I had an interesting time for reflection on the Eurostar to London. I was looking through my backpack and found the MTV Europe Travel Guide book which was the first travel book I bought when I applied to go overseas. I got it to see what cities and countries I would like to travel to and to just do some broad research. I have had it so long that I got it before Justin had even applied to move to Prague.
Well here it was, the book that started it all, so I started to flick through the pages. On the inner cover is a map of Europe and I realised how much of Europe I have travelled. Okay I haven’t seen it all – far from it, but I have seen a fair chunk (much more than I thought I had especially when you count in the detour to North America). I flicked through a few more pages. Of the list of “best places”, “best museums”, “best tours”, “best churches”, etc I was equally surprised to see how many of them I had ticked of the list. It was about this point that the perspective about exactly how much I have done in the past few months started to sink in. When I logged in to this blog the dashboard screen also smacks me across the face like a Siddle bouncer with all I have done and how long I have been away for. This is my 191st post. Like I was suspicious when I started this that I would last a more than a few posts and started off aiming for one every few days…but I have written a lot more than I aimed to do. So many memories, thoughts and fun times summed up in just under 200 post. What gets scary is that I think the average word length is about 800 – 1000 words. :O I may have written 160,000 words in just less than 7 months…that doesn’t seem real to me. (Plus if you have read close to every post- hi mum and dad 😛 – imagine what how much time you have wasted reading such a length 😛 haha)
I should probably wait until the exact end of my trip, in a couple of days, for this sort of post but this is what I was thinking then, on that train, and what I am still thinking now. I think it is because I can see the end in sight that I am now almost slowly adjusting to the fact it is coming. I feel the end is here and I am eager to come home. Weirdly though is as I sat there watching the fields of France fly past me, the excitement of returning to Melbourne felt almost as if it was crushing me as every happy thought of Melbourne was countered by a sad thought of what I am leaving behind. An equal, yet opposite reaction. Every time I thought of the lunches with friends at Monash…I thought about the coffees I won’t have with Joey at Leeds or the movies we won’t see at our regular 2pm on Wednesdays at the Vue. Every time I think about being able to watch my beloved lions play live or go to any AFL game with my friends…I think of the nights at the Pub watching EPL, Champions League or any other football game with Josh and Brent as we sank a few pints. Every time I think about hitting the clubs with my Melbourne peeps for a night out…I think about the nights I that won’t be danced away at Tiger Tiger with Rob and Co or the fact that I am pretty sure my last BDD with Ally is behind me. Every time I think about those winter nights in or summer barbeques to come with my friends in Melbourne…I think about the fact I will no longer be having those nights of drink, barbeques and Narnia with Ben. Okay this may be getting a bit too sappy but you get the point. I am torn. Excited to get back home and depressed to be leaving home. Oh and don’t get me started about my love of travelling and the fact that my next trip is a fair way away (especially with my level of debt lol).
So…after all those emotions (Yuk! Let me see if I can be manly for a minute. Stop laughing Christina! :P) what have I been up to. Well I got back and in to Ham and have had a good time both relaxing in a homey environment (as in welcoming place to live and not as in “homie I’ll pop a cap in your ass” haha) with Marmi and Uncle. This morning I had a relaxed morning before heading in to London. Justin and Chris were doing a tour of Lords (something I had already done) so I headed in and walked around London. It was weird to see Big Ben, Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Green Park, Buckingham Palace, etc, etc in Summer as they were bathed in sunshine as I had explored those streets last in the frosty, frozen days of English Winter in January. It was great to see the city in a different light as well as also help get some closure again about the fact I really have been gone away THAT long (Seeing movies for sale on DVD that I saw in the cinema also helps reiterate this point!). I also took the time to buy some souvenirs and gifts. Not many as I have limited luggage space but just a few things for myself and some family. I was also trying to buy things that were British and UK or Englan related instead of London. I have LOVED my time in England, more so than my time in London. I have been in the UK for 6 months, not London and that is what I want to be remembered. It was strange seeing the weird things they sell though, such as I ❤ London condoms. That was just weird although if they were in Union Jack design odds are I would’ve bought them as a pure novelty item haha
After that I met up with Chris and Justin to ride the London Eye. I had put it on the to do list last time I was in London as the weather was so dodgy and I wanted to make the most of it as I don’t imagine it is the kind of thing you do twice. Lucky that we did as the views from our pod were amazing. You could see for miles and you really sense how mammoth London truly is. I had to giggle at the fact that it had such a “airplane” theme though with it referred to as a flight, there were boarding gates and you had landing and departure. You can’t half tell that it was sponsored by BA can you!
Juzzy and I then made our way back to Ham where a family dinner of sorts were planned. Luckily the tube ride to Richmond was uneventful as we just managed to avoid the suspension of the service due to a signal fault and Juz even managed to ride on his first proper doubledecker bus. The family dinner gave Justin a chance to catch up with Marmi and Uncle and also meet Riza. Riza unfortunately seemed to revel in the fact that he had someone to join in with for his picking on me though 😦 hehe All in good fun though. There was loads of amazing curry eaten, there were stories to be told, jokes to be made (the more immature coming from Riza of course 😛 haha) and even some well intellectual discussion of sorts – maybe we are mature after all. There was even a chance for a few games of Carrom which when Justin and I played was summed up by the phrases “special Olympics of Carrom”, “may be here all night” and eventually “hey, lets just see who can get the queen closest to the hole so we can all go to bed” haha. It was a great night and reminded me again how one thing I can take away from me from my time away is that I am reminded of the strong bonds of family. My time in Ham and in Copenhagen and especially the beers and conversations shared with Riza have been a wonderful part of my experience. It turns out that distance doesn’t fray the family bonds at all. I am proud to come back to Australia claiming to be friends with my extended family, particularly the friendship with UkCuz (which I must admit was unexpected when I left the shores of my homeland).
I have gained so much since January 8th. I don’t even think I could adequately sum it up 2 million words and 500 terabytes of photos. Let alone the 180,000 words of this blog and 8 gigabytes of photos.
- Everything has changed (everything has changed), the faces stay the same (faces stay the same)…
- Come on baby, light my fire. Come on baby, light my fire. Try to set the night on fire…
- Louie louie, Oh baby I gotta go. Louie louie, Oh baby I gotta go.
- Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir (ce soir, what what what) Voulez vous coucher avec moi
- Little girl, little girl. Why are you crying? Inside your restless soul, your heart is dying.