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Distracted from trip planning – but for a good reason

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Since our last update, the ‘2 months to go’ until we set off on our trip has shrunk to just 10 days. I’d like to say we’ve done lots of planning and preparation since then, but something else rather important has cropped up …

On 3rd August, on a beautiful summer’s evening, Adrian took me for a walk next to the Thames. As the sun was setting over the river, he led me into a garden area, got down on one knee, pulled a gorgeous diamond ring out of his pocket, and asked me to be his missus. Well, how could I refuse?

My beautiful engagement ring

We watched the rest of the sunset on a terrace, drinking champagne – well, prosecco – and comparing whether Adrian was more nervous about asking me or about the phone call he’d made to my Dad a few weeks prior to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. [On balance, Adrian felt that asking my Dad was probably more nerve wracking. After all, this is a man who had already forbidden me to marry Prince William. You’re welcome, Kate.]

All in all the trip planning has taken something of a backseat: we have booked the flights plus our first few night’s accommodation in Beijing and will be organising the rest as we go. I actually like travelling this way, as it gives us a certain amount of flexibility.

Time to get some sleep – I need to be up early tomorrow to stand in line at the Chinese embassy in the hope that they grant us some visas. Fingers crossed!

Written by Emily

September 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Hello world!

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OK, so as most of you will know, ‘Hello world!’ is the default temporary title given to the first post of every new WordPress blog – but in our case it’s actually kind of appropriate so I’m going to ignore the suggestion of the powers-that-be at WordPress and leave it intact.

The reason it’s appropriate is because this blog is about exploring the world – or, at least, exploring tiny pieces of it. I’m shortly to embark on a round-the-world trip with my boyfriend: the ‘What’s it all about?’ page has a few more details about this.

Recent trip to Paris ... avec two friends and one random! (I'm on the left)

I’ve actually been lucky enough to have been on a round-the-world trip before. I graduated from university in 2003 without a clear idea of what I wanted to do career-wise so I decided to take a gap year and travel. I wandered into STA travel and requested a round-the-world ticket, and was rather flummoxed when they said I would need to tell them which countries and cities I wanted to include in the ticket. [Lesson One: a ’round-the-world’ ticket does not mean a ticket that takes you anywhere in the world].

In the two hours that followed I poured over maps, pestered every travel agent who was unlucky enough to be working that day for advice about where to go, and walked out with a ticket that would take me to India, Nepal, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the US. I travelled alone, met some incredible people (some of whom I’m still in touch with today) and turned up in London 8 months later with no money and no regrets.

8 years on, I’m reflecting on how much has changed. I’m travelling with my partner which I’m looking forward to because there are inevitable moments of loneliness when you travel by yourself. Fortunately Adrian and I have pretty similar travelling ‘styles’, albeit he’s a more diligent planner than I am (see previous paragraph), and we’ve taken many enjoyable trips together in the last 6 years. The biggest change I’m anticipating is technological:

  • My old camera, with its rolls of extra film and ever-growing collection of prints will be replaced by a digital camera with a decent memory card. 
  • I will no longer need a separate holdall to lug around a huge collection of books: they’re all going onto the Kindle.
  • An iPod will replace my discman CD and case of CDs.
  • The days of trudging around strange cities looking for internet cafes are mostly over: I’m buying a netbook.

Now, you may be thinking: “Wow, what a lot of extra space she’s going to have in her backpack”. But you’d be wrong. The space that used to be occupied by books and CDs is likely to be occupied instead by all the additional skin care and beauty products that we ladies tend to accrue in our late 20s. As a fresh-faced 21-year-old I could get away with brushing my hair and putting on a bit of mascara. These days I’ve got a whole array of skin creams (different ones for day and night, of course), hair serums, body scrubs, make up, cleansers – and the list goes on. Now where did I stash that enormous backpack? …

 

Written by Emily

June 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm

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