On the road...to home
Before I start...I just wanna thank everyone for keepin me company whilst I've been on the road in the form of msg board, email, tetx and phone. Its really kept me goin even when times were bad... x
So here it is...my last blog.
Its come around a little sooner than I had originally planned, but I've still fitted in everything (and more that I wanted to do). I've just arrived in Delhi after a gruelling 16hr overnight train journey, I've just got today to see a few more places in Delhi before I head off to the airport tonight.
If you've kept upto date with my trip you'll know the ups and downs I've had and even if I look back on the downs I see them as experiences I'll never forget :P.
I've gotta look at the highlights though and there has been many...so here's a round up of my trip highlights from the last 7-8 months:
Tapas in Granada...the guy who owned the bar I went to was the nicest guy and the tapas was pretty amazing...All free as well!!!
Fiesta - Corpus Christi and Bullfight...my fascination with Spain has always stemmed froim their way of life, rather love of life. They really know how to celebrate fiesta's...it was great to be in Granada during this one and experience it first hand as a resident rather than as a tourist.
Ice bar in Barca and Seafood restaurants along Port Vell...these places were new to me and definatley a highlight of me living there and of course visiting these places with the missus.
TEFL and crazy bike ride in Prague...the whole TEFL experince was a great learning curve for me, it was pretty intense at the time, but it deffo set me up for teaching in India and Nepal. If you saw my videos a while back you will have seen the crazy 6 seater bike we took round the centre of Prague..very funny!
Teaching in Palampur, HP, India...I got a lot of out teaching in India and sharing my time with the other volunteers there.
Leh...as the fellowship or the remaing volunteers on the 2mth programme we set off on a 3 day overland trip from Palampur to Leh. It was both the scariest and most amzing trip in terms of scenery I've ever been on. We went over the 2nd highest rd pass ( the highest we went over as a trip when we got to Leh) not without incident. I had a good laugh with these guys in Leh and will always rememebr that.
McLeod Ganj...seeingthe Dalai Lama has gotta be one of the biggest highlights. To be so close and see him and lsiten to his humour just shows what a farce and joke the Catholic religion is...
Indian cities...a lot of the big ones are quite featurless. They all have their places to visit etc...but the two that stood out for me was Varanasi and Amristar. The first was the only one I coudl say that I could kinda walk around without worrying about getting knocked over. This was due to the old city being set up like a maze of alleyways. Amritsar's Golden temple was a pretty special place...and it was good to just sit there and soak up the ambience.
Kathmandu...capital on Nepal and a city/valley with a lot to see. The temples and general mood of the place was a lot different to India, although simlar to India in a lot of ways, Nepal offers something slightly better. I can't put my finger on it.
EVEREST (& near death experience)...seeing Everest has gotta be up there as my trip highlight. It was a hell of slog getting up there and the whole thing with the plane crash really woke me up to how you've really gotta grab things in life.
Teaching Tibtean orphans in Pokhara, Nepal...despite being pretty intense I really enjoyed my teaching time with these kids. I had a great time just playing footy aetc with them...
Paragliding in Pokhara...supposedlky the best place in thw world to do it...the views of the annapurna himalya range and lake were worth the adrenaline pumping run off the mountain side.
Goa, Park Hyatt and Goan sunsets with the missus...a really nice way to finish off my trip with Vic being there as well. The Hyatt was a real treat after experiencing -5 star treatment on most of my trip it was nice to be spoilt. Their all you can eat seafood (lobster, crab, tiger prawwn...) was a particular highlight as well as the full body massage :). The sunsets over the water in Goa and generally the chilling on the beach with the beach shacks gave me a much needed rest.
So there it is...after spending the last 3 days in the same clothes (no point changing when your travellig in India) and travelling on two gruelling trains taking over 30hrs (countin delays :D) I'm back in Delhi.
The career break was all about me doin things I always wanted to do and experience living in a foreign country for a reason (Spain -studyin Spanish etc..), rather than as a tourist, it was never about what was I gonna see, the Taj mahal is perhaps a good example, cos to be honest I've forgotten a few times that I've seen it hahaha. Ok Everest might be the odd one out, but the trek in itself was a hell of an experience. For me travelling is not about what you see but rather the expeirences you have getting there. This trip wasn't about ticking a checklist..seen it etc...I've done that in Europe and it gets pretty boring. So without being insulting to places like the USA, Oz etc...they were never gonna be a place to go.
Coming to countries like India and Nepal has certainly opended my eyes to how other people live in this world and to be honest it does get to you after a bit. Its hard being used to your western comforts and adjusting to it. I think I said it when I first came to India..you really habve to go with it or you'd have major problems from the start.
I do hold my hand up and admit I missed some things...decent coffee and wine, food you can eat without worrying your gonna get food poisoning from it, toliets you don't have to squat over and showers!!...opposed to bucket ones.But if I'd had those comforts it wouldn't have been half the experience...
So there it all is...until next time :P