Then and Now

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Friday, April 20, 2007

All of the many many photos: Where in the world

1 year. 15 countries. 10,700 photos. Over 50,000 miles. How do you explain it all? How do you describe the time of your life? Where do you go from here?

Been home for a little over one month now and I still don't know those answers.

First few days where quite strange and surreal wondering if I went away at all continually looking at the stamps in my passport or the photos just to make sure it wasn't just all a dream. It took a while to take it all in, the amount of memories, experiences, sights, sounds and people I met, it was just an overload that took time to process.

Returning home was an anti-climax. I mean I was glad and excited to be coming home but maybe it was due to just how little had changed since I had been away. I try my best to keep things 'normal' as I adjust back into things here just feeling like I will explode at times with everything bottled up inside but not wanting to become a bore talking of nothing but traveling. Something is different.

It's good though to suddenly have a choice of clothes once again, remembering what it's like to wear jeans or simple things like having having free Internet but also having to face the task of sorting out my stuff, a year of mail certainly adds up.

The journal is here and that helps but I have accepted that I will never be able to fully explain to people what it is like to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat or stand on the Great Wall of China or teach in Thailand or dive on the Great Barrier Reef or all those little moments that you still hold on to forever unless they take that journey too.

I put off unpacking (actually still not completely emptied my bag) and even finishing the diary for a while for not wanting to effectively sign off on the trip and consider it over. Everyday been a 'this time a year ago I was...'. All I've wanted to do since returning is set off again, talking about the journey to others has only made them want to go off and do the same making it harder for me now to settle down.

I was going to write and try and come up with a top 10 highlights of the journey but after reaching around 70 just off the top of my head I realized it's futility so I'll just say it was amazing. A dream beyond any I could have imagined.

I still keep catching myself suddenly smiling or laughing out loud when some memory suddenly jumps into my head again probably to the worry of others around at the time not that I care, something like that probably would have bothered me before.

Before I left some said good, go and get it out of your system, but the thing is traveling is not something you can get rid of I know now that once the travel bug has you it will never let go - I don't want to be cured.

So the big 'have you changed?' question. Probably still too early to tell, I think it is something that happens along with you like growing taller you don't notice yourself as you grow with it but others will see the difference after a time apart. What do I think? All I know is that when I look back now on it all, all those memories, all those places, all those sights, all those things learned, all those cultures, all those people, all those new friends, all those experiences, all those eye opening breathtaking amazing unforgettable moments that happen when traveling, how could I have not?

Happy travels.

"It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage." - Indiana Jones
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rgreen82 on

I have just spent 2.5 hours (in work time of course!) reading your blog. How amazing! I'm currently planning a RTW trip from the end of 2008 and i am now very inspired. So thank-you!

alasdairm on

Re: Wow
Good to see you making good use of work time (like me just now!). Thanks for writing, I always like hearing from others planning to travel and I hope you have a fantastic time when you go on your own RTW next year.

segacs on

Up till 2:30am reading
Stumbled upon your blog randomly. Stayed up till the small hours of the morning reading... thanks for writing so vividly about your travel experiences. You've definitely fed my interest in Southeast Asia, and your entries from Australia and NZ brought back some memories.

I do have to wonder how you could've missed the best part of Canada (Montreal, obviously), though.

alasdairm on

Re: Up till 2:30am reading
I was planning on going to Montreal but unfortunately ran out of time but I like to think it's good not to go everywhere in a country so you have a good excuse to go back!

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