Wednesday, 24 November 2010

World Trip Legacy

So the trip is over... but the legacy will go on!!

Urvi and I want this trip to be an inspiration to everyone, anyone who wants to fulfil a dream - You Can!!!

For ANY travel advice or guidance, don't hesitate to get in touch with Urvi or I on

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The final Blog post of the trip

I have thought for a while what and how I should write the last blog entry of the trip. I have pondered whether it should be a summary of things we have done and experiences we have had, or maybe something more emotional and reflective. In the end I opted for a simple download of thoughts. There are many thoughts I am having about this trip and its conclusion, so much so that I think it is best for me to simple begin typing a blog post and end when it feels right! I have no idea where this will go and how long it will be so apologies if the post is too long or boring!

The world trip, the life that Urvi and I have led for the last 558 days is over. I am writing this post in the departure lounge of Johannesburg as we wait for our flight to Mumbai. I recall the moment well when the idea for the trip was born. It was during the summer of 2005. Urvi had seen an article in the Sunday Times Travel supplement about the increasing numbers of Career Gappers - people who would decide to give up their jobs and start to travel, seriously travel and see the world. She thought it was an awesome idea, but as ever I was most cautious about it. We were just chit chatting about it and Dad was saying that it sounded like a great idea and that he would have loved to have done this earlier in life. The idea was born. Goodness only knows how this casual chat about travelling for 3 months or so evolved into an 18 month mammoth trip, but evolve it did!

The last firework went off on New Years 2007 and the plan was on, we had to work hard and get things sorted, for we were leaving on the 2nd May 2009! The date was somewhat random, but it was also related to the year end dates in the UK. That was a special moment, as from then on all our efforts were focused on working for the trip. We made a number of serious life compromises during the years building up to our departure and although at the time I had some regrets, the moment that we started on the travel trail all those regrets vanished. Really the moment we arrived in Beijing and checked into our hostel, I knew this was going to be some trip. Beijing was such a rich place full of people and culture that just got me going, got me excited about travel and made me really understand that people are so different as much as they are so similar.

I look back at the first few months, and the pile of things that we packed that we did not use even once, I look back at the gleaming ruck sacks, and freshly ironed cloths, and it makes me smile. Just how far we have indeed come in such a time. Back at the start, every day was a vacation and yet every day was a challenge. It was such an undertaking for us, despite my confidence about being independent. At that time I particularly found it hard to mingle and speak to random people, I found it hard to share, because I guess I don't think I had that much to share. Over the months our routine became more fixed, between us our roles became defined and things smoothed out. We were then left with the experiences of every day. Both Urvi and I grow in stature and confidence, we began to enjoy time, just for the sake of it. We began to calm down and really let the world soak in.

By the end of the trip I think that our mindset to travel, to challenges and to each other has changed so so so much. Urvi is so comfortable with being uncomfortable and never have either of us felt that we are being forced to live a life on the road that we did not want. That was a special point really that only at the end I can appreciate. Urvi has compromised and been so flexible during the trip, and really I don't think we could have travelled with anyone else. At this time of reflection the partnership was just perfect. It sounds a little patronising but I am so proud of Urvi for all that we have achieved and for all that she has supported me to achieve.

On a very personal note I have learnt a great deal about myself and I believe I have changed a great deal. I am not scared to work hard, to be uncomfortable and to really put some effort into things. What ever it might be. People work hard around the world and achieve things and seeing that is very motivating. I have been happy with second best much of the time, but this trip was nothing short of life changing, because we both worked really hard to make it so.

I have learnt that I enjoy the company of new people more than I thought, I have learnt that I know just a fraction of a fraction of what the world and its people can offer, and the most interesting thing is that the knowledge is all out there, in the people you speak with and spend time with. I have learnt this during the trip.

I know now that I can overcome physical challenges and that I in fact enjoy that sense of challenge and totally cherish the moment of achievement. I could go on and on, but simply put I have learnt that there is so much out there that we are foolish to be happy in our own little niche.

