Thoughts from a floating tin box

I’m currently 10km above the Southern Indian ocean, it’s -41C outside and the middle aged guy to the left of me is now watching his sixth episode of Pingu. In all honestly I don’t really know what’s going on here. The inflight info screen informs me we’ve 4178km to go still, but I don’t know if that’s to the refuelling stop in Melbourne, or the final destination of Auckland, New Zealand. It’s dark outside but I’ve had three breakfasts and two dinners in no particular order in the last day or so the time is anyone’s guess. More pertinently, I’m not quite sure what’s going on in general. My girlfriend and I have left our lives in Cambridge behind and decided to head 12’000 miles away for the best part of a year.

We’ve travelled before. The standard round the world trip to find yourself along with 500’000 other likeminded people/ drunken idiots has been ticked off, that’s what started it. Since then we’ve been to a fair few places, never for long enough though, and I guess this is the next logical, or perhaps illogical, step. Illogical in that we don’t really know what we’re doing this time. We touch down on Tuesday 7th August 2012 and the next thing we know for sure is that we leave NZ on 1st April 2013 (fools!) for a slow journey home via Australia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka arriving back in England in June. I understand this is not exactly ground breaking, life threatening stuff; we’re not a pair of modern day Kerouacs or anything, but we’ve always had a general plan on previous trips. The fact we haven’t this time excites me more than anything before.

The feeling of heading somewhere unknown, with no idea what you’ll do, see or find upon arrival is one that is hard to match. I’m exhilarated by the thought of it; not knowing where you’ll be in one day, two days, a week – just pack your bag and go somewhere new when you’re ready. We have some money, but will need to work and that’s fine. No office jobs and nowhere for too long, that’s the only two conditions we have. We have no transport, no contacts, no plans. No worries.

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