Just a few days after passing the seven-month mark of our year-long plan to travel the world, we touched down in San Francisco and hopped over to Houston. It wasn't all the way back to Maryland, but in an important sense we had circumnavigated Earth.
It wasn't the end of our travels, though. In fact, we were planning five more months of travel. We were going to circle the globe again, in the opposite direction, by visiting Central and South America, East Asia, Turkey and possibly Eastern Europe before returning to Maryland. Whereas we left the U.S. on July 8 with every night of lodging and every mode of transportation booked through mid-February, plans for Round Two were a little looser. We had flights through early July, but only lodging and ground transportation booked through mid-April. First destination? The Galápagos Islands.
Sometime between leaving Auckland, New Zealand and arriving in the Galápagos we got some information that put the future of our travel plans in doubt. By the time we were back in Quito after our 8-day cruise, it was clear that we had only one week left before we had to return to the U.S. Costa Rica would be our last stop.
The week we spent in Costa Rica was great. We spent most of it in the Arenal area, checking out the wildlife, having adventures in the trees and on the rivers and lakes, and soaking in the hot springs. We also met up with an old Schlossnagle family friend. The weather was perfect. I don't think I could possibly ask for a better last stop.
Returning to the U.S. on March 1 was, honestly, not a happy event. Theo's company had called him back to work, but our house is not ready for us. We decided that the girls and I would head to Florida to visit family for a few weeks until we could get our things moved in. So, not only were we cutting the trip short, we were going to different cities. Even though it's not great, it's definitely the right thing; Theo can focus on work and getting the house set up with more ease if we're not there, and our days will be significantly more comfortable with family to dote on us and actual beds to sleep on.
I'm thrilled to be with my parents and looking forward to seeing more family and friends soon, and I'm definitely grateful for nearly eight months of world travel as a family. It's not the homecoming I envisioned, but it's a new day. A new adventure begins.