The people we met during this time away have been truly AMAZING. Each and everyone of the great friends we have made are inspirational in so many ways. For what they have done in life, for what they were doing, for the way they thought about things, for the joy and love they gave us, for how close we became over the space of hours or days. The friends we made are the real jewels that we have collected throughout the route. I am not going to name a single one, because to name one means I must name them all, but for them all, thank you, and go well in your future and current travels. You were all amazing.

That goes for the people who kept track of us to, cared about us from a distance and talked about us to friends and family. There are people all over the world now who have heard of our trip, and if even 1 person does something that they thought was impossible for them because of some inspiration we gave them, then I am so proud. To be honest I don't expect or want this trip to be replicated by others, but I do hope that people will embark on their own ‘world trip’ - in their own way, by setting out to do something big, something hard and achieving it.

As we all know only to well, time is such a thing that cant be bought, no matter how much cash you have we all have the same unit of time and none of us truly knows how much we are given. Therefore you cant wait, you cant put things off. Start the diet today, plan for your trek today, save for your TV today. WHATEVER it is, do something today. The sense of achievement I feel after this trip will keep me going for a jolly long time!

We touched the feet of all 7 continents, we have seen the sun rise and set all over the world. Would I take up this challenge again? Of course I would. Indeed I think that travel and the feelings that only travelling can give you are now fixed I my head. I want to progress in my life but, travel will be part of that life I am sure. In this regard I am soooooo thankful that Urvi and I just click totally on this. She is a total travel addict too, and I am sure the moment we get home the travel magazines will be out again!

I don't know how life will be in the next days weeks or months, but I know that we have this experience to hold and give us strength as we go forward. We have done and seen things that most dream about, we have had the chance to have many life changing trips, within this one trip. We are lucky but we have also worked hard for it and worked hard during it.

We have this to look back on and motivate our children to never shy away from any challenge.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The best of the trip...

These are some of the ‘bests’ of the trip...

Hostel - Sandalwood hostel, Kyoto, Japan
Nights Sleep - Lebua at State Tower, Bangkok, Thailand
Train Journey - Xining to Lhasa, The Tibet Railroad
Bus Journey - Bahir Dar to Lalibela, Ethiopia
Sunset - Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Sunrise - Poon Hill, Nepal
Cruise/Boat trip - ANTARCTICA!!!!
Street Food - Super Tacos, Mexico City
Swim - The Dead Sea, Jordan
Trek - Torres Del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
Mountain - Dhaulagiri, Nepal (Anand), Fitzroy, El Chalten (Urvi)
City - Cape Town, South Africa
Natural Experience - Leopard Seal Kill, Antarctica (Urvi), White Sharks, South Africa (Anand)
Cultural Experience - Hamer Tribe, Bull Jumping, Ethiopia
Thrill - Sky Diving
Day - Wine Route in New Zealand (Urvi), A380 Flight to NZ (Anand)
Diving - Coral Garden, Dahab, Egypt
Boat - Iceberg Alley, Antarctica
Drink - Coffee in Ethiopia
Religious Site - Angkor Wat
Best Architectural site - Potala Palace, Tibet (Anand), Petra, Jordan (Urvi)

Would go back tomorrow - Nepal, Japan, South Africa
Left Undone - Peru, Bolivia, Africa

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Cape Town - the most magical City I have ever been to...

I was very nervous about coming to cape town after 8 years, as I had such memories of the city and such admiration that I was really worried that these expectations would not be met again. A lot has certainly changed in CPT but I think that I have changed a lot too. Not least travelling here with Urvi, in a much more relaxed mood ha helped to bring out the best in tis wonderful, beautiful and alluring city.

We have spent a few days here now, and I must say all those great thoughts and images have come flooding back. People here are so relaxed and yet confident, the city is simply stunning and when the sun beams over table mountain there is NO city in the world more magical.

We stayed in the Gardens area of the City, which to be honest is just awesome for the flash packers like us! There are great coffee shops around and the views of the mountain are constant, we were also near by to long street and so never far from a great night out.

I have always said that Cape Town is the one place I would live, without question, the best thing about the last week in CPT is that Urvi feels the same now! We just lived our dream lifestyle there, lattes, dinners, friends, sun, shopping! I admit this was a dream time to mark the end of our trip, but even then I can see ourselves living here and loving every moment of it.

Heres hoping!

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