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He only went out for some milk A blurb of monstrous proportions - it was only supposed to be a couple of lines and the odd photo.

The End: A Time For Reckoning

UNITED KINGDOM | Thursday, 17 July 2008 | Views [2503] | Comments [8]



No toilet too dirty, no room too squalid, no food too weird and no insect too big...even when it's in my food.  What an amazing diversity of landscapes - mountains stretching into the clouds, castaway island beaches, crystal clear blue seas, humid overgrown forests with rampant, blood sucking b@stard leaches, huge air-conditioned cities that never sleep, and villages that are in the middle of god knows where.  Volcanic rocks to cut-up a lost traveller's shoes, awe inspiring glaciers, paddy fields as far as the eye can see, and bright green freshly cut grass to make a man think of home...

I only went out for some milk, but stumbled through 30 plus countries, and over 200 cities with nearly 700 days of travelling, before i returned to my parents' house (home?).  A house full of my furniture, my paintings, my memories...but alas not my slippers it seems.  It's been a week of discovery - do i really own 22 pairs of shoes!?  Is Gordon Brown really prime minister!? and how the hell did Boris Johnson become London Mayor!?  Do people really still watch Big Brother, has the English verbal language really deteriorated so much and how the hell did i go without English ale for nearly 2 years...warm and flat it isn't you Philistines :-)

Over 80 flights - not bad for a guy who said he will try and avoid them, 5 robberies (plus 1 near break-in by me in Thailand, i can still picture the blokes face as i tried to saw through the padlock), 1 case of food poisoning, 6 colds and 1 bout of home sickness - so maybe i do know where home is.  I've generally found travelling incredibly easy, it had become my way of life - fitting in has become second nature.  So much so, that sometimes it's difficult to know who i am.  Other times I've felt incredibly free and capable of doing and being anything in the world.  How can someone who has never been in this position understand this?  Before i started this journey i felt driven; ready to burst; i could barely contain what was inside me.  Now i feel saturated, lost and tired.  What a huge worldly exposure to new people and places, different cultures, different mind-sets, outlooks and of course weird and wonderful food - an unbelievable assortment of sights, sounds and smells.  I'm still digesting this journey i have taken - i feel i need another 2 years just to begin to understand...

...to understand what it can mean for me.  I don't want to forget, and slip back into 'normal' life.  How can this experience not change a person? and yet in what ways has it changed me?

...I am really not sure.

In 10 countries I've had well over a hundred dives, to become a master scuba diver, I've had 8 days of storm swept Thailand to learn how to supposedly skipper a sailing boat, 30 minutes of leg quivering rock climbing to learn that this is one occasion where i can't get over my fear of heights - and stuff the getting out of the comfort zone thing.  I've lived, breathed and thought in a foreign language.  I've been touched by a multitude of cultures, religions, beliefs, and histories - from Hitler's camps to those of Pol Pot.  From Angkor ruins to Pearl Harbour to Mayan temples.  What an incredibly lucky person i am to have been able to have had such experiences.  How can i ever forget?

So many different places, so many different memories, so many different people - how can i remember even half of that i have experienced, never mind appreciate it, do I learn from it...or do I just be.

I'm back in England now.  I guess my trip is over, i don't want to believe it.  I've spent the last few weeks visiting friends, family and a few European cities that have been on my list for a while.  I  didn't want to stop travelling.  I don't have a job, i don't really have a home and the last couple of months deciding what to do have been my most difficult yet.  How can i go back to the capitalist, nanny society of England after what I've been through.  Surely i should be saving the world by now, not returning to old ways and lifestyles.  In the end it has boiled down to wanting what makes me tick, and i think that's a challenge that makes me grow.  I have so much to learn.

I don't want to spend any more time writing blogs - this isn't the real world for me.  It's time to go and live my life, however that may be.

Thank you


Tags: conclusions?




Hi Shane,

this is one of the most eloquent Coming Home pieces I have ever read. Most people burn up on re-entry and find words fail them entirely. But then again, it's a fitting end for a Blurb of Monstorous Proportions.

I have enjoyed reading so much of this blog and I hope after some time, you will treasure the fact you documented it all. I have just made this one of the featured posts on our Adventures homepage for the next week or so... great inspiration/comfort for people heading off or returning from their own epic odysseys.

Go and live your real life - this journal will still be here the next time the travel bug bites ;-)

Take care
Christy, Community Relations Manager, WorldNomads

  crustyadventures Jul 17, 2008 9:15 AM


Hi Shane, Good luck with your new start. It's a pity this blog ends since it really was great to follow from my boring desk at the office. Let me know if you ever come to Amsterdam again, Beer is on me! Regards, Roelof Shane: Thanks Roelof, i hope to take you up on that offer of a beer one day :-)

  Roelof Jul 17, 2008 5:03 PM


Well done Shane on your big adventure. I appeciated sharing your remarkable journey. You can dine on the experiences for a long time so it never really ends. Hope you find whatever makes you happy and content. Best wishes for the future. Shane: Thanks Jan, i wish the same for you.

  Jan Jul 18, 2008 3:08 PM


Hey Shane,<br>I have enjoyed reading your blog for ages, sorry to hear your latest travels have come to an end. Hope you keep up the blog writing though, even if it's just reflections on your experiences with the benefit of hindsight.<br>Good luck with the job hunting! (to fund the next round of travels of course!)<br><br>Cheers, Shane: I've got myself a job - i start in August. It's a far more scary prospect than the travels. Strangely enough i'm already thinking of where to go next...

  stowaway Jul 22, 2008 12:18 PM


Does this mean an end to the self indulgent crap I have had to read for the last 2 years?<br><br>Does seem you've had a great time, some wonderful experiences and now clearly adopted a different focus on life.<br><br>Unfortunately reality has to set in a some point.<br><br>I'd like to think that of most people I know you'd find the best ways to spend a big lottery win!<br><br>BUY SOME TICKETS!!!<br><br><br>J Shane: Thanks matey - i do my best... to provide self indulgent crap. Glad you liked it. Yes it is time for a new focus, a new challenge and a new bank balance. Alas reality has set in. At least with a job i can now afford to buy a lottery ticket. I would be able to afford that trip to Oz by container ship then...that plan still appeals to me.

  Jason Jul 30, 2008 4:23 PM


Hi Shane have lost yr email address since my laptop had work done on it. Would love to keep in touch. I'm curious about your choice of job you start soon.<br>cheers Jan ...Shane: yes, i'm curious too. It's LNG with QGII and EMQIIL...glad to help :-)

  Jan Guest Jul 31, 2008 9:02 AM


Eloquent? Self-indulgent? The entire log is this - and more! The final entry is thought-provoking and, as with other entries, well written. It left me with a slight feeling of melancholy - perhaps that of the reader getting to the end of something that has educated, inspired and amused for the best part of 2 years. I imagine that I will be one of the 'maturer' readers, thinking often of what I missed out on as I took my own 'journey' into retirement. I put this last entry up there with his 'open' letter to his mum. A fantastic blog which, though it consumed many long hours of his life, will prove an inspiration to many like-minded adventuring spirits, as well as a permanent record for Shane of the 'time of his life'. Well-written, literate and amusing . . . who'd have thought it ? . . . What can I read now ?

  Tony Aug 2, 2008 7:32 PM


I feel quite moved reading this last post, as I've felt I've travelled with you by reading this blog - first brought to me by googling a poem! What a couple of years to have lived - think of all the lives youve been part of too.
Will write soon

  Julie Jones Sep 2, 2008 9:26 PM

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