Through a rare miracle of public transport I have arrived two hours early at a school where I am due to talk. Through the miracles of modern technology then I write this on my laptop sitting in a field in the Oxfordshire countryside, killing time before my appointment (can you kill time without injuring eternity…?). My fingers are cold and the screen is dimmed by the dazzling light of a blue-skied November day. This is the England I love, and that I built up in my mind over four absent years to being a nostalgic shrine of comfort. I have been home for a year now. I am 30 years old. Cycling round the world has defined my life thus far, and it still dominates everything I do today. I learned lessons and had time to reflect on how I wanted to live my future. It will be a part of me forever. But the past is a foreign country; I did things differently there, and I am determined to keep striding forwards without looking back -regretfully, nostalgically- too often. The tree I am leaning against trails silver strands of spiders web, frail and drifting in the breeze like the strands of my life.
I have earned (and spent) around three times more this year than in four years of travel. I have taken a fraction of the photographs and made few new friends.
What will the next year hold?