Blog Series: Returning Home and Marriage

Hi! Here's a link to the previous posts in this series:

Returning Home and Family and Returning Home and My Peeps.

Next up...

Reconnecting with My Husband Keith

I saved the most intricate for last. What happens in a marriage when you go from traveling on motorcycles to living in one house and working? It’s a bit like riding on a pot-hole infested road, trying mightily to avoid hitting one!

A few months in, we exploded and faced what had been happening to us. You know the story of the frog in the boiling pot? That’s how it felt. Slowly, probably since our last month in South America, we had been sliding back into our old pre-travel habit of living parallel lives.

Internally, we were coping with our separate experiences of homecoming and there was a gigantic difference at the core. Keith longed to continue traveling while I was elated to be home. We had been inextricably tied to each other while we traveled. We had to agree on darn near everything we did — where we slept, where we ate, where we traveled. Once we hit US soil, that ever-present knot that connected us began to loosen. On one hand, it was awesome to have my freedom again! On the other hand, our relationship started eroding and we didn’t pay attention to it, until frustrations with coming home, and with each other, overtook us.  We both exploded.

Let’s fast-forward past the explosion, to what we learned as a result of it. From my perspective, we realized that we weren’t having those deep, interesting conversations anymore. Almost all we talked about were the items on the eternal list of to do’s. We didn’t share our fears of restarting our income flow, figuring out where we were going to live, feeling like we didn’t belong anywhere, and not in any way, shape, or form wanting to be mooches as we stayed with friends and family for (what ended up being) four months.

We separately did our best to cope with it all. I relied on girlfriends, wine, yoga, walking. He relied on going for motorcycle rides and getting out among people. I started my new business. He went back to work, in a different job, for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. I wanted our home to be beautiful and clean. He wanted his garage in order.

Here’s where we came together. We agreed that we wanted to do better. We wanted to reconnect with each other more in the way we did on the road. We had had a taste of it. We knew what it felt like to have a truly intimate connection. We’re starting with making time for real conversations, opening ourselves to new ideas of what we enjoy doing together, with touching each other more, with real kisses. It's the beginning of accepting more change in our lives.

Before we returned home, we knew our travels had changed us. What we didn't know is that we couldn't possibly understand how travel had changed us until we started living at home rather than on the road. It stands to reason that since we changed individually, our marriage would change. We're learning, we're committed, and after eight months back in the U.S., we're still exploring ourselves with love.

Conclusion for All My Relationship Reconnecting Posts

Inner Change = Outer Change

When we change, all of our relationships change. It’s inevitable if we’re being true to ourselves. Coming back from an epic adventure makes the changes more apparent than in a normal time of life.

I wonder, what would it look like to once in a while press pause and look through a different lens at the important relationships in our lives? We could ask ourselves, how have our relationships changed over time in the “frog in a boiling pot” kind of way? How are we showing up as our true selves in our relationships?

In the spirit of learning,


P.S. If you're making some changes in your life, consider hiring me as your coach to support you! Plus, if you're curious, learn about our motorcycle adventure at

Talk with a Friend

My friend Sandra and I snapped a photo after having one of our solve-the-problems-of-the-world conversations.

“When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Get out of your head by talking with a friend. Speaking your thoughts aloud brings them out of your inner world and into the outer world. Dialogue helps solidify random thoughts into coherent ideas, allowing you to suss out the ideas you want to hold onto for further development and to let go of the ideas that, upon closer examination, don’t feel right for you right now.

Concepts that seem fully formed in your mind may come out of your mouth sounding half-formed. That’s okay. Speaking aloud allows you to think of the idea from different perspectives, problem-solve, analyze, and to get a feel for whether or not you can see yourself doing it in the real world. Keeping ideas locked in the imaginary safety of your mind will eventually suffocate them and you. Letting the ideas out will give them an opportunity to flourish if they’re ready to grow, or to vaporize if it’s not their time.

A friend can listen only or you can ask her to pose questions and share feedback. Either way, you’ll gain a firmer grasp on your dreams, desires, goals, challenges, and inspirations. 


Share one of your wild and wonderful ideas with a friend. This could be via email, mail, telephone, or in person. Sometimes an idea feels too unformed and vulnerable to share, and that’s okay. Share the ideas you feel slightly uncomfortable sharing (new experiences are always a bit awkward), but know the words will come streaming out once you get started. I find the idea in my mind often makes more sense and is more fully formed than the idea that comes out of my mouth. That’s the purpose of this process. Speaking the idea aloud is the first step in bringing the idea from the ideal scenario in your mind to the reality of the outside world.