As I sit here in Beijing Airport waiting for my final flight to take me to rainy Heathrow, my head can’t decide whether I’m coming or going. My body, especially my knees, is just happy to be out of the Filipino sized plane. But after travelling for 18 hours overnight, with no sleep, just to get to Beijing, my brain is starting to play tricks with me. I’m surprised that I can even write these sentences, although it is taking a while. Earlier I thought that I could read Chinese, turns out it was just English and the flight information board was just switching between the languages! Having had the pleasure of visiting many airports (I know my carbon footprint must be substantial, oh the shame!) Beijing is definitely one of the comfiest, these leather chairs are good!
I had to leave 3 days before the ZEP finished, as my visa ran out. It feels very odd for me to be finally heading home, having spent a few years travelling before this programme. I believe that the people you meet whilst travelling are some of the best people that you can meet anywhere; they are generally in the same mindset as you, want to experience new things and just live their life whilst they can. This goes for my fellow ZEPers whose passion for the marine environment was only matched by the ambassadors that I was working with. It was fantastic to see so many people who care about the marine environment, during the whole of this programme!
The last weeks have been pretty hectic; with chasing the last few dive shops for assessment, writing final reports and arranging the last few meetings. But there is always time for a fun dive! It was great to see the sardines one last time; apparently we’d just missed seeing a thresher shark!
When I first started travelling I had no idea where this journey would end, and what I would be doing. The ZEP has been a fantastic way to end my global adventure I’ve learnt so much and I now know what I want to do as a career, and have a direction in which to achieve this.
“A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent in arriving.” Lao Tzu