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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The End of the Journey and the Beginning of a New One

“Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.”

After nine weeks, my trip around the world is coming to its final destination: the Solomon Islands.  I'm a very excited to finally be coming to a place I can call home for a year and not live out of my suitcase.  It has been a wonderful journey, visiting with old friends and making some new ones.  A trip of a lifetime or in my case, this trip was my lifeline back to being me again.  I feel amazing, whole and completely happy.

This blog has been most therapeutic for me and someday, I'll sit down and read every one of them again.  For me, what I can also say is that, which each stop I felt lighter and happier. Some stops were rougher than others (Iceland, I'm looking at you) but I needed each destination to help me see things in a different light.  So yay!

You know, I have covered the following distances:
Distance traveled:
43, 521 KMS
or for you yankees thats 27,042 miles

I'd like to say that I'm awesome and I did this all on my own.  But I didn't; not even remotely.  So this is sort of the gratitude blog (those people who are searching for Nuns in Stilettos and Granny Panties can move on, because this might bore you).  Yes that is the most frequently used search terms to find my blog.  Hilarious.

So this is like my Oscar speech...its going to be long, tedious and only slightly interesting to those people whose name I mention.  I'm going to break it down by destination.

The Beginning of My Journey
Christchurch:  My thanks to Louise, my angel, David and Fiona for helping me with my apartment. To my Helens (Grant, Wilton, Moore) for holding my hands during rough times.  
Jon Mitch, thanks for looking after me and taking the hard line when I needed it.  To James and Janelle for always putting me in my place and helping me eliminate the "flapigator". To Bill, for helping arrange a very nice send off and being the inspiration to go to the Solomons.  Thank you Bill.  To Joanne, for designing the banner of this blog! THANK YOU!
To Katherine, for letting me go early on my last day and being a generally cool chick.  My thanks to Corinne for letting me share her space, both emotionally and physically.  My thanks to my whole comms team for helping me through all the scary, scary times.  My thanks to Sian for letting me know that everything was going to get better.  To the step kids (you know who you are) for listening and getting me drunk at the pub.
To Alistair for staying all afternoon at my farewell and getting me drunk (there are lot of people helping with getting me drunk...perhaps I shouldn't name them all.) To Murns for driving me to the airport and helping me dance the night away (you too Tipper). To Sam and Shane for looking after my papason chair; I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Oh and thanks for listening too.
Daniel, for being such a good boss and always finding the solutions in life are in Northern Exposure episodes.  Many thanks, I hope I live up to being Maggie...To Matt for storing my stuff and letting me play guitar hero.  To Jamie for making me go out and eat Thai.  
To Gaynor for helping me notice that life wasn't ALL about me and that my friends need my support sometimes too.  Love you.  My thanks to all the members of the Red Socks Tramping Club, for some very good times.  
My thanks to the RATS team, for letting me sort my shit out.
My thanks to Antony for storing my stuff and looking after my mail. You are still a very nice ex, putting up with this blog and all.
My thanks to the Irish for letting me pirate all their stuff.  My thanks to Chloe bear for being the best climbing buddy/fishing buddy a girl could ask for.  My thanks to Scott for understanding that I am a free spirit and nothing can be done to change that.  My thanks to Jude for loving and taking care of Mr. Dot Dot.  Anyone else I've forgotten, I'm sorry.  Will re-edit this blog in necessary!!!

AUCKLAND- My thanks to Kiri BABE! who let me stay at her place, got me totally drunk and let me make drunk phone calls using her cellphone.  Many thanks Kiri Babe.

San Fran- My thanks and love to Tata Katie and Uncle Walter for letting me crash at their place. I was pretty shell shocked when I arrived; thank you for putting up with me just sitting there and not saying anything.  Thank you to Tina for an awesome time at the Winchester Mystery House.  See, ninja girls and pirate girls CAN get along.  Thank you to Vanilla Bear for taking care of Tina.  Thank you to Mr. Clark and Craig for letting me stay at their place and taking me to a classic Hawaiian themed diner.  Oh and watching the Sopranos on Craig's fainting couch...most fun!

