Time to go home

Numbers, like words, can paint a picture, tell their own story. They can give you insight and understanding.
The numbers on my journey are all telling me the same thing. It’s time to go home.
I left Australia on April 16th 2013, almost an entire calendar has flipped over since then.
Here’s a few of the other numbers.
I’ve visited 19 countries, admittedly Singapore was a single night on a visa run from Thailand (thanks for the bed Liz and David).
I’ve taken 47 flights (that’s a hell of a lot of airports).
Seven pairs of thongs (flip flops) have been used and abused. Seven is also the magic number for hats.
I’ve got through two pairs of prescription sunglasses. I lost one, bought a replacement in Vietnam, lost them in Cambodia (note to self, must check hotel rooms thoroughly before leaving).
And then we come to the big number. I’ve slept in 142 different beds! They’ve ranged from tiny to huge, soft to concrete-like. Sometimes the bedding has lacked a little cleanliness other times it’s been non-existent and I’ve slept on my own towel.
This is blog 36 (anybody out there still reading?) There could have been many more.
There were stories I tried to write but which somehow defeated and defied me. My first attempt at yoga on the island of Gili Air was a near miss.
I had two marriage offers on the same day……now that blog really should have been written.
I wanted to tell you about Christmas and New Year’s Eve with two wonderful Thai sisters of mercy and some lovely strangers from across the globe.
Dancing the night away in the basement of a Bangkok car park was another memorable night.
I wanted to pass on some of the pearls of wisdom I’ve picked up on my travels. I now know the best time to commit a driving offence in Mandalay. The answer is after 5.30pm (all the traffic cops finish work then so the country’s strict motorbike helmet rules are immediately ignored).
I could have explained the best method for eating green curry while lying down in a cinema. Or how you’re never more than three feet from a crowing cockerel or a yapping dog at night in south east Asia. The price of paradise is often a lack of sleep.
I’ve swapped hundreds of stories and had tens of thousands of laughs. But I’ll only confess to one tear. A perfect day in Bonn finished with a free concert. Massenet’s wrenching violin piece Meditation was followed by the pleading sorrow of Puccini’s Vissi D’Arte from Tosca. It was incredibly touching and out of nowhere a single tear rolled gently down my cheek.
I’ve seen the beauty of the natural world and the genius of man’s creativity.
I’ve met a gigolo and the most beautiful woman in the world; spent time with the headhunters, a nuclear physicist and a former CIA chief; come across people with almost literally nothing, and a couple of people whose wealth could probably be counted in tens of millions.
I’ve driven a train, been a Hindu for a day and witnessed unique, ancient rituals. I’ve been enchanted by great company, loved the solitude of lone travelling and at other times felt a touch of loneliness.
But I’ve never been far from the kindness and caring of wonderful people. The generosity of complete strangers has been incredibly uplifting throughout the past 12 months.
Just a couple of days ago I was walking with my backpack through intense heat and humidity in Malaysia. Unknown to me a young girl saw me from her home and sent her aunt out after me in the car to offer me a ride. Incredibly kind and so typical of the help I’ve received. The same applies to old friends and new, family and relations. I am sincerely grateful. It’s the people who made it a year like no other.
And now it’s time to go home.
But there is just one tiny, little problem. The last thing I did before starting my travels was to sell my house. Oh dear, time to add to the statistics. Does anybody have a bed for a couple of nights?

Cheers to each and every one of you,

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 33 Comments

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33 thoughts on “Time to go home

  1. Avril

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs so much will miss them!! for some reason some of your comments made me feel quite sad but you know what Im like!!! give me a call when you can for a catch up. Fantastic writing by the way. love Avril xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. maxine

    Hi Arthur. Cant believe e your adventure is over. Hope you are well and happy. Im back at work. Treatment finished. Feeling good. Keep in touch.Max xxx

    • Hi Max. Lovely to hear from you and it’s wonderful news to hear you’re back at work and feeling fine. Hopefully the rest of the 2014 is a really special year for you. I’ll try and Skype soon.

