Monday, September 5, 2011

One year later.....

Its been a year............

365 days since me and a few others jumped on the Oz-bus in London and left the UK.
In all honesty I didn’t think I would still be going a year later. There have been some good days, some fantastic days, some unbelievable days and some totally shite days.

I have stayed in 116 different hotels, hostels and guest houses. I’ve been on 51 different boats of all sizes and shapes. There have been 46 bus trips, from a few minutes to days and weeks long. We had 10 different hire cars or camper vans. I have travelled through 24 airports and taken 21 different flights including one around Mt Everest. I am on my 4th pair of flip flops, 8th pair of sunglasses and my 2nd camera and mobile phone.

I have slept in tents, swags, trains, buses and a 2 overnight boats, plus a week in a Thai Hospital.
We have seen Crocodiles in the wild 4 times, hundreds of Kangaroos and Koalas. I have seen Rhinos, been eaten by leeches and swam with Elephants, ridden them and fed one in a bar! I have seen dolphins in the wild many times, watched them surf the waves, swim after our boat, come to the shore and be hand fed and also do tricks in an indoor pool. We encountered emus, snakes, eagles and lizards large and small. Spiders the size of your hand and grasshoppers, praying mantis's and massive butterflies. I have also seen penguins come ashore from the sea and stand just a few centimetres away staring at us!

I have climbed a volcano, been trapped by floods, experienced landslides, a locust plague in the outback, escaped a cyclone and missed an major earthquake by less than 24 hours.

I was pick-pocketed in Indonesia and had my bank cards stolen. I have also used up most of my pages in my passport and will need a new one quite soon.

The start, with Oz-bus was great – a brilliant way to start travelling and get on the road. On the way we saw stunning sights like Bromo, The Golden Temple, Taj Mahal and Mount Everest.
I had a great first few weeks in Australia, having a road trip with the girls, watching the Ashes, Christmas on the beach in Melbourne and hanging around in Sydney with Keri. (Miss ya Keri!)

After the East coast, I travelled to New Zealand, where the Flying Kiwi bus tour was just unbelievable. A fantastic month, with a brilliant group in a stunning country and one of my favourite places. A weeks rest in Fiji was followed by the Melbourne Grand Prix and a short, but great tour of Tasmania.
Then it was back to Sydney for a couple of weeks and the start of my favourite part of my journey to date – A 2 month road trip across Australia, where me and Buffy drove from Sydney to Perth, via almost everywhere doing whatever the hell we wanted, stopping when we needed to and driving a wide variety of vehicles. A brilliant adventure. Road trips are cool!!

Then in June, I finally left Oz, returning to Bali, Malaysia and Thailand and onto new exciting places and the stunning countries of Laos and Cambodia before finally ending up here in Vietnam, where we are now. 22 countries, many many good times, a load of new friends and more experiences than you could imagine, most of which I need to look through my photos and videos to remember.

They say that travel broadens the mind and changes people. I know I have had my mind broadened, but has it changed me? After a week I though it already had, but a year later, I don’t know. I’m still a grumpy bastard, but I do seem to be better at talking to people. I’m definitely more allowing for other people and how slow they seem to do things. I suppose I wont know if I have changed until I go home and the people there, that knew me before I left last year, will be able to tell if I am a new person. For now though, I'm still here, in Vietnam, planning the next few weeks here and then wondering what to do or where to go next. I think I would be mad, not to go to Hong Kong and China while I am so close, so that’s another month or so taken up. Then there’s the Philippines, Japan and Korea. Maybe I should fly across the pacific and stop at Hawaii, before hitting The States, maybe Canada too. I know of a tour around South America that goes on for 36 weeks – that sounds fun! Who knows what will happen next. The only thing I am sure of is.......

Its been a year.

A random photo from somewhere you know where it is!?

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