Going home after 9 months of travel and why it’s okay

Passports were stamped. Busses were ridden. Backpacks were packed, and unpacked, then packed again. 9 months of travel have gone by:

We’re going home. 

If we follow the online trend, this should be the post where we depressingly write about our panic attacks and how we’d rather spend our life bumming on a beach while eating Pad Thais because it’s the only way to live a rich and fulfilling life. Sorry to disappoint you, but that post is not coming.


Long term trips around the world are a wonderful thing and we’re very happy to see many people taking the plunge and setting their own adventure. But long term travel was never our goal and never will be. We miss cooking meals. We miss having a close circle of friends. Hell, we miss having our own couch and watching Mad Men in our underwear. And let’s be honest, we miss the adrenaline of a payday morning – direct deposit SAY WHAT! 

It’s no secret that we’re batshit nervous to return to Canada after 269 days of constant travel. For instance, summarizing an experience like this through small talk at a party is hell. Usually, I don’t even want to talk about my experience if I know the other person doesn’t genuinely care :

- So how was the trip?

- Er, well …

- Awesome! Did you watch the new Game of Thrones?

It’s one of the many hard parts of coming back home and we’re very well aware of it. There’s a lot more making us nervous: reverse culture shock, saving money again, job searching, reconnecting with friends, North American materialism (it’s dangerously contagious), COLD WEATHER. But we’ve decided to focus on the positive and look at our return to Canada as a blessing and taking these challenges as opportunities for another amazing year.


We love our blog. We think it’s pretty rad and we’re so happy with all the opportunities it’s brought us on this trip. But we’re not full time bloggers and don’t wish to be. There are people far better at marketing and advertising their blogs and that’s great. Us? We do it for the sole purpose of writing, sharing photos and conversing with fellow travel fanatics online. Sometimes perks come along and we’re grateful but we’re in no way solely depending on this.


When we return to Canada it’s back to working full time while updating our blog in the evening, just like we did before the big trip! Going back to the grind doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We come from a television production and writing background and we’re so excited to pursue new goals in our respective fields. Travel related work is also on the horizon as I’ve accepted a seasonal job working as a tour leader to help replenish our funds (we need money to travel some more BABY!) as soon as we return. The slate is clean, the opportunities are endless and THAT is exciting!

Friends, family

Matt and I are lucky to have awesome, kickass families and fantastic friends. Unfortunately for me, having traveled and moved around so much for nearly 7 years now, I’ve missed out on a lot. I’ve met amazing people to simply lose touch later as I venture abroad. I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends, being part of my best friend’s wedding, meeting my nephew in June and simply being present in my friends’ and family’s lives.


The travel doesn’t stop

So we’re buying a couch. And decorating an apartment. It’s not the end of the world and it certainly doesn’t mean the end of our travels! I’ve always had such admiration for people that manage to maintain a full time job and find the time to travel here and there. We just can’t wait to be part of that group! Québec City and Manhattan are on my horizon for this spring as I will lead tours to these destinations. We are also trying to pick where to go this fall (Chicago, Boston, NYC are contenders!) and are saving up to go to a destination wedding around Christmastime 2013. As for 2014, we’re looking at returning to France and hopefully a South American trip later in the year.

We have been on the road for 9 months. We’re going home and that’s okay. It simply means there’s a whole lot more waiting for us. Scary yes. Fun? Absolutely.

Now tell us, how do you cope with a return from a trip?

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  • http://twitter.com/TripsThatWork Irina

    I can’t agree more. Having a home with a couch is kinda nice. And let’s be honest, Canada is not the worst place to be :)) I would just wait until it gets a little warmer here :)))

    • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

      It’s so cold! I’m glad we didn’t get here for the peak of winter, I wouldn’t have been able to take it! Where in Canada are you?

  • Ryan Gibson

    Really good post. Honest and absolutely refreshing for the travel community. Not everyone has to quit their job and travel the world. Adventures and travels can be sustained by having a regular income and a great career. Super post.

    • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

      Thank you so much Ryan. I do get annoyed how this quit your job to travel is the ONLY message, often found. I love my career and travel as well, they can co-exist.

