Diary Page 2

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14

Departure

" I braced my resolution to quit all my dear ones, female and male, and forsook my home as birds forsake their nests"
Ibn Battutah - 1325


I am asked if I am concerned about traveling alone, but I don't feel that I am. Firstly I am traveling with Tony Day - which can be demanding, I have 3 cupboards full of books to work through - the frustration being were to start, I have 3 languages to work on - at the very least, and when you do travel without a companion you meet people every single day. So I do not have the feeling of alone in the slightest. What it does mean, if I just want some time with TD then I have the opportunity to take it. It gives me the space I need in order to make room for other things.

The idea of the web site was to solve three problems that I had been wrestling with for some time. How to record the trip. How to protect my photo's against theft, because it would have been devastating if after 18 months my van was stolen.The van can be replaced but not all my photos and diary. Lastly, how to keep in touch with everyone effectively, rather than the unrealistic alternative of a series of post cards. Hence the idea of the web site evolved. Which had the additional benefit of allowing me to store security backup scans of all my important documents; birth certificate, passport, driving licence, travel insurance, a record of vaccinations, personal diary, all bank details and my phone numbers. So that in the event of the worst case scenario, if the Destiny Bus was stolen, I was stripped naked and not a penny to my name, hopefully I could by.

By the time I left I was all but burnt out. My last day at the office, which I expected to be at the max half a day, spanned a 21 hour session with me leaving at 5.45am. The following week was more of the same, filled with arrangements and preparation of transporting your whole life into a 15ft x 10ft space. So by the time I finally departed on 1st May I was living on adrenalin; I got as far as Manchester, called in to see George and died a death. It meant me arriving at Gaia House a day later than expected, but at least in one piece.

On one of my last nights at the Barn, my furniture had been removed and pretty much all I was left with was a mattress and some kitchen equipment. It was a lovely evening and I was in the garden checking all details and listening to music until about midnight, at which point it seemed like a good idea to drag the mattress down and and sleep in the middle of the garden. A fitting farewell to my little sanctuary. Luckily it remained fine all night but poured down the day after! At the time this seemed so natural and sums up the feeling of absolute freedom I now have!

When I look back on the concept of completely uprooting and in effect disrupting everything that was part of my life, what I notice is, that whilst I live for new experiences and "firsts", some of the "lasts" were tough. But unfortunately, that goes with the territory. However with the advent of email, mobile phones and my web site it no longer necessarily follows that they are all left behind.