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After visiting 40 countries over a period of 366 days, we are leaving for the airport in a few minutes to board our final flight of the trip–one destined for Nashville, Tennessee.  By the end of the day today, we’ll be home.  It’s hard to even estimate the number of times we’ve thought about this day–about how it will feel to step off that plane onto U.S. soil, about what it will be like to hear English spoken everywhere we go, about how nice it will be to talk to our loved ones in person, rather than over email.  Now that the day is actually here, it feels a bit surreal.

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We already know that the experiences we’ve had over the past year are usually reserved for fairy-tales.  The things we’ve seen, the people we’ve met and the challenges we’ve overcome are difficult for us to even comprehend.  In fact, as we look back at some of the pictures over the past year, it’s hard for us to even believe that they ever really happened.  The trip has gone far better than we could have ever imagined.  We’ve been incredibly blessed and lucky–as well as safe–at every turn.  While we are incredibly excited to get home, we are also overwhelmingly sad to be leaving our journey behind us.  We know that it has been a defining moment of our lives.

It’s hard to come to grips with the fact that it will soon be part of our past. We will spend the next two weeks visiting friends and family in Nashville and Rochester, Michigan before driving to Washington, DC in mid-September to start our new lives.  During that time, we will post several entries about our return home and our post-trip reflections on the past year, and we’ll make sure to share some of our favorite pictures, too.  Stay tuned!