Its three years to the day, when on June 9th 2010, I left my apartment in Holland and drove back to the UK after completing my 22 year service with the British Army.
One year later and on June 9th 2011, I was left alone in Fremantle, just outside of Perth, Western Australia. Buffy had just left to travel to Asia and I had a few days left alone in Australia.
Just a year ago today and I was with Buffy in Montreal, Canada, watching the Canadian Grand Prix qualifying on a lovely Saturday afternoon.
Its fairly safe to say that I like June the 9th's! So its a good day to tell you what I'm planning next......
So, June 9th 2013 - I have been 'travelling', for nearly three years and I'm back at home in Winnipeg. All 50 states of the US of A are done, in the bag and stamped forever in the annals of my history.
Where the hell am I going to go and what am I going to do after travelling around the world and seeing just about every part of the USA? Yes, there are more adventures out there – South America, Africa and the huge expanse of Russia are all places that I have on my hit list of destinations. But for now, I am planning on a spectacular trip to one of the greatest corners of the globe. This one place has the history and the geography to rival anywhere on earth.
This small island has punched above its weight for the last few hundred years. It ruled over the world with an empire that was the largest and greatest empire the world has ever known. It once controlled nearly a quarter of the entire earth. The Mongol and the Russian empires only ever took about 15% and the Roman Empire at its height only controlled about 5%. However, the power of this place is currently in decline and I would like to spend some time there before it disappears completely under control of the rest of its continent.
On this little island you can find ancient history dating back not hundreds or thousands of years but millions of years. The geography of the place is spectacular with rolling hills, mountains, lakes, beaches and forests.
Culturally it is one of the most diverse places on earth, with people from all around the globe visiting and living there. Its recent history sees it winning two huge wars, inspiring the world during the industrial revolution and creating world leading innovations such at the first computer, the hovercraft, the jet engine, steam engines, diesel engines, the first railway, tarmac, football, cycling, rugby, cricket, golf, curling, electric transformers, microchips, bangers and mash, cheddar cheese, fish and chips, rubber bands and even the world’s first pay toilet were invented here. Without this tiny little insignificant island life today would just not be the same. How many places on earth can you honestly say that about?
Obviously by now you will have realised just where I am talking about...I’m talking about the UK, Great Britain and especially England. Where the modern 20th century world we all live in began. It’s now the 21st century though and as other countries around the world take their turn on the centre stage of innovation, I want to be able to look around the place where I lived my youth from a new perspective.
I haven’t actually spent more than a few weeks at a time in the green fields of England since I moved to Northern Ireland in 2004 and am really looking forward to seeing it again. I have now travelled my way around the world and can look at it from a different angle, almost like the 30 million people who go there every year.
So there you are – in late August this year, myself and Miss Buffy Cowtan will pack up our stuff and fly (via a week’s holiday in Iceland) to England. We will be staying in the greatest city in the country – Manchester, with the best people, nightlife, sporting arenas, food and weather (If you like rain!)
Our intention is to stay for the whole of 2014 and into 2015 – we may stay longer if we end up with jobs we both enjoy, but we will take that as it comes. Yes, I did mention jobs – we want to travel about, see the country and have a lot of fun, but we also need to be sensible so at least a part time job is on the agenda and if the right job comes along it may well be full time.
So, if you are reading this and know me or Buffy and are located somewhere in the England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales or even in Europe – then get in touch and arrange a night out with us. I’d love everyone to meet Buffy and get to know her. Plus if anyone knows of any jobs going in the Manchester area for either of us – let us know!!
We shall see you soon.
I’m coming home.