Well, that’s just about it from us. This is the last post of the blog, the last of a 122 updates. We hope you’ve enjoyed them, and that they’ve made you feel as if you’ve shared some of the trip with us. We’d like to think so, anyway.
If you remember, back in September 2011 we set sail from the shores of Great Britain with the words of Mark Twain ringing in our ears: ‘Explore. Dream. Discover.’
Over the last twelve months we have explored three continents, fifteen countries and over eighty cities, towns, villages, beaches, forests and mountain tops.
A lot of our dreams have been realised: Copacabana Beach, Cristo Redentor, Iguacu Falls, Machu Picchu, the Bolivian Salt Flats, Mendoza’s vineyards, horse-riding in Cordoban, and camper-vanning in New Zealand. We’ve experienced Fijian heaven and Fijian hell, Andy Murray at Melbourne’s Australian Open, snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef, Balinese eco-cycling, Javanese surfing, and climbing Mount Kinabalu. We’ve bathed Elephants in Chiang Mai, slow-boated down the Mekong, rice-farmed in Luang Prabang, volunteered in Siem Reap, explored Angkor Wat, windsurfed in Nha Trang, island-weaved around Halong Bay, and lived the high life in Bankgok.
It’s been an Olympic year for us in more ways than one, and in keeping with the big theme of 2012 we’d like to hand out some of our own medals. Bronze goes to Argentina, a shimmering jewel among the many rough diamonds of South America. Vietnam gets the silver medal for its incredible diversity and glorious contradictions. And gold has to go to New Zealand – quite simply, it is a country that has it all.
Amid all these adventures we’ve had the time to discover the delights of Amis (Martin), Bronte (Emily), Dickens, Dostoevsky, Dumas, Flaubert, Fleming, Kerouac, Lee, McEwan, Marquez, Melville, Nabakov, Proust, Salinger, Steinbeck and Tolstoy.
And although we haven’t read any Twain on this trip, we do know that he wrote: ‘Life does not consist mainly – or even largely – of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head.’
Through this blog we’ve already shared some of those thoughts; we’re looking forward to sharing the rest of them with you in person when we return. So although it’s goodbye, it’s also hello.
Finally, we would like to dedicate the trip and this blog to our mothers. Only one was able to wave us goodbye, and neither will be able to welcome us home. But we would like to think that both have travelled with us.