Six Months of Next Stop: World

It’s been six months since a couple of young, wide-eyed kids hopped on a plane to Tokyo. Now those same travelers are hardened, world-weary shadows of their former selves. Well, actually, it’s not that bad (it just seems that way when you’re standing on the side of the road trying to flag down a bus, and you do, and it takes you to the wrong place and charges you full price- that happened today).

Karen and I were hoping that Next Stop: World would be a cascade of challenging new experiences… and boy is it: we’ve hiked a glacier, swum with sea turtles, eaten frog porridge, scrubbed an elephant, and partied with a Cambodian family. We’ve done some less fun stuff, too: checked into a Malaysian hospital, spent 12 hours on 7-hour bus ride, wondered if we’d have a hotel room thanks to Peter Jackson, and carried those damn backpacks what must amount to miles by now.

Cutting a couple countries from our itinerary took some of the heat off, but being on the road every single day is still wearing us down. Karen suggested a drastic change in plans. While I resisted at first, I must admit to feeling a sense of relief once we decided to do it: take a break back home.

Our new plan is to visit China in May with our good friends Chris and Angie, and then head home to Wisconsin for a couple months starting in mid-June. We’re looking forward to seeing family, reconnecting with friends, and planning the next leg of Next Stop: World without having to worry about booking a hotel for next Tuesday (although we will need to figure out where we’re going to stay in Milwaukee). We don’t want to shortchange our experiences in Europe and Northern Africa because we were too tired to read the guidebook. Our Milwaukee friends will notice that we’re coming home during the best weather months (that’s no accident), and we hope to get together with you to drink a beer and/or see a band at Summerfest and/or eat a creme puff.

But don’t look for us at La Fuente just yet! Once we’re finished in Thailand (our blog posts are a few weeks behind- we’re in Thailand now), we’re off to India and Nepal before meeting Angie and Chris in Hong Kong. There’s a lot to experience before we experience a hug from my nephew Nelson.

We’ll see if he still has the super-hugging-strength to wrestle me to the ground, like he did when we said goodbye six months ago.

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23 Responses to Six Months of Next Stop: World

  1. Laura says:

    Tearing up here! Lots of sweet hugs for you both from Andrew and Laura. Don’t forget the mid-July wedding! Yippee! In the past I would have space but since I’m GETTING MARRIED two more people will be shacking up with me! You are welcome to spend a night or two snuggling up with Lily in the basement if you need it!

    Road warriors also need a break!

    • Karen says:

      Oh yeah! Can’t wait to be around for the final preparations for your delightful day! I wanna help, so be sure to save a job for me. Weeeeeeee!

  2. Jennifer Rice says:

    I cannot wait to see you. Let us know if you need a place to stay. You are always welcome here.

  3. Shawn Owen says:

    So excited you will be back for a few months before heading out again!! Can’t wait to see you!! Jen an I are doing the Rock and Sole again if you feel so inclined 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Good for you gals running it again. I definitely need to get in better shape when I get home. Not so convinced about running though. It will be great to see you!

  4. Kristine "Maria" Yesbeck says:

    Very excited to see you both! You’re always welcome to stay in the hopping metropolis of Elkhorn!

  5. Pat says:

    Yay! We’ve missed you at family things. There’s just been a hole where you guys usually are.

    • Ken says:

      Aww, shucks, thanks Aunt Pat. We’ve missed seeing the gaggle of DeCabs too (there are so many of you nowadays!).

      Maybe we can have a summer party again this year. Gotta have squirt guns- those were great fun last time. See you soon-ish.

  6. Colleen Tadych says:

    Yeah! So excited you are going to be back for a few months in the summer before Round 2 of the World Tour. Looking so forward to seeing you both. We have 2 extra twin beds in our guest room with your names on them if you’d like to crash in New Berlin for a while.

  7. Margaret Trissel says:

    La Fuente? THE BEST! Would love to buy you a pitcher of margaritas!!!! Glad you are going to take care of yourselves…each day a new opportunity…

    • Ken says:

      I was just saying to Karen that we could take this opportunity to meet some of our until-now-virtual fans. Let’s make a date for margaritas when we get back!

  8. Mark Schaefer says:

    Sounds like a sensible plan. Does that mean we have to have a welcome home party for you, and another bon voyage party?… OK will do! I wish we had room for you… Come to think of it, our garage is probably more comfortable than the Wat, and the bugs are smaller.

    • Karen says:

      I don’t doubt your garage is nicer! Ha. I think we will keep the party-like gatherings small. We may need to get our friends used to us coming and going for awhile.

  9. Terri says:

    Virtual fan here – great that you are taking a break after China. Although I will miss your posts, very glad that you will be enjoying a few months at home. If you decide to meet friends and virtuals at La Fuente (or somewhere in the greater Milw area) I’m in!

    • Karen says:

      Sounds great! I am sure we will still be posting over the summer. Lots to process and share with everyone. It will be nice to meet you as well.

  10. Chris says:

    Would love you to be our first couch surfers!

  11. Marcy Hunter says:

    Oh, it will be so much fun to see you this summer! You’re coming back at the BEST time! You can absolutely stay here if you like. We miss you so much!

  12. Dee Braaksma says:

    Wow! Cool. Its exciting to think you’ll be back here in Wisconsin. You and Ken are welcome to hang out in Lake Mills. Spend some time with Mr. Wilson while I’m away at work. Anytime you need to stay, just let me know.

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