How many years is Odysseus away from Ithaca total?
Also to know is, why is it taking Odysseus so long to get back to Ithaca?
Because of Odysseus' undignified behavior, Polyphemus calls on his father (Poseidon) to punish Odysseus, and Poseidon creates further obstacles that will keep Odysseus from arriving home for many more years to come. (And because his men anger the gods by eating Helios' cattle, they are destroyed and never return home.)
Secondly, how close does Odysseus get to Ithaca? Ithaca on the western shore of Greece. The distance there from Troy, Hal Roth tells us, is only 565 nautical miles. But due to some celebrated doings (and undoings), Odysseus wound up logging several thousand sea miles along the way. He got home, to be sure, but the journey took ten years.
Just so, how long should it have taken Odysseus to return home?
What happens when Odysseus returns to Ithaca?
When Odysseus finally lands in Ithaca, Athene magically disguises him as an old beggar man, to protect him from his wife's rapacious suitors. He meets his son Telemachus and the father reveals himself to the son he last saw as an infant. They will keep Odysseus' return a secret from all and both return to the palace.