28 Days Later

Despair.  Agony.  Devastation.  Mind numbing depression. We boarded the plane in São Paulo expecting the worst.

Returning to life?

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.

Mixed emotions on the plane home

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.

Our home on the plains

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.

Over and Out

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!

8 thoughts on “28 Days Later

  1. Love it!!! You guys  have got it absolutely correct! After our RTW we came back irreversibly changed and knowing that this was not “the trip of a lifetime” because our life had become about reaching further to do what others only dream about and here we are, now planning our very own Pan Am. Hope you keep updates coming as you get back into life in the USA and plan your next wildest idea. My vote is still for you to head to Africa – lol, in case that matters!

  2. Wonder if you realize that you are both guilty of polluting many minds with aspirations and lofty journeys..

    We can only thank you for your self less contribution to the world of freedom and the rainbows of ones mind.

    Wishing you a joyous and worthy life together.


  3. We enjoyed following along near the end of your adventure.  We’re anxious to visit the lakes in Argentina where you spent your last days.  Sounds incredible!  One more peaceful and serene place before we plunge into Asia!

  4. Hey guys! It’s your former Mendoza biking mates Nick & Rachel here. We have been home for 32 days now too so it was cool to read about your “re-integration”. We are going through it now, it has it’s highs and lows for us, but it sounds like you are really happy are assimilating nicely so there’s probably hope for us ;) I assume you have adjusted to showering indoors and are not still showering nekkid under the stars in front of your new neighbors (unless that’s normal in Nebraska, could be for all we know…) Anywho, take care you crazy kids. Glad we were able to share a piece of the adventure with you!

  5. I’m thrilled to have found your site! My husband and I plan on taking that very trip next year! In fact we leave our home in San Diego in 2 weeks to begin full time traveling! It’s great to see that other people have done this!!

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