Has it really been over a year since I got back?
And now I find myself in Amsterdam, writing a blog merely to keep this account open. But while I'm here maybe I can write something interesting...
Returning home after such an eventful trip was like coming down from the ultimate high. For several weeks I was unable to imagine what to do next. I had such an overwhelming experience over those four months that it took time to process. I'm very thankful to Craig and Kat for putting up with me during that time. I finally got my head straight, got some new glasses, started to run again and finally got off their sofa and went to see my Mum and Dad.
Morecambe Bay proved to be the beautiful place I'd taken for granted as a kid (I almost wrote "growing up"!). Travelling the world made me realise how incredibly unappreciated our own scenery is in England. The sunset in Morecambe bay beats any I've seen.
I was lucky to get the chance to spend a few weeks living with my parents and really spending time with them. How many people get the chance to do that as an adult without unfortunate circumstances?
What proved tough was finding a job, without a home base, so I decided to return to West London and rent a flat.
Now this wouldn't be a proper RW blog without a bit of daft dialogue so here's what happened at the estate agent:
Me: I'd like to rent a flat in Ealing please
Estate Agent Lady: OK, where do you live now?
Where do you work?
I'm sorry, we don't have anything available.
Oh, that's unusual for an estate agent in West London isn't it?!
Well, it's er, busy, and er, recession, and er, not much..... to be honest, you're going to find it difficult to persuade people you can afford the rent without references...
Me: What if I paid all the rent up front?
Her: Well there's this place.... and this one....and here...here....
4 appointments-to-view followed!
This made me realise two things:
I'm glad I didn't blow all my money on pool parties, Bud Light and convertibles.
It must be bloody hard for people who want to build a life, but have fallen out of the system.
In a bizarre twist, it turned out my old flat was still empty, albeit with a new landlord, and had just been refurbished. So I lapped the planet and ended up where I started - but without a carpet!
You don't want to hear about work, so I'll skip over my time working in West London. However I did make some new friends who I hope to see again.
I was also very fortunate to get the chance to meet up with Chris and Kate, of the musicians on the boat. Chris runs a fantastic music night in North London called Karamel where I spent many happy Wednesdays. Sadly Kate didn't put on any performances, but did introduce me to the fabulous "Dove and Boweevil", surely the greatest thing to ever come out of Norfolk!
As my contract came to a close I was pleased to receive a text regarding a trip to Amsterdam. I figured it was the Stockport boys suggesting another weekend, like Bilbao.
Ah, let me tell you about Bilbao!!!
Content removed at request of Forquar Solicitors, Stockport
and it cleared right up!
But to my great surprise the text was a job offer!
For some reason my friends seemed to think I would enjoy Amsterdam - presumably because of the healthy lifestyle, cycling around, and the amount of culture to be found - so they encouraged me to leave the country...
...and I'm going to pause there. Vegas rules will make an Amsterdam blog tricky, and I certainly won't be writing about anyone who comes to visit, or lives here already, for that matter! But I'll see what I can knock up.
Stay tuned, as my thoughts are turning towards RTW2........ New Zealand is still out there. South Africa. Brazil. Alaska...
...... Las Vegas......