Trip Start Feb 28, 2010
50Trip End Jul 18, 2010
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Where I stayed
Cramped on a 747 for my final flight home id have to say this is probably the most uncomfortable ive been on a plane since i started this journey. Im in an isle seat in the middle row sitting next to a native Fijian and his wife who are at least 70 years old and speak very little English, and to top it off he decided to hog the left hand arm rest for the entire time the plane was in the air...and on the ground. Luckily i had my own TV screen to distract me from his selfishness, even though i got stuck with what seemed like the only one with one functioning ear piece.
What felt like a week of travel had finally come to an end. Since i left Anchorage ive been traveling for a total of 36 hours and managed to sneak in about 5 hours of sleep...but im home now so i figure there's plenty of time for that later.
Looking out the first window i get to, the first thing i notice is that ive been welcomed with a fantastic blue sky as clear as it was the day i departed, only now it is supposed to be winter down here so im a little confused.
Making my way to baggage claim i suddenly get an eerie feeling that i also felt on this last flight, but i shrug it off and soon find my baggage dock and stand in line to collect my bag for the last time.
I continue to wait for the infamous 24Kg 'black Wolf' to rise up and show itself as i witness my fellow passengers collect and move on, but not before giving me that 'suck it' look, the look ive been lucky enough to give to other waiting passengers for the last 4.5 months.
Im now standing there alone, watching the belt go round and round refusing to believe what seemed like to be the inevitable, until i saw the bag door shut closed.
The inevitable has happened.
I have traveled through 15 or more airports in some of the dodgiest places in the world, my bag has went in and out of customs and transit through third world countries where some dont even come with a bag belt and it has always managed to find its way back to me incident free, now i have come back HOME to SYDNEY and my bag is now lost in transit. Welcome home Chad.
The truth it really doesnt bother me, if i were to lose my bag in any place the best place would be to do it here, and not somewhere like Bolivia where temperatures sour duringt eh day and plummet in the night.
After lodging a report with baggage claims i went on to look for my family/friends or whoever had bothered to fight their way through Sydney traffic to pick up the Chad and welcome him home.
Hmmmmm...im in the arrival lounge and there are no familiar faces...could they have forgotten, did i mention the right date and time???
As i ask myself these questions i see something...something bulging between the crowds...something odd looking yet very familiar.
Its now been 6 months and mini Chad as i like to call it is now clearly visible and has decided to join us for the ride home.
On the ride home my sis updates me on the latest to explain why shes picking me up on her own. As it turns out my mother had been admitted to hospital on 2 days before my arrival because of what turned out to be a mild case of pneumonia. Not the ideal news you want to hear after returning from vacation. (she is now OK)
I soon arrive home where i find my other sister and father waiting and ready to serve me up with a home cooked meal fit for a king.
Home hasn't changed, in fact it doesnt feel like ive left it all, the last 4.5 months feels like dream and im suddenly super satisfied that i kept this blog alive and document the whole thing to keep it alive forever.
Later that night after settling in and coming to terms with the fact that i dont need to repack a bag or go for some food or plan the next day, my friends and family come by to greet and catch up with the guy theyve followed through a blog for the last few months.
The long day finally comes to an end and i get to spend my first night back in my one and only bed.
The following morning is a weird one. Its around 8am and when my brain wakes but my eyes are delayed, i hear voices and try to piece together where theyre coming from, who they are and more importantly where i am! Seconds later i open my eyes and after looking around i realise im home..this was definitely one of the weirdest feelings of the trip.
Days pass and i slowly come to terms with the fact that life continues to go on no matter where you are in the world. I begin to see lives of 'routine' unfold all around me and soon decide ive had enough time spent at home recovering and its time to get back to 'doing' something.
Im summoned in to help finish off a relatives renovation, and as ive taken some time off before returning to work i figure i might as well use it to give something back, especially when i get the chance to say hi to an old four legged friend and top it off with my first BBQ since my return.
Its been a week now and i havnt heard anything on the whereabouts of my bag so i decide to call it in.
Guess what?? The bag has been found, only its now in Tokyo Japan!!! It turns out my bag wasn't done traveling just yet, it had an itinerary of its own.
It soon found its way back to me and we were reunited for the last time, only this time she was busted up more than shes been since our whole time together. Looks like a bag lost in transit doesnt hold the same value as it does when its not.
Its now been over 2 weeks and im more than settled in, but i must admit nothing here can compare to what ive experienced in all this time away.
The places ive been, the people ive met and the adventures weve experienced together will go down as the greatest adventure of my lifetime that i wouldnt change for the world.
My love for travel, adventure and exploration has only grown stronger with this experience and im sure will only strengthen even more over time.
Before i began this journey of a lifetime that saw me carving up the slopes of Canada, cruising the waters of Brazil, scaling the jagged mountains of Patagonia, traversing thousand year old Inka pathways in Peru, thrashing through the whitewaters of Ecuador, soaking up the sun in Colombia, staring down the locals of the Galapagos, diving the transparent waters of Mexico, trekking through the Canadian Rockies and hiking through the vast flat tundras of Alaska, i was sure that i would fulfill my hunger for adventure once i arrived at each of my destinations, but as it turns out i was wrong.
In the end i am now convinced that the make up of ones character comes from new
Either way im sure of one thing, this is only the beginning and im just getting started, so in reality i guess its only fair that i end this with what i think is a true finish to this blog....
To be continued...