The last entry

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
1
84
Trip End Apr 30, 2012


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Monday, August 6, 2012

I've been home four months now but I still haven't ended the blog, not out of laziness but because I hadn't felt I knew how to end it, until now.

Tonight I was reading my personal journal and I realised the last section of the last entry would do just fine for the last public blog entry too.  So here it is, virtually unedited.  (Slight, but only slight apologies for it being self indulgent and emotional in places)

Thanks for reading, and thanks for welcoming me home everyone.

Friday 6th April 2012:  

So has this trip been worth it?  What have I learned?  Why has it been a success?
 
Well, I've seen things that no-one else has seen.  I've seen things that I can't explain to anyone else.  I know how to stay safe in Elephant land.  I know what India smells like.  I know how people live in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpar.  I know about the working hours of Chinese kids and what that does to them.  I know what it's like to live outside in the extreme cold.  I know what real rain is and what it's like to manage people in monsoon conditions for a three week expedition.  I know what jack fruit tastes and smells like and how to pick a ripe one.  

 I know how to wear a lungi properly, Hindu style and Muslim style.  I'm not afraid of different people.  I'm not prejudiced against other cultures.  I can see how to be a polite, social, generous person.  I can see how stupid our pursuit of pleasure and material things is.  This is a curse as much as a blessing.  

 I know how big Russia is.  I know the moon is always there.  I know what altitude does to people.  I can sleep anywhere and I don't need toilet paper.  I have a different perspective on family values and importance.  I am more self assured.  I've eaten a sheep head in Tibet.  I know that eating rice, veg and meat makes me a ROCK!  I know that I don't need to measure myself against values evolved to ensure we maximise profits in order to pursue pleasure.  

 I'm not ashamed of myself or afraid of any secrets.  I can shit in a hole.  I can make things and fix things.  I know what Asia is like and how big it is.  I know how to sail.  I've got stories!  I don't need to prove myself to anyone.  I know what the jungle is really like.  I know what a cold frozen desert is really like.  I know what 5000m mountains are really like.  I know a little about what a hot desert is really like.  I know what open sea is like.  I know what a big beard and long hair is like.  I know that I'm really alive!!

I'm ready to commit, to take responsibility.  I've got a good attitude and an unshakable will.  I know how to be positive.  I no longer need a pat on the head.  I know how fruitless and unfulfilling is the pure pursuit of pleasure.  I see viable alternatives to London and the UK.  I see how we are conditioned by our culture, upbringing and surrounding environment.  We could have been quite different if born elsewhere in another time or place.  We think we think for ourselves, independently, but we are conditioned to the point that we can't see that.  This is not our fault however.  

Would I swap all this for 12 grand? (most likely in the form of a pokey london flat and a mortgage)  Next question.

I know that the camera lies.  I know what things really look like.  I know what real life smells and tastes like and feels like in a remote village with no road on the bank of the Mekong.

I'm not afraid of following my heart.  I know that I can achieve success if I follow myself and my path and not other peoples.  No-one would have endorsed the Mekong or encouraged me.  Everyone would have done it differently but I did it my way and I f**ing nailed that one!

(Journal ends)

www.youtube.com/user/ollywhittleadventure
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Comments

Mumra on

All the people who have ever known you, salute you and what you have done and experienced. Most people will never take that leap and jump into the unknown parts of the world, do things they never thought possible and do them anyway. What you bring back within you will make the world a better place. And thank God you're back!

Andy Seabrook on

I cant claim to be an authority on Adventure Travel but its under my skin, and I run www.adventurebods.com
Yet I have to say you really are an inspiration. The closest I got to your Mekong trip was Mukdahan, Nong Khai, Nakhon Phanom eating and drinking in riverside restaurants, contemplating what you achieved. As for Lake Baikal that's the stuff of dream's.

If you decide its time for another trip please let me know, i have subscribed to your YouTube account and the RSS feed on your blog. Just hope I don't miss the next instalment! Are you on Facebook or twitter?

Whatever you do from this point forward - I don't think I need to say good luck.

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