Anxiety Reigns

Has it really been almost six months since we have been in our own country?  Yes it has.  Nov 2012 was the last time my feet were on US soil.  Perhaps that is why I am so anxious about today – Sunday May 5thI have barely slept as my brain keeps tossing and turning about the logistics of our border crossing; the culture shock of my countries excess and leaving the Wild West; and my excitement about being with the people I know and love. 

It is strange to think there is nervousness, excitement and even anxiety after 16 border crossings.  In case you are interested here they are:

  1.  US to Canada
  2.  Canada to US
  3.  US to Mexico
  4.  Mexico to Belize
  5.  Belize to Guatemala
  6.  Guatemala to Honduras
  7.  Honduras to Nicaragua
  8.  Nicaragua to Costa Rica
  9.  Costa Rica to Panama
  10.  Panama to Costa Rica
  11.  Costa Rica to Nicaragua
  12.  Nicaragua to Honduras
  13.  Honduras to El Salvador
  14.  El Salvador to Guatemala
  15.  Guatemala to Mexico
  16.  Mexico to US

Maybe because it is the last one before being home.  Maybe it comes from my past experience and stories I have heard from others about crossing back.  I want a big warm hug that says “welcome home”.  In Honduras, the police actually stopped us to say “Hola.  Welcome to my country and enjoy your stay.”  Instead, I know I am going to get the third degree.   Border guards are going to want to question why we left, where we have been and what we were doing.  When we entered Mexico the Texas border guard tried to talk us out of going.  Will the California guard question why we went?  With a passport full of stamps they certainly can see we get around.  They will most likely want to search our stuff – something that hasn’t been done much at all on any of these other crossings.   To be clear, we don’t have anything to hide – not that you could fit much contraband on motorcycle anyway.  Rather, it is just the thought that they will be going through all our personal stuff. 

Maybe they won’t.  That would be nice.  If they do, I worry about their opinion on my most prized new physical possession.   That being the super functional and even kind of cool machete I picked up in Guatemala.  It is tucked ever so appropriately behind my pannier, ready for the first coconut or pineapple that happens to cross my path.  Not to mention the most convenient bottle opener and saw too.  In 90% of the world’s countries this tool is considered a farm implement.  They are wielded expertly by 8 year old boys as freely as a skateboard in the US.  I wonder what my government will consider it?  Dang, I sure am hoping…

Now Gaila doesn’t seem too stressed about it, just sad.  But that is her way.  I am the worrier and she is the carefree girl – taking things as they come.  It IS sad that our trip is coming to an end.  All these thoughts about what landing is going to be like and what we will do for work, etc.  Damn money.  The good news is we have learned to live happily with so much less.  Which is good on oh so many levels.  I have lots of ideas and irons in the fire so not really too anxious about it, but who knows.

Well, it is 6:15 am on this exciting Sunday morning.  Guess I will make the post and then hope to it.  Another exciting day waits for our OverlandNow team!  See you all soon.

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6 Comments

  1. John

    Tad, did they let you bring your tool back into the states?

    I hope you two figured out the left lane with no cars in it was the motorcycle lane. One of the ice cream cart guys came over and told me. It sure saved me a lot of time. Right to the front on the Mexico side with only 4 or 5 cars before the US Customs agent. That did not suck!

  2. Hi John. We did figure out the short line. Indeed, we saw you as you got right up to the window. We had to head over to the aduana (importation) area and basically wait 1 hour while the one guy working the Banjercito (official bank) could process our bike exit credits. Feels great to be back in the US. Where did you land for the afternoon / evening? Sure was great traveling with you. Thank you for hanging with us. Tad

  3. John

    I landed in a hotel room just west of Palm Springs. Having drinkable tap water and an ice machine down the hall hammers home how fortunate we are. It’s moments like this where I realize I have so much and other people in the world have so little that make me want to get involved in making a difference.

    I had a great time sharing a few days of your journey with you. I plan on staying in touch. It shouldn’t be to tough since we are all card carrying Washingtonians.

  4. Excellent. I have never been to Palm Springs and need to add it to the list. Surprising how those little things like drinkable tap water can make us humble and appreciate what we have. Baja is much better than many parts of mainland Mexico and Central America. A great way to get involved is through the Muskoka Foundation. Their http://www.dogoodasyougo.org site is a terrific launching pad and working with their people and projects is a pure joy. Be well John and I hope we can see you on our ride up if timing works out. I am definitely going to connect about that MOA pre-ride I am going to do in June. BTW, I am officially calling you friend now ;-)

    • John

      I’m gonna avoid the hustle, bustle and traffic of Palm Springs. After I finish my last load of “on the road” laundry I’m headed back east a few miles to Joshua Tree then north through east Mohave to find a camp site in Death Valley. As my continuing good luck would have it there is a laundry mat close to the hotel. There is also a killer grocery store called Gardenias. A deli counter to die for. Not only do they have real chicharonies they have 3 different types, all freshly deep fried. I’ve never had chicharonies with meat before. They definitely DO NOT suck!

      Friend huh? I guess now you’re gonna expect me to be nice to you or something. :->

      This trip has been special because of all the friends I’ve made!!!!!

  5. Well, I got to elaborate on our actual US crossing. Bottom line is that it was a peace of cake surprisingling. It was short, sweet, we at least got a smile – if not a welcome home. Niether are bikes or us were searched so the machete was safe and sound. Looks like worried too much about what ended up to be nothing. Yeah!

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