So that's it. Fini. Finito. It's all over.
As we sit on the baking-hot bus travelling back to Bangkok we gaze out of the window and silently ponder the last six months, and the many fantastic experiences we have had. It's 35 degrees outside,(and about 37 inside due to the lack of air-con) so I whip out my notebook and start doodling to pass the time. I'm a list kinda gal, I like the feeling of organisation, so I start to absent-mindedly jot down the things we'll miss about travelling, the things we won't miss and the highlights of the trip...
Things we'll miss about travelling:
1.The complete freedom - being able to jump on a plane at a moment's notice to somewhere completely random and exciting.
2.Watching pink-and-orange sunrises and sunsets.
3.Interacting with wildlife we could only ever usually see on the Discovery channel.
4.Meeting interesting people with amazing stories to tell.
5.Discovering new cultures and learning more about history than we ever did in the classroom at school.
6.The low prices.
7.Wall-to-wall sunshine every day and the bluest skies imaginable.
8.Drinking alcohol every day and not being regarded as an alcoholic.
9.Not getting hangovers from the aforementioned alcohol - how comes the sunshine removes the need to mope about?
10.Not having to go to work.
11.Cute baby animals everywhere - most countries don't believe in (or can't afford) neutering.
12.Gorgeous exotic food, rather than British stodge for dinner.
Then I got to thinking about the things we wouldn't miss at all, in a desperate attempt to convince myself that I was, in fact, happy to be going home...
Things we won't miss about travelling:
1.Cockroaches, mosquitos, sand flies, tics, poisonous centipedes,tarantulas..the list of bugs goes on and on...
2.28hr bus journeys, on bumpy unsealed roads and with malfunctioning aircon.
3.Filthy squat toilets.
4.Having to haggle over the price of EVERYTHING
5.The sound of locals hawking up phlegm every few minutes.
6.Bad haircuts. (mine)
7.Having to wear the same 5 (usually dirty) tops for 6 months.
8.Staying in grotty hostels where you can hear people fart in the next room through a wafer-thin partition.
9.Unidentified fried Objects and other culinary nightmares.(usually involving fried bananas..and sometimes chickens feet.)
10.Carrying 20+Kg's on our backs every day.
11.Being referred to as 'backpackers.' So uncool.
12.Sticking out like a sore thumb amongst the natives, hence being targets for scams and rip-offs at all times.
To be honest, the second list was written a little half-heartedly. Even though these things may have seemed a little tedious at times, they were all part of the rich experience, and I must (begrudgingly) admit, that I'll probably even miss the annoying things about travelling after a few weeks back to the drudgery of life in the UK (depressed, moi?), back to the monotony of work, responsibility and the 7.22 to Liverpool Street...