The Solo Female Traveller Returns
So here I am sitting at my desk, and safely back Lingfield. It is so cold in this country! I have had to ramp the central heating up to 32 degrees, and even so, I have 3 jumpers and 2 pairs of socks on.
My adventure has come to an end, but it was so wonderful to be reunited with my temporarily orphaned kids and the hugely supportive Husband at Gatwick last night.
What a wonderful homecoming I had, complete with my perfect meal of lasagne and cheesecake. There have, however, been a few negative comments about my appearance. Apparently the wrist full of friendship bracelets, which I have collected along the way, and my long scruffy hair make me look like an ageing hippie.
The second ear piercing has also gone down badly, but I did point out that it could have been a lot worse. I could have had a turtle and a couple of dogs tattooed on my neck.
Life Lessons Learnt
I have learnt a lot about myself, and about the world, on my travels. I am way more self-sufficient than I ever thought, and I realise the importance of smiling. It is a universally understood expression, and people treat you so much better if you just smile.
I have also realised that, whilst I have visited numerous countries in the past, I have never really travelled. Staying in nice hotels and going on manicured, organised scenic excursions does not count. This gives you a sanitised version of reality.
In order to really see a country you have to live and work with the locals and get to know them, their culture and their history. If you adopt their customs and respect their values they will welcome you into their hearts and their homes.
I spent Diwali with a taxi driver’s family in Goa, I had dinner with my tuk tuk driver’s family, and ate coconuts fresh from a tree in the garden of a local from the dog rescue centre, in Sri Lanka.
Sadly I was mistaken for a Russian on numerous occasions whilst away, due to my height and the blonde mop. I felt like replying ’Am I that fat? Are my boobs popping out of my bikini and are my eyebrows tattooed on?’ But I didn’t, I just smiled sweetly and said ‘No, British.’
And doesn’t Asia love a Brit? I had always thought that the laddish behaviour of Brits Abroad, coupled with the fact that we invaded and colonised so much of this continent in the past, would be a huge minus point, but actually everyone loves us! We are seen as very polite, respectful and cultured. Thank God no one has seen me arguing with a traffic warden…
I have met many lovely, lovely people on my travels, from all nationalities, and made some friends for life. If I take anything from this trip it is the fact that I must meet and get to know more people from other races and creeds. Even so, I am still not convinced about the Germans and the Chinese, but we all have our issues.
So now I have got to get back into the swing of my normal life. I just loved being a solo female traveller SO much. I just hope I don’t have a Midlife Crisis getting over my Midlife Crisis Trip. That could be a whole new blog. Who knows…