I have failed to document my travels in 2003 - 2004 in the way that I wanted but I do want to recognise that today marks 10 years since I came back from my travels.
In 2002 when I struck a deal with Dave and Jon, my partners at transition computing, that I could take a years break from my job as technical director, there was only a single constraint: it must be exactly one year and no longer. So after leaving on the 21st of April 2003, I needed to be back in the office on the 21st April 2004. On the 20th April 2004 I flew from Sydney to Heathrow and arrived back in the UK still on the 20th April 2004, spent the rest of the day with my mum and the next day was back to work.
Coming back was not as hard as I thought it would be. I was certainly ready to see friends and family again and in some respects I was growing weary of traveling all the time. I had made a conscious decision to spend my last month in New Zealand and Australia so that I was already adjusting back into life in an English speaking country. My last 10 days were with Nicole staying in an apartment in Sydney which was another step in adjusting to a life without as much travel.
This preparation must have paid off because life in the UK was not a culture shock in any regard. I seemed to slip easily into office life without always dreaming of being on the road, perhaps this was just because there was a lot of things to do after a year away.
I had rented my house out for my year away and as I had persuaded Nicole to come and try life with me in the UK, I decided to not to move back into that house until she returned from her travels in July of 2004. I thought that it would be nicer for us to make the house ours if we moved the things back in together and bought new furniture together. This meant that I stayed with a friend in a nearby town from April until July, and this to some extent also helped me adjust to life back in the UK slowly because I did not directly move straight back to life as it was before.
As it turned out my big trip had a massive impact on my life back in the UK and would eventually lead me to sell my shares in Transition and even leave UK permanently but none of this was clear in my first months after a I returned home.