It is strange being back in the UK after 7 months away. Both Gemma and I are currently floating about in a bit of a daze. We had hoped that whilst away we would come up with an excellent plan for what to do with the rest of our lives. We failed.
As with the year that we spent in Australia, I have come away from this trip really appreciating time. The great thing about a trip like the one we’ve just had, for me, is not necessarily the places we’ve been or things that we’ve seen, but rather the feeling that I own my own time. I haven’t had to get up in the morning and go to work. I haven’t had to do anything at all. Other than mostly very vague and changeable plans, we were able to decide what we did on an almost daily basis. That feeling can be daunting; there is a big world out there and lots of stuff to do. Mostly though, I found it liberating.
Saying all that though, we did go to some brilliant places and did see some lovely things. As ever, the natural world was the highlight. I love wildlife and I love beautiful scenery and this trip gave us the opportunity to see plenty of both. I think for both of us, having a large group of Elephants surround our car after a couple of days of wildlife spotting was probably a highlight although there were many other wonderful moments.
I know that some people would have been to more places than us in the time that we’ve been away, or done different things in the places that we have been. I’m a lazy traveller. I don’t like to rush or to try and cram too much in. I’d rather treat the time like a holiday, which it was. So we may have missed some ‘must see’ sights. So what? They’ll mostly still be there. I’ve certainly come away with a long list of places that I would love to go back to.
I’m just sad that our diary and photographs may not have gotten across how wonderful our experiences were. I’m not the best writer in the world and find it much more difficult to explain positive things than negative things, thus it may seem like I’m moaning a lot in the blog. I know that my blog posts are probably as dull as ditchwater to most readers due to their excruciating level of detail. That’s because I don’t have the best memory for place names and the like and intended my diary as a place I could keep track of that kind of thing. Having friends and family use it to keep track of what we were up to was a pleasant side effect.
Since we’ve been back we haven’t seen very many people due to Gemma falling ill with a nasty cold almost immediately, and the fact that my body is refusing to accept it is on UK time now. Still, virtually everyone we’ve spoken to has asked the question, ‘What was your favourite place?’ It’s an impossible question to answer as everywhere that we have been has been so different. Each place has had it’s highs and lows and each has an individual charm.
So, what now for Get Your Boots On? Many people have said to us things like, ‘Oh, this will get it out of your system’, ‘time to settle down now’ and ‘it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.’ I’m not sure that I agree. If anything I only want to travel more. I’m not sure whether I would want to go away for quite as long, at least not any time soon. I might be feeling that I want to put down some roots now. To find a base to which I can return. Both Gemma and I would like to travel within the UK and also within Europe so perhaps that will be next.