Oh, hey! It’s me, Lisa, and I’m still alive. I arrived back home three weeks ago, and it’s been a hectic few weeks. But if I was pressed to tell you what’s happened in all that time, I couldn’t give you a great answer. It’s all been quite a blur.

I thought going home would be easy. After six months of every day being a new adventure full of unanticipated situations and meeting new people, I was looking forward to returning to my routine: get up, go to work, go work out and play ultimate, go hang out with friends, etc. Nothing to it, right? Easy peasy. Except…

Home isn’t quite what it used to be. The people and places are still the same, but my situation isn’t. Instead of living on my own in Denver, I am staying in my brother’s basement outside of the city in Golden. I don’t have a job I need to wake up for and schedule my life around (yet). I am out of shape and am having to work even harder than I used to just to be able to keep up with my teammates at practice.

But that’s not to say home isn’t wonderful, because it is. The initial two weeks were a daze spent in a mad dash of fossil fuel guzzling trying to see as many of my friends again as possible. I’m not sure why I put such urgency on hanging out with so many people since I am back indefinitely, but I guess I missed everyone more than I knew. I still haven’t seen all my friends and family yet, but I’m working on it.

Apart from my circumstances being different, how hard could it really be to go back to the life I’ve known for so many years? Apparently, really, really hard. In the first several days, I forgot my ID card to go drinking at least four times, left my keys on the trunk of my car for hours at practice one day, and couldn’t remember how to road-rage. The lady working the checkout stand at the grocery store lectured me on how to use my credit card (wtf is this ICC reader thing?!), and I attempted to use an ATM card that has been expired for TWO YEARS.

Somehow, I thought I would be able to come back from a life-changing adventure and immediately return to my previous life with no adjustment period. Oh, Lisa… You silly bitch. There’s definitely a different mindset for traveling that I had gotten used to, and now I have to switch back to the living-in-America mindset.

I do have some accomplishments I’d like to mention:

  • I have mostly re-acclimated to living at altitude, although I came scarily close to puking after running intervals yesterday (affectionately known on our team as “pulling a Stege.”)
  • While in absentia at the monastery in Kathmandu, I was made president of my team so I’ve been handling a lot of the logistics to keep our team functioning. This includes re-doing our website which you should check out:
  • My adorable niece calls me “T.T.” because she can’t pronounce “Auntie” (she also calls the cat something like this, so I’m never positive if she’s talking to me or Whosit). I have already taught her a number of annoying habits that I’m sure will come back to haunt me shortly. I have really high hopes for her as an ultimate player — she already has developed some really good spikes including one where she bounces stuff off of my face.

A lot of people have asked me similar questions since I’ve returned, so I’ll briefly answer them here for anyone else who wants to know:

  • What was your favorite place?
    Vietnam. Closely followed by Myanmar.
  • What were your top three experiences?
  • Best food?
    Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia / Singapore
  • Do I miss traveling and wish I was still on the road?
    No. I absolutely love traveling and adventure, but I am so happy to be at home right now with my friends and family and playing ultimate. I know it’s cliché, but there’s no place like home, and I’m indescribably grateful for having a home life that can compete with a trip around the world. I have every intention of doing another long-term travel journey at some point, but not just yet.

A couple people have also asked me how I thought the trip has changed me or if it was a life-altering experience. I think it’s still too early to say precisely how I’ve changed, but I know I’m different. I haven’t noticed any dramatic differences, but it has enhanced two traits that were already present.

  • I am even more self-assured and confident. Not that self-esteem had been an issue before, but I’ve started to make peace with parts of who I am that I’ve previously struggled with.
  • I have always been a fairly laid-back person, but I think this journey has chilled me out even more. On the road, we are at the mercy of so many factors, and there is very little within our control. I learned to roll with everything that happened and adapt to the changing circumstances without freaking out and trying to control things. Towards the end of our trip, I was surprised when I noticed how little I stressed or worried about things and how strong my faith was that everything would eventually work itself out. A trip like ours has a way of giving people perspective: there is so much more to this world and our lives than the day-to-day grind that we often get mired in. No sense in sweating the small stuff.

So, what’s next?
It is highly unlikely that I will venture back out onto the road again after the ultimate season ends in October for a variety of reasons (money, offseason training, job expectations, etc). I will eventually start looking for jobs, though I’m fortunate to not have any immediate urgency in earning a paycheck. This gives me a chance to weigh my options: go back to IT, try out a new career, or pick up a filler job for a while. I’m incredibly excited about Molly Brown this season and am dedicating most of my time to being the best player I can be in spite of my lazy off-season.

I’m still working out a couple posts in my head to sum up the trip and finances and whatnot, so you haven’t heard the last from me yet. In the meantime, thanks to everyone who followed along on our journey, and keep reading to hear more stories from Matt-the-newly-solo-adventurer!

About lisa

28-year-old Asian-American hailing from Denver, Colorado, USA. Traveler. Adventurer. Ultimate frisbee player. Snowboarder. Photographer. Giffer. Blogger. Sarcastic / snarky / sassy comment-maker. Fond of eating, sleeping, and wandering.

One thought on “re-entry

  1. Coming home is the hardest part. It is never the same, even though it is. I wish you the best of luck with the transition, but also know that you should be fine. Having Molly B should carry you through is clutch.

    Almost all of the people that I know that have been successful at regular long term traveling gigs have a stable home in the states. They head out and travel for 3-6 months, maybe rent their place out, and then come home to their same place. They have the stability of knowing they always have home. Something about that sets them free to roam more. It would have given me a stable base to work from.

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