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Brad’s Travel Diary

Friday, 03 Mar 2006

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Map315 days after the first posting of my adventures on this page, here it is: The Last Post.

Just briefly, the ten days or so I spent on Ko Chang island were very relaxing and also highly uneventful! I went to the beach every day, read several books, and pretty much did noy a great deal more. On one day I hired a scooter and rode around the island, and on another went on a snokelling trip (that was pretty good actually). Relaxing and boring...One of the coolest things was the bungalow I stayed in, it was actually built over the ocean (on stilts) so at high tide the waves (very small) would crash the whole way under my cabin! Actually it was very loud...

I guess now would be an appropriate time to reflect on what has been for me an unbelievable adventure. Just that I have had the means to do somthing like this is an incredible privelage - the vast majority of people (at least 99%) would not even be able consider doing such a thing (which is an indication of how well off we all are).

I have had so many amazing and humbling expeiences, each of which has opened me up and changed the way I see the world. I guess if there were to be two things that impressed upon me most strongly during my travels of such dirverse countries and cultures, it would be this:

People are basically the same and want the same things.
AND
People are basically good.

I feel I owe a great debt to every stranger (and there were very many) who has shown me kindness expecting nothing in return. The people who helped me onto the right bus, shared their food with me, showed me the places only they know, invited me into their homes, those who sat next to me in restaraunts, saying nothing but paying for my meal without any expectation of gratitude. These are the experiences that make travel the most wonderful enlightening experience.

Of course, while the people I met have been the soul of my trip, it would not be complete without the mindblowing adventures, sights, and experiences that give you a sense of the glories of history and wonder of nature. I feel compelled to write a short list of the highlights; the sights that left me gasping for breath.

Crossing the huge stone causeway into Angkor Wat, the biggest religious building in the world.

Walking among the streets of Palmerya, the awesome ancient Roman city in Syria.

Standing at the edge of the immense Rakaposhi Glacier, feeling vertigo looking up to 7788m Mt Rakaphshi.

Beholding the Taj Mahal, the most beautiful building I have ever seen.

Wandering in Imam Sq in Iran amongst the glittering mosques and pickniking Iranians.

Being surrounded by gigantic mountains and my family (at the same time!) at Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal.

Entering, on the second day of my trip, the most awesome, powerful building in the world - Aya Sophia.

Of course I could go on forever, but these were the standouts for me. In addition to these, there were also two very special historic places, not physically spectacular but magical because of the history and legend attached to them - Troy in Turkey, and The Castle of the Assasains in Iran. To be at such places is to really realise the depth of human culture and history.

Although backpackers can be a fickle bunch, I have had the good fortune to meet some wonderful travellers who shared parts of the trip; I will stay in touch with many and hopefully see some again in other parts of the world (Kamchatka?!).

And of course, a final thank you to the people from back home who came and experienced part of the ride with me - Jess, and my wonderful amazing family (yes Alex, I suppose your a part of that now!) who I've caused so much worry to! It was so wonderful to meet you along the way and share some of the journey with me; I'm sure you'll understand a lot of the things I've been talking about.

Well, it is feeling rather sad that I write the final words in this diary, thanks to you to all of you who have followed my adventure - I can't wait to see you all!