At 1:30 last Saturday we pedaled back into Hyde Park, to the very spot where the adventure began 20 months ago. Over 52,000 miles, 598 days and hundreds of vehicles later we had done it: 3.6mph around the world without once jumping on a plane.
So nearly done. So much emotion, a few tears from the back seat but we rounded the final corner to be welcomed back in style. Friends, family and even some unknown blog fans surrounded us and instantly we were filled with the warmth of home through an onslaught of booze, hugs, silly grins and squeals. It was an incredible magical moment for us both and the whole weekend of being thrown back in and amongst loved ones was one we hope never to forget. We are now convinced more than ever that it is the people that make home home so its pretty lucky there were so many of you there!
Hol: So I think we should at least attempt to wrap up the blog with some wise reflections from traveling the globe. On coming home we are more than ever reminded that this adventure was essentially a selfish undertaking. We didn't raise money for charity, we're not going to write a book and we're not trying to save the world from the perils of air travel. Before settling down it seemed like a good plan to run away from structure, pressure and familiarity for a while. Its as simple as that and the main things we've learnt along the way are equally simple:
- People are good, a very small proportion are bad. By opening yourself up to this goodness you get a lot more out of the world than you do by being constantly worrying about the baddies.
- Belongings should only be collected if they are going to be used or enjoyed regularly and must never become a burden. The world around us tries very hard to make things complicated so you have to make a conscious effort to keep them simple.
- Kindness is the most important quality in humans. However big or small the gesture, it is universally recognised and appreciated. From now on we are both determined to take people in when we can and give away stuff to those who need it rather than hoarding it for ourselves. I am also going to stop ignoring lost tourists on the streets of London – it really means a lot to be offered help by a local before asking.
- Exercise, regular bowl movements, living within your means and an appreciation of simple pleasures are the key to happiness.
Some reminders of the trip if you get (extremely) bored:
Photos: this has links to all the albums from the last 20 months
The map: You can click on here and see our whole route on Google Earth