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There's No Place Like Home!

Our epic journey through South America was coming to an end. We spent the morning enjoying a late breakfast and strolling the streets of Buenos Aires. We arranged for a late checkout and then caught a taxi to the airport.

We boarded a plane in Buenos Aires at 8:00 p.m. for the overnight flight home. We landed in Atlanta 6:00 a.m., went through customs, and boarded the short connection flight to New Orleans. We had landed in New Orleans before 9 a.m.

The last leg of our journey was Amtrak from New Orleans to Jackson, MS. We had a few hours before our train home, so we did what anyone would do when in New Orleans, we went in search of brunch. We both have a list of foods from home that we are craving. Ol had crab cakes, and it was too early in day for crawfish, so I had shrimp and grits and an incredible Bloody Mary, my first in nearly eight months!

The train ride home was a wonderful and relaxing way to reflect on our journey. It was made even better, by running into our dear friend Rob McDuff. We were happy to exchange stories with Rob as springtime landscapes of rural Louisiana and Mississippi passed by the windows. We shared with Rob our South American exploits and plans for the future. Rob caught us up on his family and his legal exploits.

For Ol and I our eight months in South America was a retirement Beta test. Would we get each other’s nerves? Could we be away from our families and friends for an extended period of time? Would we get homesick? Could Ol be away from southern food and biscuits? Peanut butter? We have read stories of people redefining retirement by traveling the world. Could we also do something like that?

What we were surprised to discover is that we weren’t ready to come home yet. We both loved indulging in our passions, Ol his photography and for me, my love of travel. If it wasn’t for our children, our families, and our home we would have been happy to stay on the road. Before meeting Rob, we were already debating the when and where of our next journey.

We have decided that we want to continue to explore the rest of this big wonderful world and this lifestyle has worked for us. Technology has made the world a smaller place. We have learned that we were able to keep up with family and friends through computers, communication apps, and cell phones.

We were even able to spend quality time with our children by flying them to visit us for the Christmas holidays. We know that in case of emergency we can get back home from almost anywhere on earth in 24 hours.

When we got home there was a lot of work to be done. Maintenance, cleaning, and yard work were on the schedule. It only took a couple of days in the yard for me to get a bad case of poison ivy. This only reinforced the only thing that I didn’t enjoy about our trip, keeping up with our home while we were gone. As I lay there covered with itchy bumps I decided that I needed to convince Ol to sell the home we both love. It was easier than I thought. After two days of working in the yard, he too is ready to downsize. This is not how we want to spend our retirement.

I find it ironic that after traversing through remote areas of South America including tropical jungles, I only had a few mosquito bites. Yet, being home for 24 hours and I look like I have small pox! I am extremely allergic to poison ivy, but thankfully after shots, creams and pills I was finally well enough to spend time with friends and family. We were so excited to meet the newest member of our family our great-nephew Cooper!

So after spending time on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we headed to Oxford. We were home only a few days but we felt like we met kindred spirits in the owner's of theThe Taylor Inn where we spent a wonderfully romantic evening after dinner at Taylor Grocery and a night out at Grit.

We are glad to be home and we still have lots of family and friends left to visit. I have spent days feasting on crawfish and Reeses and Ol has had every type of PoBoy and several jars of peanut butter. We are ready for our next adventure but we now know that we need more time to get everything settled before we venture off again with no worries.

So while we plan this next chapter of our lives, we want to write a few posts reflecting on the our time in South America. We are planning posts on the beautiful and welcoming people we met, the incredible sights, the things we loved, our gear, and travel tips based upon experience. In the meantime we welcome questions, comments, and ideas for future blog posts.

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