Week 52… The final chapter!

So, we've finished our travels. How bonkers is that?! We are already happily ensconced in our new flat in Tunbridge Wells, where we'll start a whole new adventure, which will include becoming husband and wife (in 258 days' time, but who's counting?)! Alex has gone back to work, and I am busily making our home into “ours”…and searching, currently unsuccessfully, for a job! Time to go back to the real world!

Our final few days abroad were spent in Sorrento which was a blessed relief after the hustle and bustle of Rome. Even though it is still a tourist destination, there wasn't the sense of jostling for space with fellow tourists and, even though the shops were clearly catered towards visitors, we didn't see any of the tat that was being touted in the big cities.

This was my third trip to Sorrento and I was keen to show Alex how lovely it is there. Luckily, he liked it as much as I did! I'd booked us into a hotel which, it transpires, was a 15 minute minibus ride from town. This is all well and good if you wanted to get into town at 8am, 9am, 10am or from 4.20pm onwards….but if, like us, you treated yourself to a lie in, you then had to get the local bus. Doesn't sound like much but we were grimly amused by the “timetable” which was definitely more of a suggestion than an actual indication of when the bus might turn up. We spent lots of time clinging to the shade and peering up the road at the sound of every vehicle! However, it was worth the wait as we pottered around town, eating and drinking and generally taking life very easy.

We booked into doing a cooking course one evening. I had done the other cooking course offered nearby so we chose the Old Taverna lesson instead. While we didn't do much besides take notes (I rolled a few meatballs in flour and Alex did some expert sauce stirring…none of these are euphemisms!), we learnt a lot, including the fact that Italians don't put garlic and onions in the same dishes…ever. I was shocked because that's pretty much how I start to make ANY dish! After watching the cooking of our meal, we all ate the produce upstairs, with free flowing wine. The girls with whom who we'd been sharing the lesson suddenly all started to be a lot more chatty, when away from the constant questions of our teacher. We ate our delicious meal and got to know each other. When we all headed outside afterwards, in true Brit fashion, Alex and I asked if anyone cared to join us for another drink and continued conversation. Luckily for us, even though the two Aussie girls said no, the two Canadian girls said yes and we headed to a nearby bar/restaurant. Where we sat and talked for 6 hours….and 4 bottles of wine! It sounds bad (the volume of alcohol consumed) but it wasn't a case of getting drunk together, it was more that we were all so enjoying our conversations that we didn't want the night to end….so kept replenishing the bottle in front of us…until 2am! What would four not-entirely-sober tourists in Italy want at 2am? Gelato! So off we popped to find somewhere to buy gelato at that time in the morning. I'm as surprised as you that we managed it!

So that was the end of it all. We've done so much over the last year, it's almost incomprehensible to me. Things we did back in Vietnam, at the beginning of our trip, now feel like a dream!

Everyone asks what our highlights were and I think Alex and I both agree that we would recommend the following to anyone:

  • The motorbike tour in Vietnam
  • The orangutans (and silver leaf monkies) in Malaysia
  • Queenstown, New Zealand
  • The Grand Canyon
  • And of course, we loved DisneyWorld!

Here are some figures for you all, to round off the post:

  • 51 weeks from start to finish
  • 12 countries
  • Too many flights to count!
  • 94 different beds (I've just counted that in my head so i might have missed out a few!)
  • 8 visitors (including mum, dad and Gus twice!)
  • 1 medical drama (pretty good going for a whole year!)
  • 1 mad dash to the airport after forgetting a passport
  • 3 visits to Disney parks
  • 1 engagement!
  • 1 amazing year!!
 

Milly & Alex x

 

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