HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU! The highlight of our time in Myanmar was the opportunity to tie up with Daniel and the team from Child’s Dream, a charitable organisation focusing on education in the Mekong sub-delta region, and visit a couple of projects on the ground with them. It was incredibly instructive and enlightening visit, and it will remain a pivotal experience of this 7-month journey. Visiting Myanmar at this juncture in the political and economic history of the country was a perfect timing and quite an experience. Never before had Alan and I had such a vivid impression that the history was being written before our eyes.
Our visit to Agra will remain a cherished memory and one of the highlights of our 7-month journey – however, not for the famous but tourist- and tout-infested Taj Mahal, but for an altogether more personal reason. For the past 15 years, I have been exchanging letters regularly – since she was 6 years old until now – with my Tibetan god-daughter, Tenzin. Despite the distance and this being our first contact in person, the connection was immediate, warm and genuine. It felt like a homecoming and finally meeting a cherished member of our family. This meeting was touching and inspiring, but also left me with a long-lasting sense of sorrow as I realised the extent of the hardships that the Tibetan people in exile have to face.
It had been 3 or 4 years that Alan had talked about traveling to Iran and his suggestions were always met by a non-negotiable flat refusal on my side – such was the negative image I had of this country from the way it was depicted in the media. When we were working on our itinerary, Iran was clearly on the way and the enthusiasm of Yang, my dear and trusted colleague who had just returned from a trip there, had the better of my reserves and we decided to go.
One unmissable stop on our road trip through Europe was Venice. We spent 48 hours in this fabulous city that, despite being at the peak of tourist season, still captivated us under its incredible charm.
After our initial city breaks in London and Paris, we drove all the way to Le Conquet and Pointe de Saint-Mathieu, the most western point in France, in Finistère, Brittany. This marked effectively the beginning of our road trip – the furthest point away from our eventual destination. Every day of travel from here on in will bring us one step closer.