Take Aways

 

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We traversed over 56,000 miles via 31 flights, 13 ferries, and countless trains, buses, taxes, and other vehicles. Saw 39 countries on five continents. It was rewarding, tough, fun, and painful. I’m grateful on many levels that we had the opportunity to pull it off. There were some takeaways for me:

 

 

Travel Stuff

  • I missed biking, drinking out of faucets, and eating salads whenever I wanted. I really didn’t miss much else.
  • Travel is hard and wouldn’t recommend it for everyone.
  • Incredibly thankful to friends and family who hosted us while traveling and amazing people who we met along the way.

Me Stuff

 

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Beach Restaurant, Gili Air Island, Lombok, Indonesia.  NOTE: beautiful wife and always appropriate awesome teenage hand gesture

 

  • Turning “it” off for 8 months is something I would recommend for anyone who can pull it off. “It” being able to take a break from the nonstop work and stresses of life in the U.S.
  • It was amazing to turn off the cell phone. No calls and texts for 8 months was heavenly and liberating.
  • Likewise, being cut off from my work email was a luxury. Thank you to the City of Lakes Community Land Trust Board of Directors and work colleagues for making this happen!
  • Learning a bit more about what makes me tick will give guidance to me setting some work rules for myself moving forward.
  • I feel better for the perspective I’ve gained and am far more comfortable with “being off-balance” and with “change” after traveling.
  • Incredibly thankful to friends and family who hosted us while traveling and amazing people who we met along the way.
  • While it sucked losing Sarah (wife) when she returned to the States in early February, I will forever cherish the 2 ½ months of solo travel with Max (16 yr. old son). A phenomenal opportunity that few dads have….I’m hopeful he’ll come around to thinking it wasn’t a drag.

 

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Avoiding the sun and thousands of people. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

World stuff

The world is increasingly smaller and we (all people of the world) are far more similar than different.

The United States is far more racially, culturally, and ethnically diverse than most of the world. Sure…we have huge pockets of homogeneity, but by-in-large we are so much more diverse than the rest of the places where we traveled.

Likewise, the real struggle and pain we are experiencing with racism here in the United States feel like they are unfortunately decades ahead of the rest of the world. Unfortunately, yes…unfortunately, it felt like much of the world would like to pretend racism isn’t an issue, but it was easy to see it playing out daily while traveling.

It’s ok to be constructively critical of our shortcomings in the United States. We have significantly slipped as a nation and need to seriously look in the mirror to see how we can improve.

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Waiting for a shuttle bus. Auschwitz, Poland
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4 thoughts on “Take Aways

  1. Jeff!
    Excellent round up. Asking, “What have I learned and/or What have we learned?” You all were away long enough to train your brains to lessen the urge to see only the contrasts between humans and recognize the vast amount of similarities.

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  2. Love the post Jeff. It is very insightful. We get so caught up in the day to day that we lose the big picture. The only way to do that is to shut things down and that is hard to do but oh so valuable if you can do it. I am proud of what you, Sarah and Max have accomplished.
    Steve

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  3. Congratulations. Welcome home. Best of luck as you reverse culture shock. Enjoy salads! Ditto to much of what you’ve written. Glad you all blogged during your travels. I enjoyed sharing in your experience. Maybe see you on the farm!

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