Overall I was really stoked with the journey – I had had many doubts and insecurities when embarking and had felt pressure for it to take various forms (i.e. an around the world journey with miles being constantly racked up, etc.).
· I used to avoid being alone for long periods, now I relished the solitude.
· I used to feel the need to tick off the kilometres and make consistent progress that was tangible to others, now although some relics of my competitive past remained, I usually sought enthralling experiences over massive miles.
· And whereas I used to find interacting with strangers intimidating, I was now largely at ease even across language barriers.
· And probably most important, I had left because I wanted to seek out a different way of living that was probably going to be quite removed from my western upbringing and I really was feeling the deceptively strong social pressures we face (and often don’t recognise) starting to slide away and be replaced by a strong conviction in my own beliefs, ideas and motivations.
· A few gremlins still remained – I often felt jealous or inadequate reading of others travels and questioned whether this lifestyle was selfish. And so I resolved to work on these and left the boat buoyed with optimism at how far I had come and palpable enthusiasm for what might lie ahead.
Straight off the ferry the route began as it was to continue for many hundreds of kilometres – brutally steep climbs set amongst lush forests, regularly interspersed with small villages containing friendly interested locals, who almost always had chai on hand to welcome us with, even if they couldn’t join us in a cuppa in the daylight hours (being Ramadan).