  3. Rhian

    Will miss you’re blog Arthur really have enjoyed it. Take care and remember to visit when you are back in wales xx

    • Hi Rhian. Thanks very much for reading it and for the comments. I’ll definitely be back in the UK sometime in the not to distant future. Take it as read that it means you’ll be seeing me when I do. It was fantastic to see you all, next time I’ll stick around a little longer.

  4. Angela Freeman (nee Delicata)

    It’s been a very long time since we have seen each other and I have enjoyed reading your travel blog immensely. Hope we can get in touch once you are home.

    • Hi Angela
      It’s really lovely to hear from you. I can’t even think how long it’s been since the last time we met. But it’s a great surprise.
      I’ll send you an email outside the blog.
      Thanks for reading the stories,
      Very best wishes

  5. Vaughan and Trish Rostron

    What an amazing adventure you’ve had. Look forward to catching up with you soon when we return from Griffith NSW and of course there is room at our place for you at any time for a night or two or more!!!! and looking forward to the expanded and hopefully embellished versions of events that took place. See you soon.

    • Cheers guys and I appreciate all the comments.
      Enjoy NSW, better warn your son that I might be paying a visit to him sometime soonish to check out life south of the border.
      Thanks for the bed offer. I will try to resist as I don’t know if I could keep my hands off your port barrel.
      Catch up soon, safe journey home.

  6. Kate and Joel

    Arthur, we’ll miss your blogs which we so enjoyed but will always remember meeting you during your time in Philadelphia. Be well, safe travels home and keep in touch! Kate & Joel

    • It was my very great pleasure to meet you guys. I’m sure our paths will cross again…..I definitely owe you for your kindness and fun.

      There might actually be one or two more rogue blogs to come on strange things about my travels……but I think everybody deserves a break for a while.

      All the very best

  7. David Bowtell

    2750 photos. A slide night! Yippeee?

  8. Sandy and Pete

    Welcome home Arthur am going to miss the blog, but am sure we will manage many nights where we will be able to hear of your adventures first hand. There is always a bed here for you. Sandy and Pete

    • Cheers guys. Yep, will make a diary date to get together asap. Thanks for the bed offer……If I find myself sleeping on the beach I’ll give you a shout.

  9. Susan Heaver

    All the very best Mr P with whatever you decide to you – what a smashing blog this has been – dont lose touch xxx

    • Thanks very much Mrs H, much appreciated. Lovely to be back in contact. Hopefully our paths will cross some time in the future. Enjoy any travelling you have planned.

      • Anonymous

        you never know Mr. P – I am so happy to have made contact again – please download your 4000 pics and let me know if and when |i can see them – love looking at real pics xx

  10. Satomi Mohr

    It sure has been a memorable year for you, you are really blessed with lots and lots of kindness and friendships…that’s because you are who you are. It has been quite a journey on my end of the world, too…safe trip back home. Xx

  11. Anonymous

    Best blog yet. Cheers Jacqui and Andrew. We met in Luang Prabang. Now in Bangkok and off to London tomorrow. Loved keeping up with your posts.

    • Hi guys, yes I remember you well from Luang Prabang. I hope your travels kept on being great fun. Thanks for the really kind words on the blog and have a safe trip to London.
      Very best wishes to you both for the future.

  12. Jeanette

    Hey! Hope to see you again…soon… 🙂 oredi miss the big laughs we had! TC!

  13. Good on yer, Dad…..

  14. Suellen

    Looking forward to seeing you soon and hearing at least some of the great untold stories.

  15. Will Rache and Saxon

    Always welcome Arthur. What an amazing journey and what an amazing writer who always kept us wanting more. Safe trip home

  16. Michele Gilchrist

    Will you be home in time to give a uni lecture? Bron was just asking about you yesterday!

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