Over the past few months I’ve been telling my colleagues, friends and family that I’m embarking on a journey that will take me around the world’s waist. A clear, simple explanation of my travel plans was my thinking. This is actually totally inaccurate. I’m really following the path of the world’s chest, a little higher up then her waist, with a dip down towards the waistline every now and again. I think of Planet Earth as a ‘she’, it makes me think of the world as a softer, gentler place, ready to envelop and welcome me whatever part of her wondrous ‘body’ I end up visiting. I know this is unrealistic but it eases the feelings of apprehension I’m harbouring as my departure date approaches. My journey will take me to Canada, the US, Hawaii (which I know is theoretically part of the US, but it deserves a mention of its own), Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India.
The last time I went travelling I had no mobile phone and laptop; it was admittedly a long time ago. All communications with home were done via postcards, the occasional phone call and afternoons spent whiling the time away writing emails in internet cafes usually because it was raining. I had a portable CD player, matching travel pack for my CDs and a pack of playing cards. I didn’t think twice about staying up late, sleeping in grotty dormitories, drinking a lot of cheap alcohol and smoking everywhere liberally and freely. Fast forward to 2017. Today I have a wheelie rucksack as I’m not sure if I’m strong enough to carry a big backpack and I don’t want to put my back out, I’ve bought a new range of ‘active-wear’ travelling clothes that are extraordinarily light-weight, yet apparently warm at the same time and I have a mini laptop loaded with enough sources of entertainment that I shouldn’t ever find myself bored or lonely. And apparently no one in Canada and the US smokes, so there won’t be any more bad habits. Let’s face it, at my age I don’t think I’ll be throwing shapes with the youth of today but I hope I’ll find some friendly faces to talk to, as I sip my beer wearing the types of clothes I’ve generally always steered well clear of back home. Here I go!
PS – I am not really a tree hugger, as the photo might suggest. I just liked it, of me that is.