June 17/13 – Between Asia and South America, Deon and I had travelled to a total of 20 countries and 53 cities over the last 2 years. However, this hasn’t changed my goal to reach triple digit number of countries to visit before I die. So far, among the 238 countries in the world, I have only been to 40 (16.8% only) while Deon has gone to 30 countries already. My next challenge will be going on “long solo trips” which is something I had never imagined I would ever consider. But I don’t think I will start that in the next few years yet but maybe as soon as Deon gets into university.
I still can’t believe our 2 year journey has now come to an end because it sure seemed like it would be a very long journey 2 years ago. I knew the biggest risk I had to take was the risk of the unknown ahead of us but I decided to take on the challenge and I sure glad I did because I learned so much about myself, about Deon, about life and about the world in general during our journey. I am still convinced that down the road, Deon will someday recognize that going on this trip was the best gift he had ever received from his mother.
So to summarize our 2 year journey…
In year 1, we were volunteer teachers of English in China, Thailand and India.
Year 2, we went backpacking (with a budget) in South America. Then, we visited more countries in Asia before staying in Taiwan for 4 months to learn mandarin.
I feel very grateful that we are going home today to family and friends in 1 piece. I feel very privileged to have been able to travel and experience the world with Deon over the last 2 years. I am confident that the bonding we forged between will be timeless. I know the memories will be with us forever. I wish Kel and Jo will want to travel with me someday too, to make up for our lost time when I was really busy working back then when I could bring them with me. I will always make time for them as well because I love all my 3 kids equally and unconditionally. They’ve started with their own lives now being young adults and so, my offer of trips to them hasn’t been in well in their schedule. I want them to know that the day they are free to travel with me, I will make time for them and drop everything I have to be with them.
I am feeling kinda nervous going home to family and friends this time because I am not sure anymore if we can start from where we last left off. I do understand it might be hard for others to relate to my amazing state of well being now after all the experiences I had. And I still remember that at one time not long ago I was also caught up with many “things” too that now seem truly trivial but not seemingly so back then….
Even though this journey has come to an end now, I know my travelling will never end therefore I have decided to continue writing updates and loading photos of my future trips onto my travel website for those that have been travelling virtually with me. It’s also a great place to store memories for me to look back to.
I saw this quote on the chess Grandmaster, Maurice’s FB wall:
If you have a dream to do something extremely difficult, know that it will demand hard work and sacrifice, require a ridiculous amount of dedication, and be filled with heartache, pain, obstacles and setbacks along the way. The task will test your self-esteem at its core. But recognize that it’s not about you; every important task will test any and all who dare pursue it. Embrace the obstacles as challenges, look past yourself, and be patient. The lessons you learn along the way will be life-changing, and when you finally get there, whatever “there” turns out to be, the sweet taste of success will make the quest all worthwhile.
Today I can totally resonate and agree to everything written here… 🙂
Originally posted on Amy’s travel blog: TravelwithAmy.ca