We've been home for just over a week now. Our stuff is out of storage and in our house again, we're cooking and eating delicious food - most of which is organic, drinking very few little bottles of exciting beer, sleeping in our amazingly comfortable bed, and watching Star Trek again - hooray! (Debs isn't so excited by that bit, but she's got reruns of ANTM instead, so...)
And over the past week we've met up with several hundred of our old friends and answered the same bloody questions each time: "What was your favourite place?", "did you get sick?", and of course, "was India really that bad?". (Answers: Laos/Japan/Fiji, not a lot, and yes).
Oh, and yes, haven't we lost weight and aren't we brown? Hearing this repeatedly isn't annoying at all, actually - keep saying!
So as a sanity-preserving measure for us, and a generally enlightening info-spang for everyone else, here is a round up of the highs and lows for the whole year:
Drowning when I was meant to be swimming with Manta Rays
The 18km trek in 35+ celsius conditions, Laos. 2L of water per person: "I'M TOO HOT!"
Puking in the sea, clinging onto our snorkelling boat's outrigger in Indonesia
Seeing friends and family throughout the trip
Watching the fatties stuffing their faces in Dennys, LA
Pinatas in Mexico
The amazing pottery in the Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
The Gibbon Experience - pretty much everything about it
Chili tofu in Indonesia - mmh! This meal turned me on to hot and spicy food
Songkran in Thailand with Joey and Debs
Everything about Japan, but especially the Giants baseball game at Tokyo Dome and the Thunder Dolphin rollercoaster ride, oh, and the 100 Yen shop.
Yoga in McLeod Ganj
Severe foot pain in NZ
Food in Laos: totally gross
A severe "stomach upset" in Chiang Mai, followed by a gruelling trek - oof!
Deb's constant whining about India ;-)
Palenque - beautiful ruins in an incredible setting - my favourite "big, impressive old buildings" experience in the whole world!
Mexican wrestling, especially when Debs moved from "Is he OK?" to "Break his legs! Kill him!"
Snorkelling in Fiji - sen-sational
Killer nights out in Wellington, NZ with our friends
Shelley and John's wedding in Batlow. Apparently I set the dancefloor on fire
Bogans in Australia, and my favourite new swear-phrase: "Get fucked!" - sounds especially good in an Aussie accent
Deb's comedy sayings, from confused babbling ("Have you been bitten by a bee?") to razor sharp improvisations which wouldn't make any sense here even if I explained them. "I cannon believe it" is now a catchphrase!
Tai Chi in McLeod Ganj
And for both of us, it was just brilliant being able to spend 24 hours a day with each other. Being back at home it's easy to become distracted by all the other attention-grabbing stuff and drift off into our own little worlds... there's no substitute for time and space and having to get through stuff together. We feel much closer to each other than before. Nauseating, ain't it?
In summary: we recommend doing this, it's awesome. We had our ups, we had our downs, and now we can look back over the whole thing in disbelief that we pulled it off.
Oh yeah, if you do something similar - make sure you blog it and Flickr your photos as you go along. We've been inundated with comments from happy friends and family members about how great it is that they could keep up with us as we went around. Not only that, but now we have a thorough record of everything we did, which will hopefully last for ever! And we won't have to wade through boxes of photos going "What was that guy called again? Where was that?" etc.
Anyone want to see a slideshow?!
Ben and Debs