We've been back in the UK since 30th June and mostly staying at my Mum's in Hemel Hempstead. Not much of a tourist destination, but a welcome bit of rest and relaxation. Well, partly at least - we've also had to sort out visas and other such like things for our onwards travels. In fact Jamie's just picked our passports back up from the Real Russia office in London today (possibly a bit of a clue as to one of the countries we'll be visiting).
It's been really nice to catch up with family, plus we've managed to see a few friends as well, including Verity who we met on the Moose Bus in Canada, plus Maria, a school friend of mine I'd not seen in about 10 years. I also got home to a big stack of post (mostly CDs I'd ordered during the year away), so it was a bit like Christmas!
The last 2 weeks have flown by and we're now down to the last 2 days before we head back to the airport (the 17th one of the year so far). On our travels so far we've been weighed down by our suitcases filled with all the stuff we'd had for our year of living and working in Toronto. Happily we can now leave behind a lot of that stuff and travel relatively lightly. We've bought backpacks, so we now just need to decide which things to pack in them and which to leave behind. We're almost entirely going to be visiting countries during their hot seasons (if they even have cold seasons at all), so we don't need a lot of bulky coats or jumpers, which is good, though we might be craving a bit of cold weather in a few months' time (neither of us are that great in high temperatures, so it should be pretty interesting).
Also as part of our need and desire to travel light, I'm not going to be taking my laptop with me. I'll take my tablet, so I'll still have internet access and I'll keep blogging, but it'll be a bit strange to not have access to any files, programs or music I might want during the next 6 months. I'm copying any essentials and desirables on to my tablet or in to my online storage, but I'm sure I'm going to forget stuff.
Anyway, I should get on with the preparations. Thanks to my Mum for putting us up and being an awesome host. And to those people I've not managed to see during my time back here, I'll catch up with you in 2014 - it'll be here before you know it.