The British Airways flight I’m about to board, from Johannesburg to Cape Town, is the last flight of my RTW ticket, exactly one year on. Last year on October 20th, I left London, and flew via Dubai to Mauritius, where on the 23rd, I started my RTW ticket. It ends today, on 23rd October 2007. In this last year I’ve visited Africa, Europe, South America, Oceania, and Asia, and I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve taken 64 separate flights (just counted them), countless buses, trains, motorbikes, bicycles, tuktuks, parachutes, boats and walked a fair bit too, met many people, seen wonderful things, and learnt so much about the cultures and history of the world.
In the film Bladerunner, there’s a scene where the final replicant chap is about to die. He talks about the things he’s seen, beautiful moments across the universe, and how sad it is that all those memories will die with him, lost like teardrops in the rain. Better to have those experiences though - to have love and lost. Am I bored of travelling? Certainly not. Do I feel like I’m searching for something, and haven’t found it yet? No, every day is a new day, with new people, new cultures. It’s tiring, but worthwhile. Now, furthermore, I’ve just arrived in a whole new continent, Africa, and I’m back to square one. Can I do this forever? No, the money dwindles, the dream has to come to an end, I will need to work at some point soon!
My provisional idea currently is that I will travel overland through Africa back to Europe, coming back to England in March. I’d also like to loop round Sub-Saharan Africa back to South Africa, then look to be crew on a boat heading back to the UK via the Atlantic, ideally popping in to visit Vince, my old boss, on St. Helena for a quick beverage. Either way, there’s a couple of months left to go yet in the old traveller (30 next year, gulp)! I also have to get to Petrus in Jordan somehow, so I can cover off all seven Wonders of the World!
What will I do after this? Well apart from getting back to reality, I think I’ll start visiting England more. I’ve seen so much of the world, and yet so little of my own dear home, still the most beautiful country in the world to me. That said, I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m back cursing my way through Heathrow bound for a foreign land! I think it’s going to take a family to tie me down, or perhaps it will be a family that will take me away. We shall see…