that is all.
Not me. A chap named Jonathan.
[that’s Jonathan, over my left shoulder – don’t ask about the hats]
I met Jonathan first in Russia on my first night in Moscow back in April. He was halfway through a six month trip and had big plans. We ran into each other again in Mongolia and (along with a few others in our group) we discovered we pretty much had the same schedule ahead of us for the seven days or so [taking in camping out in the desert, catching the train to China and then hanging out in Beijing].
Anyway, I got back from my trip in May, Jonathan got back yesterday.
This post, entitled ‘HOME’ (and reposted with his permission) is what he’s just published and I actually love it.
“Just finished unpacking my backpack for the last f***ing time because I am finally home in good old London. If ever there was a moment for a cliché/gay/philosophical/Disney/boring (whichever) shout, surely now is the one time I can get away with one. So here goes (and then I promise I will shut up about all this and go back to drinking K and listening to s*** music).
A lot of people have asked me recently what I’ve learnt or found in the last 6 months living like a gypsy ‘on the road’. Well, I haven’t discovered the meaning of life, I haven’t realised that the world is a beautiful place, I still don’t understand religion and I still don’t get the appeal of a tan. What I have found is a restored faith in the human race, pieced together by every individual that has gone out of their way to help me get so far. The couch-surfers around the world who put me up for a night or few, the drivers who gave me a ride when I was stood with my thumb up on the side of the road in the rain, the families that invited me to live with them and those that fed me despite being too poor to get a solid roof above their heads. The people that turned my map the right way round, the people who patiently tried to teach me a part of their language and culture, those that put up with my constant complaining everywhere I went, and everyone else who smiled at the pasty tourist far too far from home. Sure, there are a lot of dickheads in the world, but they are greatly outnumbered by amazing people.
The Cambodians have a saying ‘when glass floats’ which means when evil prevails over good. Glass will never float. That’s what I’ve learnt.
PEACE OUT YO.”
Peace out yo, have a great Monday.
…to sort a few things out.
A few weeks ago I flew to Moscow for a couple of days and from there, caught the train to Beijing (stopping off for a few nights in Ulanbator, Mongolia along the way). The journey itself was perfect and pretty much exactly what I needed.
To put things in perspective: over the past month I’ve jogged around Red Square in the morning snow, galloped across the Mongolian desert in the afternoon sun and – thanks to a midday downpour – got soaked to the skin deep within the Forbidden City. ‘Spectacular’ doesn’t quite do it justice.
There’s much to catch up on [and a fair amount of moleskinerie to write up] but for now, it’s good to be home.
Moleskine entry: July 15th, 2010
It’s not too bad. Today’s date is July 15th 2010. In 20mins I’ll be in Canada which… is interesting. I was upgraded today. Seat 3G. That was nice.
Saying that, I am tired. But to be fair, that’s down to lack of sleep over and above anything else.
Son, Daughter – one day I hope you’ll read this. Read about ‘Dad’s Travels’. I bought my first map last week. Stickers a plenty all over it, yours too one day.
Where was I?
Yes, that’s it; Son, Daughter – take one piece of advice from your old man; Be Happy. There aren’t many things in life that are really, truly worth worrying about. Life & Death, certainly. But that’s it. Your life can be as happy as you want it to be. Good things happen to good people. It’s true! Now don’t mock the cliché, please. I mean it. My endless optimism has seen me all right so far. I hope and hope that, if anything, you get that from me.
— who one day, will be your Dad, X
Moleskine entry: 27th September, 2009
Has it really been that long?
I haven’t been home in over two weeks. I miss my bed. Not for now.
The long summer of travel is drawing to an end (after a bonus Oxfam-related trip to the U.S.) and, this coming Thursday, I formally start at 1000heads. I’m told there’ll be plenty of travel involved but I imagine it won’t be anywhere near as intense as this.
It feels like I’ve been getting my hands dirty again.
You can only sit in an office and strategise for so long, sometimes you need to get there and just do it for yourself. Go out and learn a few things, rediscover why you love what you do so much and ultimately reset your point of view on the world.
This past summer I’ve been through the deserts of Africa, the mountains of Wyoming and glaciers of the French/Italian Alps. From baboons in Botswana to Zebra in Zimbabwe… I’ve been the luckiest man in the world.
The scenery, breathtaking. The wildlife, stunning. The people? It’s a cliché but it really has been all about the people. As I close my moleskine for another day, that’s not a bad thought to take end on at all.
The Sun is setting over London as we make our final approach. I need to draw this to an end. The deep red sky brings a warm smile to my face and I sigh.
Home. Home at last.
Probably the first in a series. Maybe.
It’s silly really but the view from my rear window always makes me smile –
Let me turn the contrast up –
At night, when the light is on in the study, you can play shadow puppets on the house opposite. If you put your hands flat against your head, you look a little bit like Batman.
There’s nothing to see here, move along…
Move along 🙂
It’s Sunday – Blogathon continues… Cheating slightly, but like I said, it’s the weekend.
No major content today, although I am having a good think about the stuff that I’ll post in the week…
Monday is when the fun begins.
That’ll be tomorrow then.