As we sit in the Buenos Aires International Airport, waiting for the last two flights out of a total of 30 on this 99-day journey,
I wish I could click my heels like Dorothy and wake up in my own bed – bypassing the 16 plus hours of travel that we are facing. One thing for sure, as much as this has been an incredible journey, we are both ready to be home.
Thinking back to the beginnings of this trip from when the idea first entered my mind, through the extensive planning and all the logistics to picking the perfect title for our film, Opening Our Eyes, I knew this would be the greatest adventure of our lives but I had no idea how much it would impact our lives. Erin was looking for some kind of answer as to what did she want to do in her life and I’m not sure I was looking for anything in particular, but maybe just needing to challenge myself at this point in my life. We both challenged ourselves in ways that we never thought we could. And as far as Erin getting struck by a lightning bolt with all the answers, she now knows that sometimes the answers come in more subtle ways.
We have visited 17 countries, have seen some of the world’s most famous sights and have met the most extraordinary people that have inspired us in countless ways. We shot thousands of gigabytes of still images and video and return with content that we could make into a dozen different movies. We have a lot of post-production and editing work ahead of us but we’re confident when all is said and done we have done our small part in creating awareness that will inspire and motivate others to make a positive change in the world and see the power of the individual.
But by far one of the most rewarding aspects of this journey was to get to know each other – not just as a mother or a daughter but as the people we are – our desires, our frailties, our hopes and our dreams. Sometimes mothers and daughters never get to this point in their relationships and if they do it doesn’t really happen until the daughter becomes a mother. I’m grateful that Erin, at 23 years old has matured enough to see me as the person I am. A bond has been formed that will stay with us forever.
We head home weary after seeing the world, discovering who we are, who each other is, and where we came from for the first time. Our eyes have been opened.
“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started…. And know the place for the first time.”