Where are we?

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Mar 16, 2009

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Flag of China  , Guangxi Zhuang,
Monday, May 19, 2008

Occasionally we get asked if we are enjoying our holiday and are relaxed. While we are thoroughly enjoying our trip there are times when we would hardly call it a holiday. What we have come to realised in the past few weeks is that our previous 8 to 5 working lives were usually quite well defined. You usually have a 5 working day week and then its weekend where you can relax by either going away for the two days or by just spending the weekend doing nothing at home. At the moment every day feels like a week day for us. Since we left Thailand, where we had our last real opportunity to relax, there as been so much going on everyday that we have barely been able to keep up. We were always going to have the dilemma of so many places to visit but so little time.
One of the first signs that we have been hopping around too much is something Inge-Marie and I have jokingly called the "where are we?" dreams, in short referred to as the "where are we's". These dreams which have been occurring more frequently all seem to have a different theme but all end the same way with me sitting bolt upright in the bed not having a clue where we are. Some involve wandering around the room in search for our luggage or my wallet and usually leave Inge-Marie having to explain where we are before I come back to bed. It makes for much amusement the next morning but doesn't leave you feeling well rested.
What adds to the pressure of a busy travelling schedule is that there is usually so much to see at each location and often you have to force yourself to get out when all you want to do is sleep in and watch TV. We often debate if we should just take a day off but then realise this might be the only chance we get to see these sights and then unenthusiastically head for a day of sightseeing. More often than not I'm glad we did as it was well worth it but you also wouldn't know what you missed if you never went.
Even just keeping the Blog up to date becomes a challenging task as so much has happened in such a short space of time with very little free time to sit and reflect. We often find ourselves forgetting so much even though it only happened a few days ago, a case of information overload. Fortunately we have the photographs to jog our memories but the personal thoughts are often forgotten. The one thing the Blog does allow us to do is to give closure to the previous destination and experiences which allows us to focus all our attention on our new location.
Another sign for me that I might have overload is when I don't even feel like going out with a camera some days. Usually I never leave home without it but there are days when I don't have the energy to carry the bag let alone think about taking photos which I usually thoroughly enjoy. This might be due to fact that I've taken about 16,000 in the past 6 months, I often find myself walking around with one eye closed as if taking a picture ;-).
All this might sound trivial when you compare this to the normal stresses involved with the work and home environment or raising a family and by no means are we complaining. We never let ourselves forget how fortunate we are to be able to have an opportunity like this. Rather we are trying to share and document the stresses and pressures that come with a trip that might seem to be a holiday. If we had no time constraint or visa constraints the trip might have been a little different.
Fortunately we have a few free days built into our China leg so needless to say a few days will be spent doing as little as possible. And then of course we should have a few days on the Trans-Siberian express where we should have ample time to sit back and reflect.
We've had many people ask us all sorts of questions about our personal experience and how things are going which we usually answer individually. As the continuous support and feedback carries us emotionally through this trip, we though could be fun if we got a few questions from Blog readers on what you've always wondered about our trip that both Inge-Marie and I will answer independently and publish on the Blog (time to kill on the Trans-Siberian). E.g. what has been your best / worst / funniest / most frustrating memory, destination etc...or any other question you think would be interesting if answered independently?  Please e-mail these to us and we'll prepare them in June.
Comments, replies and e-mail form everyone has really been greatly supportive and really means a lot to us and carries us though this trip. Thank you for your  support - it is wonderful to know that there are many colleagues, friends and family supporting us from all over the world and it encourages us to continually share our experiences with you.
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Where I stayed
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