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March 7th 2011
Published: March 12th 2011
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From this..From this..From this..

28 August 2010
The Pink View

We have both been thinking about this blog for some time, yet I am still wondering exactly where to start with rounding up the last six months, it's quite some task to distil 191 days of our lives into a few hundred black marks on a white background.

This is the last blog that either of us will write and I am going to miss it. Sure, sometimes, it has been a bit of a drag - and I am sure you have been able to tell when - but, for the main part, it has been a joy to describe thoughts and experiences and, when the mood has taken me, to have had a little bit of fun with the English language. It has also been a privilege to see that friends, family and complete strangers have enjoyed reading our musings and, for that, thank you.

English is my first and, to all intents and purposes, my only language and I have come to realise that I am extremely privileged in that. No other language is so universally spoken and understood around the globe and speaking in this tongue makes world travel
...to this...to this...to this

7 March 2011
considerably easier than not having our strange vocabulary at your fingertips. Everywhere we have been, I have heard non-native English speakers of different nationalities communicating with each other in English and rarely anything else. We have been practiced on by Japanese kids learning our language and only once or twice in six months have we struggled to make ourselves understood. How remarkable is that?

In summing up Vietnam, five months ago I said this:

"This isn’t a holiday and I won’t be flying home in a couple of weeks time. I have not lived it up in 4* luxury, bathing only in pristine waters gently lapping sanitised beaches. Nor have I followed the road less travelled or walked, even for a moment, in the shoes of this country’s men and women. "

This wasn't a holiday, it was better than that. It was the realisation of a dream, the test of a relationship and the healing of pain. It was everything that it needed to be and more. We will be flying home very shortly after I finish writing this entry (we are at San Francisco Airport now) and I am ready. When we left, I wasn't sure when I would be able to say that, but now I know what that place feels like.

We did spend five days in Bangkok in 4* luxury, we eventually found pristine waters in Rarotonga and sanitised beaches in Australia but we probably never found the road less travelled or walked in the shoes of anyone other than ourselves.

We have met many, many interesting people some of whom will remain friends and others will gently fade into the chorus line of our memories and that is how life is. Today, it is the people that we left behind in order to take this trip that are occupying my thoughts, looking forward to seeing their smiles and hearing their laughs over the coming weeks and months is as appealing a thought today as the unknown was 191 days ago.

There have been a few endings and many new beginnings during this trip and tomorrow will be no exception. Somehow, we need to put our lives back in order - that's a whole new adventure. Above all, it has been a blast and, if I could do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing - we did it our way and that suited us just fine.

To those of you who have persevered with us to the end, thanks for taking the trip with us, I hope you enjoyed it.

...and to anyone thinking of doing it themselves - the hardest part is stepping off the treadmill of normality, once you've found the courage to do that, the rest just takes care of itself.

The Blue View

Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Cook Islands, USA

That is what we have done, the stamps are in the passport to prove it.

We took 7 flights on our round the world ticket and bought four more whilst on the journey.

We took every conceivable mode of transport from the mundane to the ridiculous - planes, cars, tuk-tuks, river boats, ocean going boats, trains, even a bamboo train.

We crossed borders in planes, trains, on foot, by river and by sea.

We hired three motorcycles/mopeds, two cars, and a campervan.

We have seen some of the world’s most iconic modern buildings : The Sydney Opera house, and harbour bridge, the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and some of the ancient iconic ones also : Ankor Wat, The Royal Palace in Thailand.

We have eaten more different cuisine than most do in a lifetime, mostly good, but some bad (Dim Sum … WHY?) and some of it we have learnt to cook ourselves.

We have had our eyes opened to certain prejudices, both of our own and of others. Who was expecting that Vietnam and Cambodia would have better internet access than Australia or New Zealand? I didn’t for sure.

We have met some people who will I am sure remain good friends and that I already miss, and we have left behind some that I couldn’t wait to get away from, and won’t give a second thought.

We have discovered new passions and reawakened ones thought lost. We have come up with and discarded more business ideas than I thought possible, although I know there is one out there somewhere.

We have moved on.

Are we now different? Probably. I think we are but you will have to be the judge of that as we are too close to tell.

What have we learnt? Lots, too much to list here.

What is there left to say? Little.

I hope that our musings have been enjoyed by those that have been reading, but they were always for us originally and they shall forever be a record of this amazing trip for us.

There are highlights clearly, and I think to you out there it is fairly obvious what we enjoyed and what we didn’t, so I won’t labour the point.

So what does that leave? The need for me to check if I won the lottery last night…. best do that now. I am as always convinced that I will win this week, and if so I need to start planning the next trip. So that’s it……..or is it?

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16th March 2011

A last thankyou
To both of you, a last thanks for a great blog. Lisa and I are still bumming around Asia, actually planning our return now, but it has been a joy and honour to share your journey. Your writing has stirred some great memories of familiar places and wetted the appetite for some new destinations. I hope we manage to meet when we return to Dorset because I owe you both a beer for allowing us to share your journey. Good luck and we hope you enjoy being home again.

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