Ever since I left my first extended trip in Whistler, Canada many years ago and my mate’s 4 year old daughter (at the time) sang this to me on the way to Vancouver airport, I always think of this song when leaving places.
And tonight it’s by far the biggest leave since then. Twelve months to the day since leaving Scotland, eleven countries, over 10,000 km of my own driving, 33 flights, 60+ dives, 1 flooded camera, 1 dropped broken camera, 57 wireless internet networks (hey my computer tells me this I’m not *that* geeky), umpteen bus journeys, 100 kg of souvenirs, clothes and unrequired equipment sent home, 4 notebooks of random travel notes, to-do lists and email addresses, priceless and unlimited memories, and I’m heading back to Scotland tonight.
I’m not too sad about it just now (remind me that after I am back and broke!) as I know it’s happening and it will be good to get back and see everyone. I wish I was heading back to my own place though but I’m still letting it out for financial reasons. How long that glowy feeling of being back lasts, who knows! I’ll definitely miss the ‘different’ factor of being away and experiencing different cultures, people and places without the rigid rules back home and won’t enjoy getting weird looks if I start chatting to some random person in a bar or on the street. And just the other day I heard that Scotland is being run by the Scottish National Party and Tony Blair is stepping down in two weeks (I hardly see the news).
I am glad to be leaving Khao San Road though. As lively as it is, the place just doesn’t give too good an impression of Thailand. Full of travellers that seem to have been somewhere too long, too many bars with ‘F*ck’ in their name or welcome board, too many old guys walking round with young Thai beauties, too many people who know they’ll make cash out of you so they don’t have to be friendly, too much rubbish sitting around the street, but bloody good cheap shopping and a few great bookshops especially if you are looking for stuff on Asia.
The pool is open, I’ve finished my banana shake, I’m off to savour the last few hours by the pool before I have to attempt to ram everything in my bags for the last time. To all my friends : Please don’t say ‘same old, same old’ when I ask what’s been happening. What I’m doing is just something different, I want to hear all your news too!