We landed in Newark last night, to Melissa's dad's extreme surprise. That's our fault, Melissa's really, as she conspired with her Mom to surprise him with our return. I feel a little bad for John, getting tricked so badly by his family, but he agrees that this is a memory he'll have for the rest of his life.
Several people have wanted to know: "Why so soon?" No, nothing happened like a pregnancy, family issue or other big event, we were simply done with Central America and had as much long term travel abroad as we'd wanted for that trip. The goal was always 3-6 months and we got about a week past three months. This was triple my previous longest trip and a bit more for Melissa.
We'd started discussing an alternative to our "plan" in San Cristobal, when we'd been gone for over a month and a half and the constant travel started to wear on us for a bit. Melissa was ready to hang up the backpacks and go back for good but didn't want to sell the trip short. Both of us went back and forth between wanting to push through and see many more countries, and head back sooner than planned to the comforts of America. Backpack travel is hard, I think doubly so in your mid-thirties.
So in San Cristobal after one particularly hard day we discussed the possibility of splitting the portion abroad into two phases and returning earlier for our cross-country USA road trip earlier. The pros for this were substantially better weather in the USA (September and October rather than November & December), our friends and family will have more free time to see us without the intensity of the holiday season, and we potentially get two shorter trips abroad rather than one long endurance journey.
The cons were that there is a substantial chance that we either won't want to go to South America after our roadtrip, or won't be able to afford it. Also it's a bit more expensive to fly back and forth and extra time but that's a smaller consideration since we usually find good prices or travel on points.
In the end, we took the risk of not making it back out in order to get home, see family, finally be able to speak English, pay with credit cards, get a good shower and night's sleep and just be comfortable and relaxed for a while. I know I have been terrible at updating the blog and it may be too late at this point, but I'm going to finish it! For those who weren't on Instagram, we left Mexico for about 10 days in Guatemala and 10 days in Nicaragua, and flew out of Managua on Wednesday morning for an easy, uneventful flight home. I've rarely seen Melissa so excited as she was on the Newark tarmac as we taxied to the gate.
We're both glad to be home and around something familiar again. We have discussed at length our favorite things on the trip, the things we missed the most back home, the first foods we wanted to get a taste of again and activities to do in the states. I'm going to document those for posterity, before we forget how different Central America was! In the meantime, thanks to everyone who has supported us on the trip by following the blog and Instagram, asking about our travels, and especially to Melissa's parents for hosting us and all their endless generosity.
Now that I'm back in decent WiFi zones, I think I'll be able to finish up some of these posts that we started way back in Mexico...