So, we have finally landed back in the UK after 10 months in Asia and Australasia. It feels like a lifetime ago that we were boarding the first flight from Gatwick airport, wondering what Mongolia was going to look like. We’ve met some incredible people, seen some beautiful places, and climbed a lot of rock!
Already we’ve been asked the question ‘what was your favourite place?’ quite a few times. We both loved New Zealand, and it was probably the place we most enjoyed being in, but it wasn’t exactly out of our comfort zone – we like to think of it as Scotland on steroids. Personally I loved Vietnam; the food was great, the people were friendly and a bit crazy, the history was fascinating, and it was made even more special for us as we had a visit from my brother, and then spent Christmas there. Charlottes favourite was Mongolia, with its beautiful open landscapes, the off-roading and wild camping, and the group we travelled with who we got to know and like. Getting engaged in Mongolia also made it particularly special for us both. We figured that if you can live in each other’s pockets for nearly a year, marriage should be a breeze!
We had mixed feelings about arriving back in the UK, and the impending return to work and normality. At some points we really looked forward to coming back, like at Christmas when we missed being with family, and those times when we were spending uncomfortable nights on buses, or staying in shabby hostel dorms. At other times we wished it would never end. By the end we felt ready to come back, and we are both looking forward to getting stuck into work again, and having a bit of structure in our lives. It will be nice to have more than 2 sets of clothes to choose from, to not permanently look like hikers, not to be living out of a bag, not to be carrying the aforementioned bags, to have a home, to be able to exercise and eat more healthily. The main thing we will miss is having so much time!
We feel like we are moving on and looking ahead to new projects, which is exciting – planning a wedding, buying a house, etc. We want to spend more time travelling closer to home, in the UK and Europe. Most Australians we met have seen more of the UK than either of us! I think spending time away from the UK and our regular lives has given us a bit of perspective, and we both have a slightly altered outlook on life, as well as some resolutions. One of these is spending more time with both our families – you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s not there!
Thanks so much to everyone who has read our blog over the past year, and shared the adventure with us.
Over and out.