Sunday, 1 July 2012

the end of it all....

1st July 2012

Bristol, England

           "Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blow-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do all frustrations fall away." - John Steinbeck

            So after three continents, twelve countries, eighty six blog posts and two hundred and forty seven days of travelling through sun-scorched deserts, humid jungles, squalid slums and windswept valleys on a variety of buses, bikes, cars, trains and planes, the finishing line of this terrific world marathon has finally been reached and I find myself back home. Predictably I'm finding it quite hard to adjust and digest everything that's happened to me since last October, although thankfully this blog does allow me to break down the months into manageable memories that help me reflect upon the ambitious path I have trodden since India. The trip, as Steinbeck so eloquently puts it, did indeed ignore my tentative pre-planned steps back in Delhi and instead thrust me upon an uncertain trail filled with terrifying but exciting new experiences. Although it's true that things calmed down once I had got my bearings, there have been many other times since then where I have been forced back onto that wild pathway and although I often feel uncomfortable when there, I relish these moments as I learn the most from them. I remember being sat in my room during the final weeks leading up to this trip, frantically taking notes of things that I apparently must see and do in each country. Although I'm sure a lot of what I read subconsciously informed later decisions, ultimately it was not really necessary as the real excitement and freedom granted by travelling independently is only truly exercised by occasionally throwing both caution and guidebooks to the wind and allowing fate to decide your next step. Some of the best experiences I had during my travels did not come about by reading the lonely planet but by taking a gamble and stumbling upon them unexpectedly. The key thing to acknowledge is that there are so many opportunities that pop up on the road but they are often only accessible by accepting that you can't control when or how they will present themselves. All you can ultimately do is to make sure you prepare yourself properly before leaving and then once on the plane, open your mind and let whatever happens, happen. 

Thanks for reading.


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