It’s funny how time and experience changes what you’re nervous about. Just over seven months ago I wrote a post about how this very trip was rapidly approaching, causing a mild panic between Mark and I. Now that we’re so close to going home, I’m starting to freak out again.
When I look back at what we’ve done with our lives for the past 205 days, I can’t quite believe it. We’ve seen the Taj Mahal, Sigiriya, Siem Reap, Ha Long Bay, Mt Fuji, the Great Barrier Reef, Doubtful Sound, Machu Picchu and Salar de Uyuni. I’ve visited 16 countries I’ve never been to before, most of which I’m eager to go back to. We made so many new friends and there’s at least 40 people who own a little piece of card with my face on it and contact details, so hopefully I’ll see some again in the future.
Some parts of the travel have been difficult, but never so difficult that we’ve completely given up on each other. There have definitely been moments of frustration and loud shouting, but those have just taught us when to give each other space more than anything. Despite any threats we’ve only slept in separate rooms once, and that’s just because they didn’t have beds in the same dorm on NYE. We have stayed in more bunk beds than double beds though, which maybe gave us just enough space for our own thoughts when we needed it.
One of the least expected things to happen to me is the fact that I don’t want to buy meat any more. Before you assume that means I’ve gone vegetarian, it doesn’t. I’ll still eat meat from other people’s plates, especially if it’s going to waste, but I don’t want to waste the lives of animals for my own enjoyment. Who knows what horrible conditions the animals I could be eating live in, only to be become part of a mediocre meal that I wish I hadn’t ordered by the end anyway.
It’s impossible to know how we’ll feel once we’ve unpacked our bags and are starting to settle back into normal life again. I’m not one for sitting around these days though, so I do have some potential freelance clients lined up already and an event to attend every weekend in June. Maybe I’ll go into overdrive with all the projects I’m involved in, or maybe I’ll just set the PS4 up and lose a month of my life to games I didn’t complete last year.
What I’ve come to realise is just how much people make experiences whole. I’ve loved seeing amazing things all around the world, but our favourite moments have all come when we’ve been hanging out in a group. It’s so exciting and fun to meet people just like us in places we never expected, because they add a whole new dynamic to each situation. We’ve also been privileged enough to meet some people twice in totally different countries, or travel with Mark’s parents for a month throughout New Zealand. I’d list everyone who’s made this trip special, but who honestly cares about the acknowledgements section if their name isn’t in it? If you’re reading this though and you met us outside the UK, you’re definitely one of our favourites.
I can’t help but feel a great sadness that it’s all about to end, while at the same time I’m excited to go back to my old life with an arsenal of new experiences. Who knows what’s going to happen next.