Flip Flop Flying

It’s over

with 13 comments

Man, it was tough to fall asleep last night. Twenty nine weeks of stuff going through my head, all with a big full stop of Mexico City International Airport at the end. Which is where I’ll be in about 12 hours time.

Before I begin, I want to apologise in advance to the friends I will see in the next few weeks. Within a few minutes of us meeting, I will begin a sentence with the words “when I was in.” What will follow those words will be the name of a country or town and a tedious description of something a-maaaaaay-zing that I did or saw. Sorry about that, chaps.

So, my trip is more-or-less over. It began on a drizzly January morning, getting on the Piccadilly Line, seeing the other people in the train, and bursting to tell someone what I was about to do. And, fuck, I did a lot of stuff.

I get a bit misty-eyed thinking about it, and images go through my mind with a melancholy soundtrack, like some local news coverage of a kid in a wheelchair going to Disneyland. The beautifully decorate boats at Xochimilco in Mexico City; snorkeling, seeing howler monkeys, and getting bitten by a kinkajou in Belize; meeting a girl with fake tits who wouldn’t eat a Tic-Tac in Panama City.

Giggling at paintings in a museum, and riding through the streets of São Paulo on the back of a motorcycle; seeing the amazing buildings in Brasília; getting drunk with strangers in Curitiba; walking along the beach in Florianópolis in the rain; going to a Santo Daime ceremony; hanging out with Grêmio fans in Porto Alegre; the beautiful fishing village of Punta del Diablo; watching Liverpool beat Arsenal on telly in a shitty hotel in Buenos Aires; bumping into my mate from London on the street there, too; the singing of the Boca Juniors fans.

Seeing the sea lions in the Beagle Channel; walking on a glacier in Tierra del Fuego; seeing the awesomeness of the Perito Moreno glacier; chatting to a lovely, friendly girl on the bus from Posadas to Iguazú; being blown away by Iguazú Falls; getting drunk with two Italian guys in a casino; everything about Rio de Janeiro.

There was being in New York with old friends; baseball, beautiful beautiful baseball; the friendliness of strangers in Pittsburgh; talking about guns with a soldier on a Greyhound bus; the wonderful storms over Milwaukee; Wrigley Field and the hot dogs of Chicago; getting drunk with new friends in Denver; seeing old friends in Seattle; shooting guns in Wenatchee; swimming in Lake Chelan; hanging out with a couple of groovin’ hippies in Estacada; the Oregon Country Fair; watching the Oregon and Californian coast out of the back of Walt & Jenny’s RV; and probably a bunch of stuff since then that’s still a bit too fresh for me to fully appreciate.

There were times of great happiness, times when I’ve felt sad, and times when I’ve been downright miserable. Times when I felt very homesick, and times when I’ve not been able to imagine returning to a “regular” life. I feel like I’ve changed, too. I’ve become a little bit more open. More open to new experiences, too. And less obsessed with planning every step of my life. I hope that feeling sticks around.

I’ve hung out with some great people. Thank you to Amy, Andrew, Ariel, Barbara, Bill, Brendan, Derick, Flavia, Guilherme, Heather, Ian, Jennifer, Jenny, John, Juliana, Kate, Kraig, Laura, Lisa, Marta, Melanie, Naomi, Nina, Ozorio, Rebecca, Rebecca, Renata, Robin, Vicky, Wade, and Walt. And, well, without wishing to be mawkishly sentimental, you. Doing the blog while I’ve been travelling has been a wonderful way of keeping a record of what I’ve been up to, and having your emails and comments has only made it better. Thank you.

There’s plenty of stuff in my head and notebooks that I’m looking forward to cracking on with on the website. And, oddly, I’m looking forward to actually doing some work. Real work. For money. But for now, I’m gonna be trying to enjoy my last day, before getting on British Airways flight 242. After the safety instructions, a few films, some over-heated food, some water in those weird-feeling plastic cups that you only ever get on aeroplanes, and (more than likely) no sleep, I’ll be at Heathrow. And life will continue; with longer hair, a suntan, some new baseball caps, and a smile on my face.

Written by Craig

August 1st, 2008 at 8:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

13 Responses to 'It’s over'

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  1. …come back soon, please.


    1 Aug 08 at 17:23

  2. Aw! It’s been fun for us in the audience too.


    1 Aug 08 at 17:36

  3. Yikes, is it really over?

    I rarely write comments on here (I was the one who suggested you sounded like Julian Barratt) but I have read every single one of your blogs whilst you’ve been on your travels and I’ve been reading for a good couple of years now.

    I just thought it was about time I wrote some sort of thanks. I feel a bit like I traveled with you except when you were looking out the window of a bus or a plane, I was looking out my studio window overlooking the Old Steine in Brighton. Not quite as good.

    So thanks basically, and I look forward to many more blogs to come.

    Plus, you’re a Liverpool supporter which helps.

    Chris Lewis

    1 Aug 08 at 17:59

  4. Yeh, yeh. :)
    if you dont come back soon Kraig, Barbara and myself will come and drag you back to the northwest!


    1 Aug 08 at 18:12

  5. I can’t wait to see what creative ventures this trip inspires as you’ve had more time to reflect on it. From reading this over the years, you sound changed…in a good way. Your sense of gratitude to the places you’ve been and the people you’ve met is moving…it almost makes me misty-eyed.



    1 Aug 08 at 18:44

  6. This’ll make one hell of an FFF Does! What an amazing trip and as Chris says, it feels like we’ve gone along for the ride too. I hope one day I can do something similar. By the way, I bought Atlas Schmatlas on Wednesday, an excellent read!


    1 Aug 08 at 19:19

  7. Craig, it has been a joy, I’m sad that it is over, but excited to see what you get up to next. I also feel like I have travelled with you. Your wonderful descriptions and funny and sad ramblings have entertained me everyday for a long time (and bored my flatmate rigid with tales of where the wanderer Craig is now!)

    Have a safe trip home and let us know how Billy is soon.

    Thank you


    1 Aug 08 at 19:58

  8. Hi Craig,

    As usual, it was great seeing you in the Big Apple. I hope you're going to make it back over for some October Yankees action.

    Derick & the Girls


    1 Aug 08 at 23:57

  9. Wow, I have a lump in my throat!

    But the journey never really stops does it? Thank you for taking us with you thus far, and I look forward to reading of the Further Adventures of the Amazing Craig…

    Podcast soon?

    You rock.



    2 Aug 08 at 00:48

  10. Mr Flying

    have been reading your blog for the last couple of years, and really enjoyed the last 6 months.

    a couple of times your writing got me welling up !! i think you were snorkeling or something, can’t remember now ! but it was really quite deeeep stuff.

    anyway, never commented before, so thought i would now, i wont comment again i guess.

    but just wanted to let you know

    au revoir and keep it up..


    2 Aug 08 at 00:56

  11. I’ve loved it too. Thanks for keeping it going. Happy homecoming!


    2 Aug 08 at 01:18

  12. I only now had time to have a look at all your pictures on that photo sharing platform and even though I knew you had a keen eye I am delighted.
    There are so many very, very nice images!
    So many symmetrical images of buildings! I love that.
    And the cut-outs you took are so often the Right ones.
    On the blog these mostly got unnoticed by me (nah, not right. Overlooked might be better) since they were so cramped together.


    2 Aug 08 at 23:41

  13. Thanks for letting us travel with you Craig. I loved every post and podcast! This journey will stay with you for a lifetime…

    Take a good rest at home and enjoy not travelling, it can be fun too.


    3 Aug 08 at 22:26

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