One year and two pairs of boots later....

Trip Start Sep 28, 2010
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Flag of Czech Republic  , Moravia,
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Today marks the day when a year ago we took a bit of a gamble. We packed up our home, quit our jobs, said goodbye to our family and friends and took a one way flight to South Africa.......the starting point of our extended adventure.

So after a year you may ask where are we? are we happy? have we changed? are we home sick? are we broke? are we coming home?



Well after 40,549 km of travel through 21 countires staying in 134 different cities we're in a good place, a town called Olumouc in the Czech Republic, one of those towns that you have probably never heard of and one you may never visit, but a beautiful town, a university town thats full of life but nicely lacking in tourists. We are staying in a small homely hostel run by a couple of Australians.

Our feelings towards Olomouc are strangely heightened by the fact that the weather has once again turned for us. It's crazy how the weather has such an impact on your mood and the perception you have of a place. Just a few weeks ago we were certain that we had see the last of summer. When the calender hit the 1st of September we were all of a sudden cold, the people were gone and that fantastic happy European summer vibe had all but disappeared. But for some strange reason as we cycled across the border into the Czech Republic everything changed yet again (I should probably stop here as I am now sure it will be raining tomorrow). The mornings are crisp, the wind barely a whisper, the air clear enough to see forever and the skies are that wonderful blue colour. Shorts and t-shirts are back and people are again on the streets soaking up the sunshine.

                                       

Looking back it's amazing how quickly a year goes, when we set out a year sounded like an eternity, but now it feels like it has disappeared in an instant. We have not one regret and yes I really think we are happy. We have seen some extraordinarily beautiful places, visited lots of places where the masses don't think to go, as well as some classic places everyone should see at least once in their life, experienced a few unexpected surprises including the beginnings of a national uprising, eaten some of the best food we've ever tasted, spent time with our families on several different continents, travelled by train, boat, bus, plane, motorbike, on foot and now on a bicycle. Above all else we loved meeting all the people of the world. We have discovered that we're all really not that different from one another. Despite the obvious differences (language, appearance, culture) we are all pretty much the same and aspire to the same things; to be healthy, to be secure, to have some laughs, to share the love of family and friends, and to be happy. And we have been constantly amazed at the kindness of people. This year has given us a very reassuring and uplifting insight into human nature.

The hardest part about being away is the things we miss, and we know we've missed a lot during the last year; one birthday for each of you, (except of course for those who are not counting anymore), a wedding or two, many family dinners, and a few new beginnings, especially the arrival of our new nephew. Thanks to Skype and email we're being kept in the loop and feel like we're up to date with the news from home,and so far the urge to return home has not hit.

So we're planning a few days rest here and then we'll once again start pedaling on our way to Portugal. After a bit of a  catch up with family in Lisbon in November, we plan to bunker down for the winter, hopefully spending some quality time in France while making plans for next year. While travelling in Europe is fun we are now starting to craving a bit of a challenge. We will most likely start to head east. We are not sure if the bicycles will accompany us and there is talk of a 60th birthday next year in Malaysia.......hmmmm, Europe to Malaysia overland??

Although we miss home we are not homesick, nor are we broke (yet) so we're not coming back just yet....if all goes to plan we'll see you in about 12 months time.



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