We’re getting ready for our next travel adventure, flying out in two days for Hawaii and then on to New Zealand and Australia. It seems as if we just got back from our last outing – six weeks of travel in the Middle East and Europe that ended right before Thanksgiving.

Obviously we love to travel. But, we also love to be home as well. It’s our current yin and yang of living.

The adrenalin rush of travel is addictive. Different cultures, politics, places and people – in fact just being “out there” invites thrills both good and bad. It also can be exhausting. Unpacking and packing, moving from place to place, coping with the unexpected take a physical toll after a couple weeks.

Then there’s the discovery of different cuisines and beverages. Yes it’s a top reason hopping on a plane or ship, but it too can be problematic, causing great discomfort for a few days. Being on the road also exposes you more sick people than you are likely to encounter if you didn’t travel. On a cruise, elevators, cafes and such can seem like hospital wards, given the cacophony of coughs, sneezes and nose blowing going on around you.

Our beloved cat Shadow also is a bit confused by our prolonged disappearances – although we provide her with very loving house sitters, who make sure she gets her quota of kitty treats and playtime. Almost all travelers feel guilty about leaving their pets – especially when they curl up in your suitcase as you’re packing or follow you around the house with sad, accusing eyes. All traveling pet owners wish they could explain – “Don’t worry – we’ll be back soon.”

So after three weeks or more travel adventure, the safety, normality and certainty of home becomes very attractive. Absence makes you appreciate home life and everything connected to it. You look forward to starting new projects, relaxing on the couch and petting a kitty. You yearn for the relative tranquility of no shore excursion mishaps or conversations with strange strangers at dinner.

So travel makes home sweet home even sweeter, and life as a whole better. But as good as home can be, in two or three months the siren call of travel has us checking airfares and making hotel reservations. Pretty soon we’re packing our bags and rechecking if we packed our Disposable Particulate Filtering Mask, again in the company of a sad eyed kitty.

This issue illustrates all of these points – whether on a camel ride on “Mars” or tasting wine in Provence, visiting the royal yacht or pigging out on sausages and beer at a German Christmas Market. We hope you enjoy our stories and make some stories of your own on your next travel odyssey. We’re ready for another adventure, but we’ll inevitably be looking forward to being back in our sweet home with our reluctantly forgiving cat Shadow.

Have safe travels and happy homecomings,

Ron & Mary