Tuesday, January 17, 2012

500 days - Back at home.The end of the beginning - 76 days till I leave again




'No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow'

Ricks Extra Long Summer........
Well, The 'Summer', ended a couple of months ago - somwhere in Vietnam. Since then I have had a couple of nice warm sunny days here and there, especially in California, but a lot of the time, its been cooler and chillier that I would have liked. But travelling is still the best experience.

But, today, I am back in my mum and dads house in Skegness, Lincolnshire, England, in what is the centre of the known universe. I feel a bit weird. For the 1st time in 500 days, I dont have to worry about anything - Not who my roomies will be. Not whether there will be bed bugs. Not if I will be able to get any food anywhere! Not have to book flights, buses, boats or trains. I think I am feeling a little homesick. But thats weird cos my homesickness is for being on the road. I call this my home, but in all honesty, I dont think I really have one. This is where my family and friends live and therefore IS my home. But I havent lived in England since 2004 and apart from family and friends, its as much my home as Holland, Australia, Vietnam or America! Weird - thats how I feel! Im sure I will settle in after a few hours though!

I am here after flying home from Washington DC last night, arriving in Heathrow, London, this morning - exactly 500 days after I left mother England for god knows what.

Day 499!!
Week 1 day 1!!




In those 500 days I have:-
Visited 25 countries,
Stayed in 196 different hotels, hostels, camper vans, tents and cars,
.........and 1 hospital,
been on more buses, trains and boats than I can remember,
flown on 27 flights,
gone through 4 and a half pairs of flip flops,
4 fleeces,
8 pairs of sunglasses,
7 toothbrushes,
had only 3 haircuts,
had 3 mobile phones and 4 different numbers
and 2 cameras (including one of the said mobile phones),
been pick-pocketed in Indonesia
and been naked on a hill top in China........twice,
I've climbed a live volcano, missed earthquakes, floods, plagues and tsunamis,
been attacked by a croc and chased by a rhino,
ascended mountains and descended into caves,
met elephants, kangaroos, koalas, penguins, more dolphins than any sane person would ever want to see,
driven 2750 km's across the outback in 40 hours,
rode mopeds in Vietnam,
flown past Mt Everest,
met hundreds of cool people and
jumped The Taj Mahal, The Equator, Hong Kong, Hollywood, Grand Canyon, Uluru, Sydney, New Zealand, The Statue of Liberty and The Great Wall of China -plus many more....

I have travelled for approximately 67,263 miles or 108,249kilometres...... But that doesnt include walking, which would add up to another 1000 miles at least!

(That equal to actually going around the world 2.7 times!!!)

So after all that, it is now, sadly, over. I have now hung up my travelling pack and put my passport away.......


LIKE  


 SHITE  


 I  


 HAVE.


The countdown begins again....

I am actually home for only 76 days. Just time enough for me to get a new passport (My old one is nearly full) relax for a while, see my family and friends relax for a few weeks and then get some planning done.

My flight is already booked........I leave again on Apr 2nd, when I return to Canada, to celebrate with  Buffy on her birthday, before I hit the road.

I might see more of America. So far I have seen California, New York, Massachusets, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, but Id like to see all 50 states, including Alaska.  Plus I have the wild and wonderful cities and prairies of Canadia. Then maybe, if it gets a bit cold, I might pop down to South America and see whats going on down there......

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.”


The blog will continue while I am on 'holiday at home' and then even more so when I resume my travels in April.


But, this is NOT the end.

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson


Heres where I am going next...........


Somewhere here!!!  Haahaa!!


So how was the journey home? Well, it started fine. A quickand easy subway ride to the bus stop in central Washington, where the bus to Dulles was waiting. An hour long ride on the bus, which seemed to take forever, but gave me some time to look at a map of America and start to make plans for when I return to the states in 3 months time.

Then, at the airport, I checked in with plenty of time to spare for my flight. A nice little wander around the airport after a short trip on the airport train that takes you to the gates. I sat and sent a couple of emails until, with 45minutes to go before take off, I realised that when I went through security, I had left my hat and gloves behind (They had been in my pocket and had to be put back through the xray machine, where I had forgotten to pick them up). I quickly made my way back, took the airport train again, down and then back up 2 escalators and ended up at the wrong security checkpoint. The lady there radiod the other checkpoint and they had found my stuff, so I went back down and up the escalators to get there, picked up my stuff, back down the escalators, onto the train , off at the other end, up the escalators and back to gate B38, where my flight was just starting to board. I wandered straight in and was 3rd onto the plane! Hahaha! Bonus. The plane was half empty, so we could all spread out and enjoy the comfort of feet on the seats next to us.

We arrived in Heathrow just after 8.30, which is 30 minutes ahead of schedule, giving me plenty of time to grab my bag and jump on the tube for the hour long journey to Kings Cross and my train north. It was a good journey and I arrived at home just after 3pm to see my mum waving at me through the window like I had just come back from the shops!!

Nearly there

In Londinium

Now, I have settled back in sorted out a load of paperwork and had a good soak in the bath. Its nearly time for bed.

At Smegmess railway station

Nice sunset

At home with the folks



76





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