The Continentometer

As I had promised myself, the first thing that I set about upon my return from South America was the long anticipated house move from Wimbledon to a more rural region of the country (of which, no doubt, more later). This project has taxed my not inconsiderable organisational skills to the utmost and is far from complete but, perhaps inevitably, my travel fantasies have been the “go-to” refuge for times of greatest anxiety.

I realised that, without having any particular plan of the kind, I had actually visited six continents in the preceding twelve months. It was no great step from this discovery to wondering whether it would be possible to “make the seven”. Out of these musings came the prototype Continentometer which told me that, in order to complete the set, I would have to get to Australia before the 27th of March 2014. Realising that anything of the kind would be not only highly extravagant but also a foolish deflection from the primary task at hand the possibilities began to slide forward into an altogether different configuration.

The March 2014 deadline had allowed me to include 2013’s India trip (representing Asia) but then I supposed that if I stopped off in Singapore on my way to Oz I could extend my deadline to May 26th and still include the 2013 trip to Texas (representing North America). With Africa, Europe, South America and Antarctica all clustered around the 2013/2014 winter this was looking like a distinct possibility. However, good sense prevailed and I returned my attentions to the packing cases piled around the living room and some sensible preparations for this June’s trip to Nepal and Tibet.

At 5,200 meters, Mt Kailash is going to involve some serious physical challenges to say nothing of the intellectual and (dare I say it) spiritual considerations of joining a Hindu pilgrimage to one of the most important holy places on Earth. The one that is sometimes known as Shangri la.

This trip will begin 368 days after my return from Texas in 2013 so there was really no use in attempting to fit Oceania into that configuration after all. But, as Captain Kirk would say, there are always possibilities. It is far more important that I make the very best of each travel opportunity that comes my way rather than rush around the world and risk missing the very essence of the countries that I alight upon. We can only wait and see what develops.

Categories: Britain, London

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