A Travellerspoint blog

A Powerful Craving...not quite satisfied

So over the past year Baylie and I have gone back and forth between loving our beautiful comfortable home and being bored out of our minds with the drudgery of our normal routine. Shawn has been perfectly happy of course, because the truth is his life has never had much drudgery or routine anyway. So back in November, while Shawn was busy proving he could still ride dirtbikes and jetskis with guys half his age, I decided to let Baylie plan us a trip. Her requirements...PURE vacation. Beach every day, no tours or "excursions", no ruins, museums, or education in any form. Good plan, I thought! So after a tiny bit of research we settled on Cozumel for a quick Spring Break getaway.

Unfortunately, it proved to be too quick. When you only get five days, two days of gale force winds is kind of a vacation killer. There were some great things about the trip, but it just flew by too fast. Our visions of snorkeling every day and lounging for hours on the beach just did not happen. We salvaged these days with some marathon walks around town and shopping for snacks at the grocery store - both activities that immediately transported us back to our travel mind set, but we just didn't get that vacation escape we were looking for.

Something else that eluded us all week was amazing cheap food. Shawn had visions of taco carts dancing in his head from the last time he was riding in Baja, but he never found their match in Cozumel. Of course we knew there would be the strip of tourist restaurants - it is a cruise ship port after all. But we ventured well off the tourist track and still never found the convoy of street vendors we were hoping for. We did manage to find a couple of tiny little places with some good food, but that combination of super flavor and super cheap never materialized.

Ok, I am done complaining about paradise! The trip was fine. It just didn't scratch the travel itch. Luckily Baylie and I already have our next little leap in the works. Guatemala here we come...
Cozumel 004

Cozumel 004

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20130326_163331

Posted by Pelham Family 08:37 Archived in Mexico Comments (2)

The End...until next time!

(Sorry it took so long to "finish")

I really did intend to finish off this blog with some sort of final entry, but once we got back it seems like "real life" just washed over all of us. So today I decided to really think back on the trip and come up with some conclusions. When we decided to come home after only seven months of travel I truly felt defeated and could not stop thinking of it as a failure. But now I see it as "Seven Whole Months of Travel" and I have come to the realization that it wasn't a failure at all. I am extraordinarily proud of what we did and even though I may have waffled a bit at first when people asked, "Was it worth it?" I have no hesitiation now when I say, "Absolutely!" Personally I actually feel different, as if all that cultural exposure actually did change me in a few ways. And when my wonderful daughter, who is about to turn 13, says that there is nothing she wants for her upcoming birthday because she feels "totally and completely happy with everything in her life" I have to believe that seeing the world has had an effect on her too.

Everyone has asked us, "What was your favorite place?" And I really did think that the final entry would be a list of favorites from each of us. That would have been pretty easy to do (Nicest people: Turkey, Most beautiful: Thailand, Favorite food...etc.), but since we have been home I think our reflections are actually a little more complicated than that. The place we talk about the most, by far, is India. It clearly made the biggest impression on all of us and is the source of most of our travel stories. Not one of us would have put anything about our three weeks there on a list of favorites! But looking back, I am so thankful that we went there and took on the challenge of really travelling in that most bizarre and foreign place. In retrospect, Europe was nice...but India was intense! Of course we loved Thailand, but to be honest Thailand is so easy you really can't brag about surviving three weeks or even three months in Thailand...it's paradise after all.

There is something very different about long term travel and I can't wait to do more. Of course it's a different perspective from your regular life at home, and it is also a very different perspective from a one-week vacation or an organized tour. We loved it and even though we came home broke and essentially homeless (at least until we can get back into our house in July!) it was the most valuable experience of our lives and worth every sacrifice.

See you right back here on this site just as soon as I can figure out a way to take off for South America!

Posted by Pelham Family 19:53 Archived in USA Comments (6)

Sorry, we told a bit of a fib...

Surprise, Mom!

Well, Shawn was having a strong need to get back to his businesses, Baylie was feeling pretty homesick, and I was finally forced to admit that we were basically out of money. So a few weeks ago my sister and I started working on a plan to surprise Mom with our very early homecoming. Erin invited Mom along on a day-trip to Disneyland (not a hard sell since my Mom is a bit of a Disney nut and going with her two little grandsons is something she would never pass up). Our big plan was to have them stop for a picture in front of the castle and we would magically appear to join in the picture. It worked out exactly as planned and there were screams, laughter, and tears all around.

Of course the fun of a surprise homecoming only lasts so long and then you realize, "Oh...we're home. Now what?" It's proving to be a harder transition than I expected.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who followed us along the way. It was a great feeling to know that we had a link to a familiar reality while we were jumping off into the unknown! I want to try to get Shawn and Baylie to help me with one last entry of each of our favorite things, what we each learned along the way, and the discoveries that will stick with us from now on. After that I guess this blog will sit idle until I can finally make it to South America (which might be sooner rather than later!) In the meantime, if anyone is planning an extended journey I would be happy to in my two cents and also follow your trip since mine is done.

:) Leslie

Posted by Pelham Family 08:10 Archived in USA Comments (6)

That Shawn is a pretty cool guy

I don't say this often, and it may be awhile before I say it again, so listen carefully...my husband can be pretty amazing. He has been driving around a foregn country for the last month and today he took us right through downtown Bangkok and never even flinched. We were pretty hopelessly lost for a while but his confidence was unshakeable. Of course I was white-knuckle most of the time and I may have yelled a few choice things once or twice, but I am still impressed.

Posted by Pelham Family 14:51 Comments (3)

Slip Slidin' Away

Today we found the Black Mountain Waterpark. It was outstanding! It's a brand new place and we had it almost all to ourselves. The waterslides were great and the place was just beautiful. A big hit with all three of us.

A few days ago we went to a little ""forest park" between Cha Am and Hua Hin planning to have a picnic, but we got caught in a torrential downpour while hiking on the nature trail. Still a lot of fun! There was a sign that said "Gibbon" with an arrow pointing down the path. Baylie and I cracked up because we couldn't imagine that the gibbons just sat around in the same spot all the time. But we rounded a corner, saw the Gibbon sign, and sure enough there they were just hanging in the trees right in front of the sign.

Speaking of odd signs, we often see yellow road signs that say something in Thai, then underneath have a translation that says "Accident Ahead". These are permanent signs, so I think perhaps something has been lost in the translation! We can't quite figure out what they are supposed to say :)

We have had a long time to notice tons of quirky translations, inconsistent spellings, etc. One little thing that drives Shawn absolutely crazy is the music. We hear American music everywhere; current pop, rock classics, oldies, you name it. But it is NEVER the original artist. Every single song is always a re-make. Often a very bad re-make, and almost always much more "bubble gum" sounding. It is bizarre!

Only eight more days until a 20 hour travel day...then Buenos Dias, Buenos Aires! Woo hoo Argentina!

Posted by Pelham Family 04:12 Archived in Thailand Comments (2)

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