End/Beginning of the line

Trip Start Sep 11, 2005
1
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Trip End Dec 26, 2005


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Monday, December 26, 2005

Got on a plane in Boston, 6 hours later I was home. Time for a final summy-up type post, I reckon. A FAQ for questions I haven't been asked yet but probably will be...

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE COUNTRY?

It would probably be Mongolia. Completely different from anything I've seen before, lovely locals and likeminded fellow travellers. That's not so say it doesn't have it's problems - those same lovely locals are living hard lives in poverty while the capital chokes under a blanket of pollution. But I think the memories of camping out under star-filled skies in the Gobi are the ones that will end up staying with me the longest.

WHAT WAS THE WORST COUNTRY?

I was only in London for two days, but I went over budget in those mere two days. And it's not like I even did anything interesting or ate particularly well - it's just horrendously overpriced, so as a city it's not high on my list of favorite places. As for countries, on balance, I'd have to say the US. It's a tough call to make: the great times I had in Hawaii and Chicago have to be balanced against Los Angeles, pretentious San Francisco and quite simply the worst and most frustrating train network I have ever come across. It's not a bad place per se, but I had far more fun elsewhere.

WHAT'S THE BEST THING YOU DID?

Easy - driving a tank. Jumping out of a plane runs a comfortable second.

LOWEST POINT?

Vomiting down the sink in Shanghai Pudong airport.

DID YOU EVER GET HOMESICK?

Honestly? No. From what I've read, acute homesickness usually sets in two weeks after leaving. At that time, I was in Russia and having to stuggle to ask a store clerk for bread and water - I basically didn't have the time or energy to worry about going home. I'm sure if I went to other way around the world and spent my first few weeks in the relatively easy US then it would have hit me.

ANY REGRETS?

I'm a little sorry I flew to Moscow instead of going overland from London or even from Dublin.

I also would have liked to have reached some places in south China, and maybe not been stupid enough to miss two trains and have visited Pingyao. But the way I see it, now I have a decent excuse to go back to China at some point in the future.

WOULD YOU DO AT AGAIN?

If I thought I could get away with it a second time, yes, but life is rarely so kind.





... and with that I guess it's farewell to the blog!
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