This will probably be one of my last entries in the diary as my RTW trip has come to an end.
After a really turbulant flight home form Singapore, I arrived at Heathrow to be greeted by my mum with a helium balloon saying welcome home!!! After a big hug we jumped ina coach back to Southampton. It was great to see her and even better telling her about my experience. (eg she wanted to listen) We arrived in Southampton and headed to the car park - hoping it was open as it was late in the evening and the car park was pitch black. After a few moments of uh oh how do we get home. Mum pressedthe emergency speaker and the lady said, no it is open. Panic over so we drove home.
On reaching the house I cold see my mum had been busy, making banners saying welcome home Lara. It was nice to have been missed.
Having been home a few days I have bombarded myself by eating all the food I missed and by using hair straightners, make up and even having a soak in a huge bubble bath! :D
I thoroughly enjoyed my travelling experience and intend to bore all my mates with the details and photos. However corney it sounds I have learnt things about myself, eg I feel more independant, I will follow my dreams now and not worry as much what people think of me. I have learnt how Western I am! and that I couldn’t live anywhere in the world even if I thought I could, England is home for me. I also realise how lucky I am. Travelling has also shown me how my relationship with Darren is really strong. Living 24 hrs a day and travelling with a partner has had its moments but I’m glad I chose to travel with him. From meeting so many different people from all walks of life I hope it has taught me not to judge as much. I’m by no means perfect but is taught me to be more open minded in many ways. Anyway enough of the corney stuff my highlights…
Best country: For me has to be New Zealand. The adrenaline activites like skydiving, swimming with dolphins, white water rafting, ice treking were fab and the country was great too. It’s a place I’d love to return too.
Best cities: Hard call, but Sydney, Melbourne are ace. Singapore (though a country i know) is fab too and even though Bangkok is dirty and busy it had a great charm to it.
Moments I’ll never forget: (This list will be long…)
:arrow: Walking along the stars at Hollywood.
:arrow: Swimming with wild dolphins in Paihia.
:arrow: Sky Diving - wow!
:arrow: Franz Josef Glaciers and ice treking.
:arrow: Seeing the Australain ballet (twice) but really special when at the Sydney Opera House.
:arrow: Meeting my mate Mini, and showing our Steve at Aus Zoo.
:arrow: Fraser Island and the Whitsundays.
:arrow: My time in Melbourne, Ramsey Street, The Great Ocean Road. Seeing the 12 apostles (especially now as there is only 11! - one collapsed)
:arrow: Bangkok was so different but I think thats why I liked it.
:arrow: Ko Samui beaches.
:arrow: Singapore’s shops, and Sentosa’s night laser show.
The whole trip was great and I think i have summorized my overall experience. So that’s all from me. Feel free to leave responses about my diary, I’d love to hear from anyone.
Take care and enjoy travelling.
Loads of love
just been reading your diary- wow! Sounds like you’ve had a super time! :D What an experience! Really liked your last post!
Great diary :D
Just caught your diary there, wish id seen it sooner. Im just about to start a trip similar with my girlfriend, its good to know the stories i here about couples traveling arent all bad :)
Anyways, your diary sounded amazing!!! Its gona give others loads of tips and help…well me anyway!
Well this is the final message from me- Catherine_(Lara’s mum).
I am so relieved that you are home Lara and Darren. I think I speak for all parents when I say we have gone through every emotion since this trip was first mentioned. We were amazed that the two of you gave up so much time together to slog at jobs to raise the money to completely fund 6months on the road- and so proud when you set off with all the tickets paid and your assurance that you had enough to live on and eat!
The car disaster on the way to the airport seemed like an ill omen and when it came time to say goodbye it was really hard. The first 2 weeks were awful and I was glad you forgave my panic when we didnt hear from you for 3days-the internet is a wonderful tool and I thought you would tell me off when I started emailing hotels etc to find out if you had arrived on your remote island off Fiji. The panic was soon over and I felt a right plonker making such a fuss. :oops: to all other gappers -please remember to keep in touch with those at home who care about you.
Lara you were brilliant the whole time away- considerate and caring by keeping a constant flow of emails and phone calls to regale us with your tales. there was many a midnight hour when I thought I would just check if you were updating your gapper diary.
It was wonderful when friends took the time to add something and I know it helped you and Darren not to feel too homesick.
You made us feel at times that we were there by the vivid pictures you painted of what you were up to- well done and thanks. :wink:
I regret not taking up the chance to keep my own online diary of all the time you were away- the folk at my work went through the whole rollercoaster my emotions as I regaled them with your latest escapade.
Envy that we were not there with you swimming with dolphins, trekking on ice, sunning in stunning places, horror when I heard Darren had done a spectacular bungee jump and praying you hadn’t-good girl for not doing it!!!!! Although when we got the dvd of the skydiving I was glad you told me after the event and not before. You both did such amazing things and the photographs you emailed really kept you close.
Relief when we knew you had met up with distant family and family of friends and knowing you were not in some dodgy hostel. I would like to shake the hands of those who made you so welcome and the strangers who showed you kindness and took you into their homes and families.
The worry when you were taken ill- I was proud that I didnt dash to Heathrow get a flight and bring you home- thanks Darren for taking care of her when I know you were not 100% fit yourself. I reckon if any of you gappers get ill then do it in Singapore- can’t fault the care- I am sure in this country when you ring to check on someone taken ill they wouldnt have taken the phone to her to let you talk and then emailed you to let you know how they were doing!
Still the disappointment of your missing the African safari was lessened by knowing we wouldhave you back a month early! :razz:
You say you have learned about yourself and I think we have learnt as well- not to panic (well not immediately) and to trust you have enough sense to sort out problems, to be grateful that all the time you were away you remembered what it meant to hear from you. To be impressed by what you did and the vast array of places visited and all your different experiences. to be grateful that with all the disasters that can happen you were able to live a different life for a while and experience different cultures through those you met. I am sure it has made you a stronger more reflective person but it hasn’t changed the lovely girl you were and are!
Thank you for sharing your diary- you have inspired me to plan to follow in some of your footsteps when I retire-not too long now- 8) but I think I will have a suitcase and hotels and hope to experience even half of what you did.
I have promised you when I do it to keep an online diary and will look forward to you and others adding to mine.
Here’s to your next trip-but not too soon- still enjoying having you home.
Lots of love
Mum (and Dad- )
Really enjoyed reading your diary got some handy tips to. I’m doing the same route as yourself and it really helped having something to compare it to. I’m going to be keeping a dairy on here , so if feel you like give me some tips on route please feel free.