Ok . . . well . . . I don’t know what else to say other than, “IT’S OVER”!
We didn’t plan it this way but this is our 100th blog . . . we never imagined we would reach that number. “How do you measure a year” is saying we used throughout the last 12 months because it came from one of our family theme songs “Seasons of Love” from the play “Rent”.
We are in Wisconsin now spending some fun time with our families . . . Kendal and Keegan love nothing more than hanging out with their extended families and laughing till they can’t breath. They are working out with a swim team and are loving being back in the pool and making new friends again. I’ll be heading home to start back up with work and Amy and the kids will stay up north for a while longer to enjoy more time with family and the great summer weather in Wisconsin.
Thank you all so much for coming with us on our journey and sending all your well wishes . . . even though this blog at times (many times) became laboring we were motivated to keep writing knowing you were on the journey with us and we were enjoying the world together. Thank you to the countless people around the world that embraced us as friends and helped to make our trip an adventure of a lifetime – the friendships you gave us are truly priceless. Finally, a special thank you to all our host families that so graciously opened their homes and shared their lives with us – we will never forget your hospitality; know that you have lead by example and that your incredible generosity has taught us the true meaning of “unconditional giving”.
Amy, Kendal and Keegan all had their ‘it’s over’ sad moment back in Australia, mine didn’t hit until California (and more than once). To have my family all together in that beach house, grilling steaks on the deck, watching the movie ‘The Bucket List’ and looking out onto the ocean was a site I will never forget (like so many, many moments during this year) and it reminds me again to be thankful for “Right Here and Right Now” because you never know what the future holds. Looking over this years pictures at all the places we visited over the last 12 months is very surreal and makes us all really appreciate this adventure. This year has been incredible and one of the best decisions Amy and I have ever made . . . to have this year together to travel around the world, I’m not sure what we could ever do to show our gratitude other than very humbly use what we’ve learned from these travels to try and be better people. Maybe to be ambassadors and to explain how small our world is and how people on the other side of our world, in completely different cultures, all seem to want the same things; to give love, to be loved, to be happy, to provide for their children and to live an honest and meaningful life. If we can do at least one thing and that is to share how great the people of our world are and how we are all Gods children then maybe, just maybe, we can all find the strength to have more patience and tolerance for each other to allow us all to love each other just a little more.
Here’s to Right Here and Right Now!
May 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm
Nicely put, Steve! What a great adventure, and we look forward to seeing you soon!!
May 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm
Here is to you and your beautiful family! Thank you for inviting me on your journeys with you over the past year! I will continue to teach our children that “we are all one great big family under the same stars! Regardless of our language, religion, food, skin color, or ethnicity we are all humans who love to be loved! The more we respect ourselves, the more we are able to respect our friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, and people all over the world!” Thank you for bringing happiness, stories, history, culture, smiles, memories, and tears to my eyes over the past year! I wish you all a wonderful return home!
May 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm
I wasn’t able to comment or read all of the posts but I followed you everywhere you went. I enjoyed it and to a certain degree wish we could do the same. Alas, sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. Living vicariously through you and your families adventures was just as fun. I’m glad you were able to do it and I’m glad I can now reference someone who did it. Welcome back to the western world and all it’s glorious imperfections and magical moments that you might have missed. Take your time getting your land legs back and we look forward to seeing you and the kids soon.
May 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm
PS…It was my goal to read and respond to each of your postings! I did it! I couldn’t wait to read the next post! Each one kept me looking for the next!
May 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm
Awww…we were sort of hoping for the Angeles reality show! Seriously, thank you for being so loyal in posting about your adventures; we had many vicarious thrills and recalled many memories when you reported on places we had visited. As you’ve realized, you’ve given yourselves a beautiful gift and we thank you for sharing it with us! Looking forward to seeing you all back in town…have a wonderful summer, Amy, Kendall and Keegan, and Steve, hope to see you running by as usual!!
Brian & Laura
May 30, 2012 at 10:33 pm
Laura and I have enjoyed, immensely, traveling with all four of you around the world. What an amazing time you folks had! We thank you for allowing us to tag along, vicariously, sadly. Would have loved to have been part of the adventure!
Brian & Laura
Mary Beth S
May 30, 2012 at 11:12 pm
Loved all your posts and pictures and adventures and observations! It has been delightful following you this year. Thank you for keeping up the blog even when it was a chore. What a blessing this trip has been! And just think of how much of a blessing it will be to be back in your own beds! MB
May 31, 2012 at 11:53 am
Beautiful comments on the end of your incredible year !! I have enjoyed sharing this journey with you and thank you for being so faithful with your blog – even when it was a “chore”. I admire all of you more than you will ever know !
June 1, 2012 at 11:13 am
Thank you for taking the time to share your incredible journey with us all! Ben and I both enjoyed keeping up with your travels and hearing about your experiences. We look forward to seeing you soon!
June 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm
thank you for sharing such an amazing opportunity with us. I feel the same as the other posters, and will kinda miss checking in on you guys…guess there’s no sense in posting about the boring trips to publix, the movies, mall, etc back in Naples, huh?!? See you soon!
June 19, 2012 at 9:48 am
It’s over?? How can that be. Although I followed your travels, and you covered a lot of ground, it still feels like you left yesterday. I just can’t believe it. And I can’t imagine how difficulit it was for Steve to head back to Florida on his own. But I am so thankful you guys have time with your familiy. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for taking me with you on your travels. It has been an absolute privledge and blessing to share in your journey. What a blast!! Our world is indeed very small. And it is now a better place given how many more people have met your incredible family. Thank you for giving so many people a taste of what Americans can be like We certainly don’t have the best reputation at times so you guys were a great example of what many of us strive for. I am so grateful for your faithful blogging – even when it was laborious – so appreciate all the detail and work that went into it. Maybe another year with a reality show is not a bad idea. You guys would be perfect for it. Love and Hugs to you all. Thankful for your safe return. With sincere appreciation, Donna
July 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm
Right here, Right now!! Love it!!
Thank you for this wonderful blog and for including all of us to follow along!! We really enjoyed seeing and experiencing the world through your eyes!! All of the amazing places, lessons learned and time you shared, are life long memories and you truly are blessed to have had this opportunity!! We are happy everyone is healthy and returned safely home (almost)!! Congratulations you did it!! Can’t wait to see you guys !! PS Steve – We really appreciate your dedication!!