Despair. Agony. Devastation. Mind numbing depression. We boarded the plane in São Paulo expecting the worst.
We quizzed our veteran overland friends on the homecoming and transition process. The general consensus was bleak. We just spent 15 months living out our wildest dream and the hangover from that sustained high was sure to be severe.
For the last three years our mission, mantra, purpose could be summed up in five letters: PAN AM. Once you board that plane, it’s all over.
We left a lot of ourselves out there on the road less traveled. Our egos and identities would be in dire need of substance. Like the first days on the PanAm we would be green and vulnerable.
Yet in place of the anticipated misery, we find ourselves oddly content. Serving up country coffee at the local diner and wrangling cattle under the warm Nebraska sun, you won’t find us without a smile. This new version of the United States that we left behind has us smitten.
Sipping coffee on our front porch in the morning we discuss the past journey and it fills us with immense joy and emotion. Heading south from San Francisco on that cold January morning in 2010 was the best decision we’ve made yet. It is changing our lives and our being in ways we are still becoming accustomed to.
A 22,000 mile self supported journey to the end of the world feels like a jumping off point for infinite adventure. The PanAm was just the first of many. Casually throwing around “impossible” ideas is our new normal.
For the first time we have a big crazy goal over and done. Accomplished. Behind us. Luckily we don’t need to talk about it, because we don’t. For whatever reason, everybody we run into is more concerned about our future than the trip. And that’s just fine with us because we are too.
Thank you for being a part of our journey. If you take just one thing away from PanAmNotes please let it be this: Stop whatever you’re doing and throw yourself at the wildest idea you can muster up. ¡Vamos!