In retrospect this blog comes down to an incredible amount of luck (you may think otherwise if you’ve chosen to read it through to its end!).
In light of subsequent events (see the Present Day page) I was very lucky to do that route before it was disrupted by later events. It was incredibly fortunate that I chose to keep a diary – it certainly hadn’t been my habit either before or since – as it’s given my recollections a level of detail they wouldn’t have had if I’d relied on memory alone.
It was amazingly lucky that the diary survived, not least because I’ve moved home literally dozens of times since 1977 (I think it’s 32 at the last count). And I also think it was lucky that I chose to take slides and not photographic prints during my travels (even though I still don’t know why) because they have endured better.
My trip to India was, in theory, supposed to get the travel bug out of me so that I could ‘settle down’ and focus on my career (at the grand old age of 24!).
Of course, it had exactly the opposite effect: less than six months later, in January 1978, I visited what was then the Soviet Union – another region that has subsequently undergone vast changes.
And then there was the US, Australia, Egypt, Thailand and so on; I haven’t really stopped traveling since.
Of course it’s a lot easier now as more and more places are opening up as tourist destinations and airlines and airports proliferate like there’s no tomorrow (which is an increasing possibility if airlines and airports do continue to proliferate).
But this also means that it’s becoming harder and harder to feel any real sense of exploration or discovery. The nearest I have come to that sense of discovery was during my most recent trip, to China, which I undertook while still posting this blog.
I started blogging on that trip too (click here if you just can’t help yourself!) but it’s an enormous country and there’s so much to say about it so it may be a while before I actually complete that one.
So by all means visit the blog and see what you think. And if you’d rather not, that’s fine too.
I’m grateful that you’ve followed me this far.