Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bittersweet - Heading Home

Unless you follow us on Twitter (Julia, Yuriy), you probably don't even know that we're headed home this weekend. Being a sad topic, we haven't been bringing it up too often on the blog. Now as we sit at the airport with a 12 hour layover in Seoul (before heading to Seattle), there's no avoiding the topic. Instead of being negative about it, we decided to come up with a happy list of all the things we're looking forward to at home.

- friends & family -- first and foremost!
- meeting our new niece, Liana (Yuriy's brother welcomed his 1st baby on 02/11) 
- our very own Ikea bed -- better than any hotel bed
- having a closet 
- free internet at all times (we're usually hunting for cafes with internet in every city we visit and get deeply disappointed when our hotels don't have wireless)
- tennis
- rock climbing
- mountain biking
- kayaking (what can I say.... we haven't been very active these past 6 months)
- driving our own cars (on the right side of the road!)
- cell phone service -- I don't know if I remember how to text fast
- cooking at home
- a washing machine
- Starbucks -- we made a promise not to have it abroad (even though its all over the place), though we cheated once on Christmas Day
- church & worship -- we've been listening to sermon podcasts, but it's not nearly the same as being there every Sunday
- mama's cooking
- nieces and nephews
- our hammock on the balcony
- teriyaki restaurants (Yuriy's fave lunch and Seattle has loads of them)
- decorating our first home together -- we lived separately prior to the wedding and can't wait to combine our tastes
- riding bikes together
- garage saling this summer
- having a blow drier and hair straightener (just Julia... hopefully)
- revisiting our favorite happy hour restaurants -- lamb burgers at Barolo, in particular
- a decent shower 
- jigsaw puzzles -- one of our favorite things to do on a quiet evening at home
- a fireplace (goes well with the puzzles)
- my guitar (Julia)
- having an office desk
- getting mail (and digging through the pile from the last 6 months)
- customer service at businesses -- America does it best
- legally changing my last name to Manchik (Julia)
- wearing my engagement ring (Julia) -- didn't want to take major bling traveling so I took it off and left it at home just 3 days after the wedding!
- wild blackberries -- only in sweet ol' Washington State
- sending off our first shop orders!
- having a coffee pot at home -- and no more Nescafe! (so many countries served this instant crap when you ordered coffee)
- buying Yuriy a new car -- we sold his before the trip 
- buying new electronics -- laptops, phones, iPad (we've fallen behind from the pack)
- snowboarding (Julia) & skiing (Yuriy)

See? There's a lot to look forward to! (and a lot we'll miss... like exploring new cities, eating yummy food every day, taking photos of charming streets/buildings, meeting new people, learning history, touring the world's biggest cities, sleeping in late, having long days with no plans, warm summer weather, laying on beaches......)

It's mind boggling that we will be home in Seattle by Sunday afternoon. It seems like it's all part of an old past life, but nope, it's the life that still exists.

Just so you know, we have a LOT left to blog about. We somehow fell behind on our posting (maybe we were busy traveling and enjoying ourselves) and are still writing about our time in Ukraine which was in December. Sifting through thousands of photos and writing about such incredible experiences can only be rushed so much. Since December, a lot has happened. We left blistery cold Europe for sunny Asia (visiting Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Indonesia) and completed our around-the-world-trip by driving down the Australian coast (checking out Sydney, Melbourne, and everything in between). So you can probably imagine how many photos we've accumulated! We can't wait to share it all here, so stick around. 

Now we have a 10 hour flight to catch and some tears to wipe away. 

- Julia and Yuriy