  • http://sparrowinspace.com/ Angela

    Good for you guys!
    This might sounds weird but I’m kind of jealous. We’ve been talking a lot lately about settling down again. We miss having a home, a kitchen, our own (clean!) toilet, having to put on a sweater, socks and more of those things. Instead of going home (or somewhere that could be home), we’re stuck traveling Malaysia and Indonesia for the next few months due to prior arrangements. It doesn’t sound like a bad thing but it is when all you want to do is buy a couch and wear socks. I miss socks.

    • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

      I TOTALLY GET YOU! I’m wearing socks right now and it’s quite amazing. When do you think you’ll make a decision on settling somewhere? I just got home and been finding my old clothes, such a treasure chest!

  • jouljet

    A great, and real post, guys!
    I have returned after just 2.5 months away this time, and in the same position – time to get my home Melbourne life back, my circle of friends, and fab social life. But I will miss the freedom of travel – although it’s just a bit of planning away, always!
    You just need to be ready to come home, which I am, and sounds like you are too! Looking forward to hearing how resettlement goes!

    • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

      I agree on the freedom of travel. I’ve only been home for 48 hours and I miss it already. But with time, I’m sure it’s the right decision! Good luck to you too!

  • http://www.thetravolution.com/ Cristina

    Oh my gosh! Congrats! What a journey of a lifetime you both had. It sounds like it’s the right time for you guys to return. It must have been a hard decision especially when you’re seeing and experiencing so many amazing things but you guys are just so positive. I can’t wait to see you both again!

    • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

      Thank you! Positivism is key or we’d drive ourselves nuts! Must admit, I teared up and my heart was racing once we landed in Canada, made everything ‘official’ which is hard. But in the long run, being home simply enables us for more travel! And YES you have to meet Matt!

  • Vanessa

    If the home in question is back to Ottawa, I have to say “Welcome Back!” Anita from TravelDestinationBucketList and I have founded a monthly meetup series of local travel/foodie bloggers, so please drop a line if you’d like to be added to our list. Basically, we eat. A lot! Safe travels and enjoy the rest of your time abroad. Vanessa (turnipseedtravel@hotmail.ca)

    • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

      Oh fantastic Vanessa, thank you! We have indeed moved back to Canada! I’ll be e-mailing you shortly! : )

  • http://www.fernandobiz.com/ FERNANDO

    Great post Caro. Loved your words about how much opportunities this blog has bought for you guys. I would highly recommend this blog to anyone who has a passion for traveling and lifestyle development. Btw who about you post some VBlog posts for us so it would a great visual experience for anyone who reads this awesome blog. Wish you all the best for you traveling and business development work.

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  • thetraveltester

    I’ve come back from such a long trip a couple times now, so your post is very recognizable. It must be great to be back home and see everyone again, and it the trip will only have made you stronger and more focussed on what you really like to do with your life, I know it has for me! Enjoy your time home, and who knows what will come on your path next. BTW, loved this post and added it to my new series of Inspirational lifestyle & travel stories.

  • Lost&Found

    The impossible small talk after you return. Yup – impossible. I wish I had found you while you were on the road – ah well next trip. Also I love the lack of B.S. in your writing.

    Come to Chicago! It wants you here.

  • http://www.thetravelhack.com The Travel Hack

    Awesome post. I did the same thing 3 years ago when I came home after 2 years travelling. I admit that it was tough at first but it was so nice to have a home and be surrounded by family and friends and the travel definitely didn’t stop!
    Travelling full-time is fun but it becomes so tiring after a while and I love having a base to call home. I sometimes get swept up in all the travel bloggers who ‘quit their jobs to travel the world’ but home is definitely where I want to be right now.

  • jillacox

    I’m one week away from heading home after a 10 month long trip. I totally get what you are saying here. This trip firmed up for me that I don’t want to be one of those people out there traveling full time. I definitely miss the same things you cited: a close circle of friends, personal space, and all that. I hope you’re transition back to Canada is going smoothly.

  • http://onajunket.com/ On A Junket

    Couches make life comfortable, and they are also a great place to tell your adventures…but if the person isn’t really interested you can always watch some GOT on it!

    Enjoy life back. Be careful of the travel withdrawls.

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