Although not quite the suspense of ‘Who killed Lucy Beale?’ - I think I’ve done an OK job at generating some intrigue to the whereabouts of my first port of call................................
A handful of you suspected I would go straight to Australia or New Zealand. I mean, really…!?
Geographically speaking, there is so much of the World situated before reaching those juggernauts. Might I suggest a World map for Xmas? :-)
Relatedly, did you know that I am TOO OLD to even consider working as a tourist in Australia. No, really I am!
The majority assumed I was heading straight to South East Asia (SEA) whilst a few deliberated over Africa and nobody went for The Middle East. Can't think why...
I can also reveal that not many of you properly considered Europe. I'm guessing then that not many of you realised that Eastern, Central and Western regions of Europe are well connected by public transport? This could make reaching other countries relatively easy and certainly without the cost (and hassle) of flying,
(I must acknowledge Essential's Dave Kellett who wisely predicted this).
To be fair, a few of you also thought I was going to drop into Italy first to see relatives so you weren't a million miles away - just a few hundred or so.
I acknowledge that in comparison to Australia and South East Asia (SEA), Europe sounds a whole lot less exotic! However, if I hinted at my starting destination being in the Mediterranean, would that sound a little better?
I've made it to ATHENS, Greece.
Why Athens? Well, I can think of at least eight good reasons!
1) Firstly, well why the hell not…? I have to start somewhere, right.
2) It’s in the Mediterranean and has a plethora of surrounding Islands that may very well tempt me into visiting.
3) I’ve never actually been to Greece before so why not take on the mighty capital...!?
4) It's in the European Union and as you might have heard recently, the pound to Euro rate is the best its been in SEVEN YEARS.
5) As you'll know, it’s steeped in history. Granted, such history will stretch way beyond my simple mind but who doesn’t like to think of a mythical time where Gods and humans co-existed.
7) There is no Visa cost to enter the country for UK residents as it offers freedom of movement.
8) Geographically, it’s conveniently situated for where I *think* I'm going after Greece...
9) ...But if I don’t make that next destination cos I’ve spent the week wanting to come home and whimpering like a child, well it’s a lot cheaper and quicker to fly home than from Asia or further afar!
So people my journey has well and truly begun. IF I can transition to this new lifestyle, I will be in no immediate rush to go much further east any time soon as I am well aware just how many intriguing countries are close by and just how few people get to see them - let alone without time restrictions. Speaking of time, in addition to soon exploring this ancient, foreign land, I will shortly begin the process of trying to get my head around the fact that the concept of time that I've been a slave to for all my working life is no longer. There is just night and day.
I'm sensing some strange and emotional days ahead and let me tell you, I am writing this from a Hostel. Yes, folks, I've gone and done it. I will remain silent on this for the moment but I'll be sure to up date you asap on my first nights stay.
The unlikely traveller