Today was our official last day of the trip. Boy, that is a heavy sentence, isn’t it? Official. Last. Day.
As far as “lasts” go, the last day of a 10-month around-the-world honeymoon isn’t one of the best lasts that happen in your life. It’s not like “last day of sixth grade” or “last day with braces” or “last day of work” or “last compulsory blog post writing.” (Kidding, kidding! Sort of.)
I think Kevin and I both expected some extreme culture shock arriving in the United States, which would only have served to make our “last day” even more markedly last, but we didn’t really. Kevin tried to salvage our shattered expectations by pointing out things that were different. “Can you believe we have to pay FIVE dollars to leave the airport?” he asked, outraged, as we left JFK. “We never have to wait for more than five minutes in other cities’ subways,” he grumbled as we sat for ten minutes waiting for the A train. “Hey, look, it’s Wendy’s! We haven’t seen Wendy’s since we left the States!” when he saw another rider bring a Wendy’s bag onto the train.
But despite all of Kevin’s attempts to make me feel otherwise, I still felt like we were on the road. After all, we might have been in New York City, but we still weren’t home. We were still wandering around the streets of a city in our same clothes, carrying our same backpacks. We were still getting shouted at by people trying to sell us stuff. We were still traveling.
And that feeling didn’t leave me all day, as we hung out our friend Rachel’s apartment during our long layover, as we found our way out of the city and to LaGuardia, as we sat patiently and waited for our delayed flight to Columbus to take off – and even after we touched down in Columbus. Hey, we’re still Kevin and Zhou, world travelers! We’re on an adventure!
But when we saw Mom and Dad Curry drive up in their loaner car with a giant “‘08 CERTIFIED PREOWNED” splashed across the front windshield, it gave me a jolt. We weren’t going to be “Kevin and Zhou, world travelers” anymore. We’re just going to be Kevin and Zhou.
We aren’t quite home yet, and we won’t be for another few months, but we’re on our way. It’s sort of a limbo time for us, and there are definitely a lot of mixed feelings. On the one hand, what is sweeter than coming back and being able to spend time with all of the people you love and who love you? What’s better than being greeted by your own small Christmas tree with tons of Christmas presents underneath it in the middle of the summer? (Not much, I’ll tell you that.) But on the other hand, now we’re just “Kevin and Zhou, normal people.” We’re not going to wake up in a different country every few weeks. We’re not going to pinch ourselves every other day and say, “Can you believe we’re doing this?” We won’t have to navigate through other countries without understanding a word of the language. We won’t have constant stomachaches anymore. Instead, we’re going to find a place to live. We’re going to hang out with our friends. We’re going to eat too much popcorn (me) and watch too much sports (Kevin). We’re going to get a puppy.
A puppy! You know, when it comes down to it, I think “Kevin and Zhou, normal people,” are going to be pretty darn happy.
Hi everyone. I’m sorry to say that NHC, international edition, has come to an end. We’ve both enjoyed writing this blog (well, we enjoyed it 90% of the time), and we hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. Though this will be our last daily blog post, we do have several wrap-up entries that we’ll be writing and posting sporadically over the next few weeks (budget overview, stat contest, etc.). We’re not entirely sure yet what the fate of NHC will be after that, but please stay tuned for updates.
Thanks for your comments and emails, and most of all, thanks to all of you for reading.