Ending a great holiday can be hard. After an adventure, reality sucks. In the past reality has been living in s***ty places like Catterick, a dodgy Northern German garrison town or worst of all that armpit of the universe, Northern Ireland (this may offend some; it has good Guinness, is green and has some nice mountains and cold but picturesque beaches. All true, but as a man wearing the uniform of the British Army and hanging around the Ardoyne, the Bogside and the Shankhill, it is an evil place where it is always raining). The great thing about the current reality is that it involves a slow turn over Bondi Beach and descending into the beautiful city of Sydney where we know some great people and have a lot of fun.
This trip has been particularly good and without doubt the most luxurious trip yet. It would be nice to get used to traveling this way, but it is unlikely this will be the case. We enjoy ourselves too much to ever sustain being well off. In some ways this is a good thing. We enjoy our more basic cultural experiences, like negotiating with a man in a shack in Morocco to take my trousers up, or getting lost in the back streets of Marrakech more than we enjoy the swankiness of Branson's hotel and often traveling the posh way reduces these experiences. Cars and reliable drivers replace local buses dropping us in the middle of nowhere. Interesting but well established hotels of the mid to high end replace the lottery of the mid to low end of the market. If in doubt, throw money at the problem rather than battling through. The real adventure can be reduced and removed, which is a shame. The trick is not to become lazy and spoilt and to continue to favor interesting over easy, uncertainty over the known. Easier said than done when the easy and known involves champagne and Martini's.
We have been reminded how much we enjoy these adventures though and whilst we have a great life in a superb city and jobs we enjoy, we need to work out a way of paying off our mortgages quickly and devoting ourselves to travel and adventures as quickly as we can. This will undoubtedly involve hard work, compromise and more frequent adult behavior a we try to follow a plan. We could always find something we can do on a beach or in a jungle (as long as there is WiFi) but that is not easy and as my articles in On Duty only bring in enough to cover about a third of our booze bill, it ain't going to be through writing.
We need to acknowledge we are likely to die poor but I hope we will have passports full of interesting stamps, memories of adventures all over the globe, a better understanding of the world we live in and of course, some great booze related stories of mishap and mischief.
Next trip in to Ubud on Bali but that involves a small villa in a paddy field and Katie and Al in the villa next door, so will be more of a challenge to our livers than a cultural experience.