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Published: March 29th 2007
Home Sweet Home
Posing in the sleet out front of my parent's house in Coquitlam B.C. Hat from Bolivia, shirt from Brazil, jeans from Argentina, belt from Tanzania, shoes from Vietnam, watch and underwear from Thailand, necklace from somewhere in Africa, prayer flags from Nepal and all 100% of my smile from Canada.
Well my time in London came to a very quick close, I very much enjoyed my stay there and the top notch hospitality provided by Aura and Harvey. My plane back to Canada had some problems because of a power failure in Gatwick, so after landing in Glasgow an hour late, we made our way up and over the far frozen north to the land of cows and Calgarians.
It was quite interesting to look out the window and observe the endless frozen tundra of nothingness, I’d always been rather curious to see what northern Canada looks like, and it seems that in the end it’s quite a solemn place.
Arriving in Calgary I had plans to meet and stay with another cousin, that afternoon she had a volleyball tournament, so her boyfriend picked me up at the airport instead. After waiting for my bag and being genuinely surprised that it actually made its way safe and sound I walked out to see Den holding a simple paper sign hastily composed with a magic marker reading: “Joss cuz”. We jumped into Den’s hot shot motor car and drove past a couple farms and onto the freeway heading into
As of now, my favorite photo of the trip. I dreamed of moments such as the one in the above photo long before going away. Always follow your dreams.
Calgary. Calgary was more or less visiting, relaxing, sightseeing (which didn’t take long) and eating. Our dinner at the Keg was fantastic and my whole stay was very relaxing and enjoyable.
What began as an idea contrived on a certain summer evening in 1999 and was confirmed by an oath signed in our own blood has now finally come to a glorious end (for me anyways). On Tuesday March 27, 2007 after approximately 544 days away from home I landed at the Vancouver international airport (for the first time coming in from the east). My greeting party quickly found me standing at the luggage carousel watching the Canucks game on T.V. I hadn’t seen my home for 18 months and the entire calendar year of 2006.
There isn’t a lot to say about the dying moments of my trip, but I suppose a few things can be said in conclusion to the journey itself. I’ll begin mainly with some statistics. Through various conversations I was never able to conclude what criteria one must meet to add a country to his list, and truth be told there are a few countries I stopped in to see only very briefly
Tuesday December 12, 2006
The three journeymen share their last cocktail together at a going away party in Thailand.
or in transit (perhaps didn’t even spend one night, or didn’t even get a VISA) but based on various factors I have come up with a list of countries that I’ve felt I’ve “visited” (though only a couple of these “fully”) on this trip: America, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Egypt, India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, England and France. Furthermore, there aren’t many in that list I wouldn’t want to re-visit.
The most popular question people at home seem to ask me is “how are you adapting?” or “any culture shock yet?” and the answers, in all honesty are “yes” and “no” respectively. I feel this phenomenon of “adaptation” was lessened almost entirely by stopping in Europe on my way home. My only trouble adapting has been in regards to many of my possessions, which initially seemed to have been missing/lost during my absence but were really just buried deep within my parent’s basement (I mean really, really deep). It’s easier to adapt when you have all the things you need to adapt. I had a little trouble at the
8 of my 9 journals written on the Journey.
24 hour mark of my time back home when I think it finally set in that this wasn’t just another stop, but home, permanent (the idea still seems kind of foreign). After staying in no one place for more than two weeks over the last 78, I did have to bend my head around this slightly new concept. It was around that same 24 hour mark that I stopped actually living out of my backpack, and started arranging some things in my temporary bedroom as well. I put my toiletries in a drawer in the bathroom; I put my clothes on a shelf. I won’t lie though; there was a slight panic that caused these actions, the source of which I have yet to identify.
People want to know what my favorite place on the trip has been, and I can’t answer that. People want to know what my favorite country is that I’ve been too, and that’s a bit easier -but still almost impossible to answer. It seems my response to these questions changes all the time. However, in no particular order I’ll list a few favorite countries that happen to be popular in my mind today: Bolivia,
Thursday September 29, 2005
36 hours before departure, the three journeymen pose for camera's at a publicity event held at the Lush household.
Mozambique, Nepal and Vietnam. Tomorrow it might be Honduras, Namibia, Brazil and Laos. In the end though, were you to ask me what my favorite country is, I probably wouldn’t want to explain all this to you and would just say “Bolivia” as it seems to be the closest thing to a favorite country that I have.
I’ve now been home for 6 days and I’ve seen many of my close friends and relatives. It seems everyone is genuinely happy to have me back, I understand it will be awhile until I’m caught up on the entire goings on, most people haven’t changed too much but there are some strong exceptions. I’ve received very positive feedback regarding my blog and for that I thank everyone.
Highlights of being home include some quotes from each of my Grandmothers and their endless wisdom. The first said “it’s good to go away but it’s great to be home” which I couldn’t agree with more. The second said “you must have had a horseshoe up your ass” which, I also couldn’t agree with more. Family should be successful in deciphering which grandma said which.
Since being home I’ve managed to secure
Monday, March 19, 2007
"The Crooked Surgeon" London. Last night of the Journey with Jordan. From left to right: Mike, Jord, Myself and Randy.
a new apartment, two roommates, several job leads and also figured out a way to forget my VISA card at a certain bar during the height of my coming home celebrations -right beside an unpaid tab for two shots of tequila (for those who think this trip has changed me, think again).
Finally, I want to take a minute to thank all the people who managed to visit me on my trip, despite what most people think, it’s not easy to fly halfway around the world to meet an estranged drifter of a friend/son/nephew/boyfriend/brother/cousin and for your efforts I thank you. For all my loyal blog readers I thank you too, were the blog not this popular, I probably wouldn’t have written it, and now that it’s done I have extra documentation that I didn’t previously think I’d have.
For anybody thinking of traveling, don’t be afraid to contact me with any questions you might have, to be honest I crave these discussions from a very selfish perspective as I love to talk about traveling. Finally, for those people who didn’t think that I would actually make it a year and a half traveling all around the world,
Wednesday January 31, 2007
Unknown bar downtown Hanoi. Last night out of the journey with Ryan. From left to right: T-Bone, Ryan, Myself, James, R.J. and Graham.
I hope I proved you wrong, and truth be told it really boils down to the tired clichÃ©/proverb: “you can do anything if you put your mind to it”. This trip was both easier in many ways, and harder in many ways than some of my other previous accomplishments, and with that being said the new challenges that arrived and were conquered make me a better person today than when I wrote my first blog, over a year and a half ago from this very computer.
To conclude this, I’ll leave you with a few quotes I scribbled down in one of my journals, both from one of my favorite reads of the trip (The Journeyer by Gary Jennings): “Adventure is no more than discomfort and annoyance recollected in the safety of reminiscence”
“I posses a treasure trove of memories with which to enliven eternity. I can enjoy those mementos through all the dying afternoons of regular life, and then through the endless dead night underground.”
Thank you kindly my dear readers!
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