christmas and may 2016 be another adventurous year , but in a good way with good health and happiness topping the bill. Lots of love from us all here in Belgium . Mwah and a big hug !xxxxx

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    • Aww, thank you so much Lesley. We have missed not chatting to you via our blog. Yes, we are slowly finding our rhythm and enjoying that liberating feeling from decluttering. Have a wonderful Christmas and 2016. Lots of love from us both xxx

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  2. Thanks for the update. I’ve been thinking of you. Ann, I have been stretching my calves while I brush my teeth and it has been working! Very few leg cramps in the night. Merry Christmas.

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  3. Yes, that avocado slicer had to go out!! But hey, if that jewellery bag is still around, I’ll look after it for you ;)) good to hear you are finding a balanced way of life to suit you, for the time being…. Xxx

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  4. So happy to read apotheek post from you!!! Missing the ‘ 2 slow speeds ‘ mails popping up in my mail with new adventures! Happy to read you found Some balance being hope again but also happy to read Aboutaleb new travel plans!! Can’t wait to read them in the future 🙂 Merry Christmas, Happy New Year with the dame good health 🙂
    Daphne and Ron – Chiang Mai

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  5. So happy to read a post from you!!! Missing the ‘ 2 slow speeds ‘ mails popping up in my mail with new adventures! Happy to read you found Some balance being home again but also happy to read about Some new travel plans!! Can’t wait to read them in the future 🙂 Merry Christmas, Happy New Year with the same good health 🙂
    Daphne and Ron – Chiang Mai

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  6. Hello! We are missing the frequent blogs too but pleased to hear that Anthony’s health has improved. It must be strange to be home and grounded after all that travelling but I can understand that you might miss the excitement of the open road and meeting so many different cultures. I have a feeling you will be off again before long! In the meantime , enjoy Christmas and that Aussie sunshine, think of us in grey skies and have a fabulous 2016 XX 🎅🎄❤️❤️

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    • It is funny but we have missed our blog too, missing hearing from our faithful followers. Hope your grey skies at least bring some fun snow. Here’s a little sunshine from sunny Queensland xx🌞😎🎄😘

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  7. Well I’d actually emailed to find out what was happening. You both seemed to vanish in the night, I’didn’t miss you but the lack of blogs was too much to bear. If while you’re clearing out you find any gold Rolex’s swing them my way and I’ll look after them until you change your mind, or I sell them. I picture many nights of you both huddled together reminiscing minor details of your epic voyage. At least that’s what I seem to be doing.
    A happy and prosperous new year to you both.

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    • At least the lack of posts means you couldn’t be mean to me so often!! Thank you for your email 😊. I am afraid you will be waiting a long time for that gold Rolex from us! Have a great 2016.

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  8. Perhaps the last chapter in the book you are yet to write describing your adventures is about de cluttering, that would make it a best seller for sure!

    As I have said before, welcome home.

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    • Thanks John. Decluttering is definitely easier said than done! Even when you have become more detached from material possessions. Will remember about that last chapter 😊. Happy new year!

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  9. Anne and Anthony,

    So glad you are back home and doing well! But it sounds like your next trip may not be too far distant! We will look forward to that, also. Thanks for your photos from home, and your 35 year old Christmas tree seems to be no worse for wear.

    All the best for 2016,

    Bob & Pam

    P.S. We had 10 inches of rain in North Texas on Thanksgiving weekend!

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  10. Wonderful to know that restful space called home has welcomed you back even with it’s call to be cared for. Look forward to seeing you both and the minimalistic haven. Like others have said we lived vicariously through your travels which was amazing fun, lots of learning and sheer admiration for your intrepidness. Wishing you both a fabulous fun-filled 2016 and good health and happiness in all the years ahead! xxx

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  11. Another beautiful piece of prose; no one would ever believe that you didn’t learn English at school. Bravo, tiote! You have both achieved what most people can only ever dream of doing and I could almost feel your excitement as the plane arrived over Manly and there below was your home waiting to welcome you back. A very happy Christmas to 2slowspeeds and a happy and healthy year ahead. xx

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    • Who would have thunk, hey?! Yes, seeing our home from the air was a great feeling, always immediately tinged with a bit of sadness because we are so far away from you. Thank you for your great xmas card. Merry Christmas and see you soon. 😘

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  12. I’m glad you had such an amazing adventure without any of the major mishaps that can happen on such travels. And you didn’t even need to practise your tyre changing skills once as I recall! We look forward to catching up with you again in 2016.
    Welcome home! XX.

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    • We realise how incredibly lucky we were. You are right, we never had to go through the tyre repair you taught us. Streak got one puncture which we plugged and I rode for a further 5000kms before we needed new tyres. Thank you for your newsy letter – love the Folly!!! Hope to see you next year. Xx

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  13. So enjoyed reading all you have felt about returning home. Perhaps you can come and help us declutter; we aren’t very good at it and although we have moved into a smaller house and thought we had got rid of a lot of “stuff” we still have too much. We enjoyed your travels almost as much as you did and hope there are more in your pipeline. We would love to see you in the UK too, soon. Love Mike and Jill

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