I can't bring myself to continue this blog into life back home. The differences are just too great!
This blog is the story of our amazing journey. When I started it as we were getting ready to leave for Europe, the main purpose was so that friends and family could share a little of the journey with us. Well, in the end there were more than 6,000 discrete readers - a little fact that to this day still blows me away. Many of the people reading have never met us, and are unlikely to ever meet us - I guess some of them were friends of friends of friends that we made along the journey. If anyone ever makes it to Australia, despite whether you met us or not, contact us - you'll always have a bed at our place in Maryborough Queensland for a night or two!
I blogged daily with the exception of 2 or 3 days. In the end I had it down to a fine art - getting on to the computer around 10 pm or later if we came back in from dinner later - and spent on average 2 hours per day dowloading the photos from the camera, selecting the ones to use and then re-sizing them while all the time writing the entry. And yes, it was late when I usually finished, but the upside to that was that it was about breakfast time back here in Australia and we could Skype Antony and Amanda and talk to Little-Miss-Chatterbox, our beautiful little granddaughter Izabella. The great benefit is that she remembers who we are and recognised us easily when they were here at Christmas - oh, the joys of modern communication! Oh and by the way, she now has a little brother - Thomas George was born 6 April - 8lb 3oz and 23 inches - a beautiful big little boy.
There was one week when Helen was travelling with us that I didn't get to upload the blog - and by the end of the week I was getting desperate emails - from Where are you now? Is everything OK? through to UPDATE THE BLOG. NOW! Had to laugh at that one - and you know who you are!!!! And since arriving home there have been countless people who have said to me how they miss starting the day with reading what we are up to. Gosh, who would have thought people would find it that interesting?!
In the end though, it became so much more than just a way to talk with you all. It has become the most amazing record of everything we saw and did, the people we met, the places we stayed, the food we ate. While we were travelling it was getting to the point where we were forgetting some of that detail - I think it was because our heads were still being filled with all sorts of interesting 'stuff'. Since getting home though, my recall has improved dramatically and I can tell stories from almost every day - I only have to close my eyes and it is like I am there all over again - well, kind of.
We are planning to print the blog into a hard glossy coffee table style book - with the blog entries on the right hand side pages and more of those 79,053 photos we took on the opposite pages. In A4 format (because other formats literally double the cost) it will take at least two volumes I am advised by the printer. WOW. Still, I will never have enough time to scrapbook this story given that it took me 3 years to scrap my last 6 week trip to Europe. And I like the way it reads too much not to have a copy. We plan to just print one copy for ourselves. There are thousands of travel books in any library and I really don't think that there is enough demand to actually publish this. I'll let you all know how it goes.
So this is my final post on this blog.
Thank you one and all for sharing this amazing journey with us. Every day when the TV is on there are so many times that we say , "Oh wow, we have been there". In fact we are saying it so often lately that our daughter Gen mimics me before I can say it - I think she is getting tired of hearing it. We are trying to convince her to save hard and to travel while she is young and without commitments to tie her down.
I will continue to blog from this address - you are welcome to come on over if you are interested.
Don't cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.
Theodor Suess Geisel