So instead of traveling all summer like I have done for the past four summers, I opted to land myself for a little while – to spend time with my family who support my travels and encourage me every bit of the way. This meant that I had to couch surf my way through the summer between friends and family. Mostly I stayed with my grandparents, which was extremely appreciated. I worked a ‘normal’ job in which I had actual days off and coworkers that lived further away than down the hall. I ate food that did not come from a buffet, and I was not at any point awoken by fire drills (accept for the cumulative 4 weeks I spent visiting Rob on his Alaska ship). I didn’t sway as I walked down halls, nor did I have to rely on just a TV channel as a ‘window.’ I even had a cell phone. On one hand it was great to welcome my parents back after three years of living in Abu Dhabi; to celebrate my cousin’s tenth birthday in person; to go camping in Wenatchee with family; to take part in two 5k events; to go hiking with my bestie; to practice my time lapse photography; and to have all of my evenings free. Those things were fantastic, but not having a space to call my own proved very difficult after a few weeks. I forgot how good we have it, working on ships – free food, free accommodation, and free tea, not to mentions complimentary travel and being surrounded by peers. Financially, land life adds up quickly. And it’s hard to not have transportation of your own. I don’t regret taking the summer away from ships (for the most part), but it did give me a slightly new perspective on my life. I know it won’t be a whole lot longer until we transition back to land, but I am very thankful for the new outlook I gained.