One week to home

753 days into our trip.  One week to go before we land back at London Heathrow!

Can’t quite get it all clear in my head!

I lay awake on our last overnight train again reflecting on it all, was it all real?

Ending our Napo River adventure - September 2012

Ending our Napo River adventure – September 2012

How far we’ve come, the highs the lows, how it will feel after we’re home?

Our evolution - with lovely travelling friends on the Bolivia salt flats

Our evolution – with lovely travelling friends the Bremners on the Bolivia salt flats – January 2013

We’ve just finished our last big journey, three weeks across Northern India by train starting in Calcutta, or Kolcata to use it’s modern name. On to the great holy city of Varanasi, on to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, next Jaipur, the so-called pink city, Jodhpur, sometimes called the blue city, then far east to Jaisalmer in the Rajasthan desert not far from Pakistan before looping back to New Delhi for our flight to Kathmandu tomorrow, from where we fly home to the UK, via Abu Dhabi, on an amazingly cheap flight – we’re getting quite good at finding them!

At the unmistakeable 'Taj'  July 2014

At the unmistakeable ‘Taj’ July 2014

On the Thar Desert dunes this week, near Jaisalmer, Rajhasthan - do you think someone needs a haircut?!

On the Thar Desert dunes this week, near Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, this week. Do you think someone needs a haircut?!

It’s a last-minute change to the itinerary which we hoped would include 10 days in Jordan and Israel and a long overdue visit with Zoe’s former school friend Kirvayah and her lovely family but sadly, the world had other ideas and the current Gaza conflict reached a point where we felt it was right to defer our visit to Israel to a future, quieter time. Meanwhile the kids watch the news each day to see what is happening. This kind of situation feels so much more real to them. We remember Kirvayah writing to Zoe about the last flare up in 2012. Travelling makes you part of a Global community and your connections keep growing. Our friends live through daily air raids, constant alert, pushing away the fear because ‘normal’  life needs to go on…

Then the kids watched the news with us with horror again as a second Air Malaysia flight ended in tragedy and checked our likely flight paths to see if they might be anywhere near the Ukraine, whilst worrying for travelling friends flying air Malaysia three days later.

I read the heart wrenching blog by a ground crew member who saw off the passengers of MH17. We cry for the passengers, staff, families, colleagues and friends. As we clock up our own last flights, I’ll be more aware of the real people helping us check in and board our flights, making every encounter count. It might be our last on earth, who knows? But it also makes me ever more thankful for our time together and our adventures.

On the road you make many friendships, have different encounters. They are precious, magical, this is what life and travel is about. A young man, scruffy, barefoot carrying chains and luggage locks to sell as we sit on platform 5 offers to fix Ben’s badminton racket bag and whilst he does, we chat, he tells me his parents are dead, and he makes a little money this way. He finishes his sewing, talks me into paying 30 instead of the agreed 20 rupees (30p instead of 20p), cheekily steals a kiss from Lara then is gone. A little girl, beautiful and wearing a slightly tatty but brightly coloured sari,stares at me on platform 5 in Jaipur. Our eyes meet, I smile, she lights up, smiles back, we look away, but smile again. Seven hours later as we alight at the next stop, we spot each other again, we both smile, recognising our connection. I wish I knew her name.

Encounters on Platform 5, Jaipur - we drew quite a crowd this day!

Encounters on Platform 5, Jaipur – we drew quite a crowd this day! July 2014

Zoe makes some friends in a tiny desert village this week, where they have no electricity but happily welcomed us to have a cup of Chai and showed us around. They loved seeing their photos on our phones!

Zoe makes some friends in a tiny desert village this week, where they have no electricity but happily welcomed us to have a cup of Chai and showed us around. They loved seeing their photos on our phones!

School friends in the Gallapagos

School friends in San Cristobal, Galapagos, November 2012

Our first travelling friends, the wonderulf Hollett's who we met in Quito - they squeezed in a similar adventure to one family gap year - hopefully we'll catch up again somewhere!

Our first travelling friends, the wonderful Hollett’s who we met in Quito – October 2012. They somehow squeezed in a similar RTW adventure to us in just 1 year  – hopefully we’ll catch up again in the UK or US or some other place!

Lovely old lady in Otavalo, Ecuador

Lovely old lady in Otavalo, Ecuador – October 2012

 

Best buddy at kindy in San Cristobal, Galapagos

Best buddy at kindy in San Cristobal, Galapagos, November 2012

 

Just wish we could add a picture of a reunion with friends in Israel. Soon, soon!

It’s so close now it feels like the journey is over already, all of us are counting the days (as we did BEFORE we left two years ago!) down and Dad has unloaded a helpful app that can tell us in hours or minute or seconds, should we desire to know before we land at Heathrow, all going well!

 

Headed home - across the Thar desert this week... Rajasthan.

Headed home – across the Thar desert this week… Rajasthan.

25 months on, Headed back where the adventure began - London Heathrow July 2012

25 months on, Headed back where the adventure began – London Heathrow July 2012

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Liza kelly
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 20:13:07

    Hi, Safe home to all of you. We have been following you around the world in awe. We are at the beginning stages of planning our own trip around the world. Adrian, liza and 3 sons. You have been an inspiration and education to us all. Just read your last post through tears must be so many mixed emotions. Looking forward to hearing how your new transition unfolds. We are in Ireland and would be delighted to host your family if you decide to have a break on the other side of the irish sea. Good luck and safe return, Liza kelly 0879641400

    Reply

    • Mo
      Aug 05, 2014 @ 08:19:25

      Hey Liza, that’s great, thanks so much for the lovely feedback and v happy to hear you’re planning your own adventure. Where abouts are you in Ireland and when/how long do you plan to travel? perhaps I can introduce you to a great fb group of travelling families if you like:) We’d love to perhaps have a break the other side of the Irish Sea too sometime if we can work it out – what a super offer:) shall we connect on Facebook and go from there? Should find me as ‘Mo Clark’

      Reply

  2. Chris Lambah
    Aug 03, 2014 @ 21:04:52

    Can’t wait to see you guys!
    I’m off to the Ukraine again pretty soon -gulp!
    X
    Chris L

    Reply

  3. Gloria
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 18:44:54

    Reading this post brought me back to the last leg of our journey … six months since we’ve been home and still feeling the pangs of wanderlust… safe travels home. I look forward to reading your reflections on returning to “regular life.”

    Reply

  4. Lyndel
    Aug 07, 2014 @ 03:09:36

    Love it. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  5. janstring
    Aug 26, 2014 @ 16:15:02

    Oh wow!

    Reply

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