A most rewarding investment
Trip Start Aug 06, 2008
28Trip End Dec 04, 2008
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With a tear (end of my fabulous trip) and a cheer (excitement about heading home), I left Buenos Aires on Wednesday afternoon.
I left Amsterdam four months ago with various intentions: obviously to see the world (or parts of it I've always dreamed of seeing), experience new cultures, catch up with relatives and friends some of whom I've not seen in many years, but most importantly, I wanted to use this time to reflect on myself and my life, and to get back in touch with the real me. In a certain sense, I considered this trip an 'investment'... an investment of time and resources in myself. And what have the returns on this investment been? I can tell you this much: this 'investment' has certainly broadened my horizons (such as identifying and confronting old fears, opening my eyes and ears to the fears, challenges and joys of others, and making me more aware of the intricacies of relationships between individuals and among different groups in our society in general) and it has changed how I think of people. It has provided me with invaluable insights into my person and my relationships with those around me. And it has made me a more positive, more balanced individual than the person who stepped on that plane in Amsterdam bound for Hong Kong four months ago. Haha.. yes, I've been working hard.... on myself.
Moreover, this 'investment' has allowed me to see the most stunning sights imaginable, from the magnificent Angkor Wat to the brilliant lagoon of Bora Bora and the awe-inspiring peaks of the Andes; meet the most interesting and remarkable people (my favourite is the 82-year-old couple that went zip-lining through the trees in the Andes); do things I would never have dreamt of doing such as swimming with sharks in Lang Tengah and Bora Bora, and trekking across the desert in San Pedro de Atacama; and experience the sights and sounds of some fascinating cultures (that hot-air lantern in Krabi and that tango evening in Buenos Aires were truly unforgettable).
I flew with nine airlines (Qantas, Cathay Pacific and Lan Chile were the best, in that order) and accumulated a large amount of frequent flyer miles; drank some of the best wines (Montes Alpha's Merlot tops the lot); had the most amazing tuna sashimi (on Easter island), scallops (Punta Arenas and Valparaiso), leg of lamb (Puerto Varas), steak (Mendoza), oysters (Fremantle), salmon sorrentinis (Buenos Aires)... and so much more; had this travel blog chosen as one of TravelPod.com's top picks; but most of all, I got to do what I've always dreamed of doing: travelling around the world and writing about it. I had an absolutely memorable journey and I hope my readers (all 8,000+ and counting) enjoyed reading about my adventures.
I feel very fortunate that I was given the opportunity to make this trip - it truly was a once-in-a-lifetime chance. To anyone out there, if you ever get a similar opportunity, grab it with both hands! It will be a hugely rewarding experience, the memories of which will certainly last a lifetime.
As for me, I'll be looking for a new job in the months ahead. The business environment is getting worse by the day so if any one of my readers has a brilliant idea, my ears are open. Wish me luck! Travelling will always remain a huge passion of mine so who knows, you might be reading about more of my travels in the future.
Goodbye, adios, adieu, tot ziens!