Sunday, May 22, 2011

Why we came home

My 277 day RTW trip ended the way it started, with someone vomiting on an airplane. On our flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, it was my seatmate, 4-year-old Cynthia. Luckily for him, Greg was on the opposite side of the plane, almost out of sight. Here's my blog post about the first day of our trip. Coming home, on the flight from Atlanta to Nashville, it was ME!!!
us at Nashville airport on 31July2010
Amazingly, I don't think Greg or I threw up at any other time during the entire trip. So it figures that I would get a headache as we descended into Atlanta on our flight from Brussels, which quickly turned into a migraine as we processed through immigration and customs. By the time we boarded the flight to Nashville, I had already taken my prescription Zomig. I was assigned to the last row on the DC-10 where there are no windows. These long, narrow-body aircraft have a tendency to bounce and weave (which is magnified for anyone seated behind the wings) as they taxi to the runway. That roller coaster sensation was the icing on the cake for me. Luckily, the woman seated next to me (Greg was across the aisle and a couple of rows forward), was very motherly, and the two flight attendants, seated right behind me, were also very compassionate and didn't hesitate to help.
Greg on the Thalys train from Paris to Brussels
Honestly, neither one of us was really ready to come home. We had been talking about it for several weeks and ultimately decided (while in Brussels) that we were tired and needed a break from traveling. We'd both been sick since we left India, me with actual illness of some variety (first a sinus infection, then bronchitis, then sinus congestion, then a severe sore throat), Greg primarily suffered with allergies that eventually morphed into a sinus infection. But traveling in Europe in early spring is really wonderful otherwise so we were both disappointed to miss the opportunity to take advantage of our location and the beautiful weather.
beautiful Bruges, Belgium
As I mentioned in my last post, we also found Europe to be quite hard on our wallets (or, more accurately, Greg's wallet). From the time we landed in Italy to the day we flew home, the dollar lost almost 10% of its value against the euro. Europe, at least the cities we visited, is not exactly a budget destination in the first place!

Greg totes his budget breakfast/lunch sandwich in Bruges
Our decision as to when to come home was also influenced by which European cities offered the best airports for flying back to the U.S. on standby (using my mom's Delta employee flight benefits). Brussels was one of our top choices due to the ease of getting to the airport using public transportation as well as daily Delta-operated flights to both New York City and Atlanta. Seat availability on our target dates (the 4th, 5th or 6th of May) also looked very good. With a little bit of luck, we not only got on the flight from Brussels to Atlanta on May 4th, we got to sit in Business Class! Definitely not a bad way to finish up the trip, even if I didn't do so well on the final leg.
I didn't take a photo of us in Business Class, but this is what the seats look like
I know many of you are probably wondering what's next for us. For now it's resting & relaxing in Nashville, TN, and catching up with our families & friends. I will write about some possible options in a future post but it's nice to not have to plan anything for the moment!
my mom's "shrine" to our RTW trip

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