This is the first in a series of Skype interviews with solo travelers. Keith, publisher of the Velvet Escape, traveled around the world in five months. In addition to the interview, he has offered his final journal entry for the trip. A big thank you to Keith.
‘A Most Rewarding Investment’
(a page from my Travel Journal)
Wow, this trip has come to its end. I’m back in Amsterdam now (back to the ‘real world’, according to some 🙂 , which means I’ve gone full circle around the globe. This journey has certainly been amazing, and at times, downright mind-blowing!
With a tear (end of my fabulous trip) and a cheer (excitement about heading home), I left Buenos Aires. The flight with British Airways, via Sao Paulo and London to Amsterdam took about 16 hours.
I left Amsterdam five months ago with various intentions: obviously to see the world (or parts of it I’ve always dreamed of seeing), experience new cultures, catch up with relatives and friends some of whom I’ve not seen in many years, but most importantly, I wanted to use this time to reflect on myself and my life, and to get back in touch with the real me. In a certain sense, I considered this trip an ‘investment’… an investment of time and resources in myself.
And what have the returns on this investment been? I can tell you this much: this ‘investment’ has certainly broadened my horizons (such as identifying and confronting old fears, opening my eyes and ears to the fears, challenges and joys of others, and making me more aware of the intricacies of relationships between individuals and among different groups in our society in general) and it has changed how I think of people. It has provided me with invaluable insights into my person and my relationships with those around me. And it has made me a more positive, more balanced individual than the person who stepped on that plane in Amsterdam on a flight to Hong Kong five months ago. Haha.. yes, I’ve been working hard…. on myself.
Moreover, this ‘investment’ has allowed me to see the most stunning sights imaginable, from the magnificent Angkor Wat to the brilliant lagoon of Bora Bora and the awe-inspiring peaks of the Andes; meet the most interesting and remarkable people (my favourite is the 82-year-old couple that went zip-lining through the trees in the Andes); do things I would never have dreamt of doing such as swimming with sharks in Lang Tengah and Bora Bora, and trekking across the desert in San Pedro de Atacama; and experience the sights and sounds of some fascinating cultures (the hot-air lantern in Krabi and the lovely tango evening in Buenos Aires were truly unforgettable).
I feel very fortunate that I was given the opportunity to make this trip – it truly was a once-in-a-lifetime chance. To anyone out there, if you ever get a similar opportunity, grab it with both hands! It will be a hugely rewarding experience, the memories of which will certainly last a lifetime.