Live blog feed! We’ve landed safely at Charles De Gaul, Paris. A bit of a rough ride over the Eastern Carribean – at one point I thought we were going to end up in the sea, or stranded on a Carribean Island (which I’d have been gutted about obviously!) – stomachs were lurching for a good half an hour as the plane banged its way through the turbulence. All was well though & yet again prayers were answered – probably not a prayer God gets every day: “Lord, please don’t send me to the Carribean”… but He must’ve heard!

Charles De Gaul Airport is a wonderful & amazing place. Huge & vast, with soo much open space. Huge curved & vaulted ceilings, glass everywhere – more like a huge shopping mall than an airport. So vast in fact that it has it’s own shuttle rail to take you from one end of the airport to the other. A great place.

Contant to make a base near the departure gate, we sat to wait the close on 5 hour transfer gap before returning to Birmingham. Body clock’s gone completely to pot – I think my body think’s it’s 10:20am in the morning as I write this. Which, by the time I get back to the UK will be 1:15pm (7:15pm UK time). So by ‘bedtime’ my body will be just starting to think about either a late lunch or an early dinner, & by the time I stand to do the children’s song in church in the morning my body will be thinking “Dancing… again?! Do these night clubs ever close?!”

An interesting few days follow I think…

OK all, I think this will be my last entry of ‘the journey’. I’ll get home & download my photos then upload a batch relating to the final days where I couldn’t include any.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed sharing this journey with me/us. I’ve certainly enjoyed sharing it with you – & enjoyed even more the comments & feedback you’ve left throughout. I’ve never felt too far from home, from the people I care about most in my life, & your prayers have kept me safe, well & able to handle everything that’s come my way – even dancing! Who’d have thought a person could achieve so much on the back of a dog walk once a week, the odd 30 mile bike ride & a 4 minute children’s every Sunday?!

As I mentioned earlier, this trip has been a very different trip to the one I took to Everest Base Camp in January 2010. For a start I knew exactly where I was going & what would be involved – as opposed to Base Camp where I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, including where I was actually going, until about 6 weeks before we left & even then had to be assisted by a world atlas! In contrast to a trip where each day was a challenge to complete & a real test of physical endurance, this has been an experience of travel. An experience where each day has taught me more about the culture & the history of another country – a country that has evolved & changed hugely in such a tight period of time, yet was far more advanced than any other known culture of its time. But apart from this, each day has taught me more about myself & more about other people.

Shut away in my own little ‘life bubble’ there is rarely the time – or the opportuniy – to totally absorb myself in anything outside that bubble. This experience has allowed me to almost take some time off from myself & open up my mind to the richness of the world outside the bubble – yet never lose touch with who I am & the things that are most important to me in this life. I acknowledge that I am very blessed to be in this position – & to have the loving support of a wife who encourages me to step outside the bubble.

If there is a downside to being able to do these things, it’s that I can’t do them with Polly. I can only share these wonderful experiences through my words & through my pictures. But she is with me in my mind & in my heart, every second of the day, so I guess we’re never that far apart. Who knows, maybe the time is coming where my boys can join me on my travels one by one – & give Polly some real & well deserved peace!

Until the next time then everyone – Adios & thanks for tuning in 🙂 See you in church tomorrow!

Now where to next Mike…?