Seattle- Thank you to my lovely cousin Amy, one of the busiest ladies I know, who took time to spend with me.  Again, sorry for being shell shocked, it was a lot to process!  Thank you to Eric and Nancy for feeding me.  Thanks to Megan and Jeff for helping us with directions and a nice steak.

Kennewick- Thanks to Chris and Michele and Mr. Vincent for loving guys are so lovely.  Thanks Chris for making me laugh, Mr. Fat Fatty (Dr. Dada's words, not mine).  Thanks Michele for giving me the best nephew in the world (I'm not biased or anything).  Thank you to Amy Cherry for driving all the way from Portland to see me for two hours.  Wow.  (Mom, I know you are reading this and getting pissed off, just wait for it).
Tata Claudine for making a lovely lunch and reminding me of the excitement of self expression.

Cleveland-Thank you to Zoe and Vern for letting me stay with Mike; it was very nice to let you share him with me. Thank you Mike for letting me stay at the Church of Mike and enjoying Bedford.  It was a nice journey down Mainstreet America and fringe America, all at the same time.  Was also lovely sleeping under the dome.  Thank you.

New York- Katie LOVE you and taking me everywhere and letting me know that there was nothing to be afraid of (well not nothing) and holding my hand when I got drunk and cried on the subway all the way to Brooklyn from Manhattan.  Thank you.

Iceland-Thank you Helen for being the best trip organizer a girl could hope for.  Love you Wusband. Jessica for just asking me what I needed.  Daniel for reminding me that conversations with strangers could be interesting again and not tedious anymore.  The Canterbury Earthquake for reminding me that life moves on and people continue without me just fine.

Shrewsbury-Thanks to the Rev and the Revette for letting stay with them. I had a wonderful time.

Edinburgh-Okay, just a side note but THIS was my favorite place on the whole trip. It was love at first sight; I must live in Edinburgh someday, just because it makes me happy.  Anyway, back to the thank yous.
Thanks to Mae and Sarah for being good road trip buddies.  Christine and Eric putting up with my meltdown coming down off Ben Nevis.
Eddy for letting me stay at his place, taking me around, forcing me up Ben Nevis, letting me be mad at him and then sending all the stuff I left at his place to France.  Truly, you are an awesomely ruggedly handsome man Eddy. Here's to another 9 years of friendship.

London-To Annabel for being lovely, letting me stay in her bed  and looking after me around London.

Paris-Ah to Mom! Finally!!! Mom for helping me pay for this awesome trip, having a lovely time around Paris and enjoying the sights. Thank you!  No words can express my deep gratitude for my mother.

Auxerre- To Meadow for looking after my grandparents so well and loving my crazy family.  To Aunt Mirelle and Uncle Vincent for letting me stay at their place and use their interwebs. Thank you so much.  To Aunt Jocelyn for saying "You mustz love you firsts, Sarha, then you canz let love in for ze other people."  Truer words were never spoken.  To my cousin Julie, for showing me the beauty of new life.  To Frankie and Rena for showing me that cross cultural relationships can work.  Even the really tough ones.  To Aunt Francine and Uncle Christian for being excellent hosts.  For Tata Natalie for showing me the beauty in small things.

Paris again-To Dad, for being a counselor and friend.  For always taking the calm, loving path and reminding me of the importance of patience in all things, especially matters of the heart.  

Other Places: There are, of course, people who have helped me that I either haven't even met OR have helped from afar.  So thank you to Hannah, Melanie et all at VSA Wellington for getting me prepared on this trip. I have never felt so completely taken care of by one organisation...truly, it has been wonderful having you guys support me during this SCARY time.

Thank you to Steve at VSA Solomons for helping me not worry and just reminding that me, being there is the most important thing.

Ahhhhh...okay...I'm done.  That's my gratitude/Oscar speech.  I hope you somewhat enjoyed it...if not, go to the Cheese blog or the blog about Fez.  Those are both slightly more entertaining...I might add photos to spice up this blog...maybe some naked photos or something..maybe I need pictures of nuns in Stilettos...