Hard to believe we’re home. After nine months and 15,000 miles between Alaska and Argentina, the three of us have reunited with family and friends in North Dakota. Daily showers, home-cooked food, fast cars, and comfy clothes are just a few of the wonders of life that we are growing re-accustomed to. Meanwhile, the inevitable question lingers over us: “What’s next?” We have been sharing our story with local media and we are so thankful for the outpouring of support that we have received since stepping off the airplane from Buenos Aires. To be honest, we’re all a little worn out and looking for a few days of time off with family. Our sister’s graduation day was a special time for us to be home.
In time, we’ll announce our plans to tour the state of North Dakota and Minnesota by bicycle. We have many speeches and presentations about our 15,000 mile journey to deliver this summer. David will look forward to college this fall. Nathan is hopeful for employment in music teaching. I am preparing for Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. Somehow all this bicycling doesn’t help with pull-ups.
After months of life by bicycle, perhaps the hardest thing about coming home is the speed of an airplane. We saw landscapes drift by at the steady, measured pace of our Surly Trolls. We crossed international borders and mountain ranges and deserts in a manner that allowed us to acclimate to the steady changes and regional differences of the Americas. Our airplane brought us across the same distance in one redeye flight from Buenos Aires to Atlanta, and beyond to North Dakota. Stepping off the plane in Fargo, ND, we couldn’t help but feel like we’d been hastily transported to a foreign country. We noticed especially the new cars filling the streets and the enormous homes that were so unremarkable to us before traveling abroad. There is much we’ll never take for granted again, now that we are finished. We’ve been changed in profound ways by what we have experienced, and we look forward to sharing that with local communities in the months ahead.