The time has come for me to move back into my flat, fully unpack the pack and go back to work. As much as I've loved the adventures of the past year, I'm actually quite looking forward to life back in the slow lane here in Sydney.
I meant to finish this blog in 2011, right after I returned to Australia from India, but life got in the way. Since then I've enjoyed a great Christmas in Brisbane (hello Unsworths!) and spent two weeks around New Years in the South Island of New Zealand.
Time spent in Christchurch for my cousin's wedding was filled with lovely family catch ups, plenty of laughter and an excellent night of dancing! Despite the occasional "shake" in Christchurch, not to mention the attack of a nesting falcon in Hanmer Springs (how's the head Marlene?), my time in New Zealand was the perfect end to what has been a year of incredible learning experiences for me.
To those many, many wonderful individuals I spent time with in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, USA , India or New Zealand during the last year - I will never forget you. Thank you for helping me to 'travel deep'.
To those of you who joined me in spirit via your computer screens - I hope you enjoyed the journey. Traveling alone, though incredibly self indulgent, can be a little lonely from time to time. Knowing I had a few loyal readers waiting for the next post really inspired me to put down my kindle and write. Thank you for your readership and virtual company, I really did appreciate it.
To the Ronkson clan - thanks for all the love, support and accommodation you have provided me with during the last year. It has been an honor and a privilege to observe the secret, laughter-filled workings of your gorgeous family from up close.
To Mum and Dad - thanks for trusting my judgement and supporting my wanderings even when I visited (or remained in) places you would have rather I'd avoided. Thanks for stopping after the third email asking me to leave Syria. Thanks for not having a stroke when the Department of Foreign Affairs called you in the middle of the night. Thanks for everything.
To the Department of Foreign Affairs - thanks for nothing.