Not sure if one can say, going home after a wonderful trip is fun or sad, to be looked forward to or wish that we can have a few more days.

The tour over, the morning was once again a chaotic set of scenes, with the entire group getting together one last time for breakfast (I am always amazed how a few days together with a group of people sharing simple joys of breakfast, lunches and dinners over a few days, become so memorable in life), before heading on to the airport. Out were the tens of bags and suitcases, the checkouts and heading off to the bus for that last journey together.

A nice sunny day, however in a way, we were glad to be leaving, as the forecast for that week had put the temperatures in their late 30’s, early 40’s. And that was Hot! More considering that with lesser pollution in the air, the skies being cleaner, even a mid-30’s was as good as a high 40 back home. Check in’s at the airport done, a stroll through the airport considering we had a couple of hours, last minute shopping and of course being excited by the amount and varieties of vodka and rum on offer at the Duty Free shops, it was Home, here we come.

Coming back was as one would say, a step into reality. With temperatures nearing the high 40’s and supported by high humidity, reached home without much ado. Of course as one entered home and the saying of Helloooo… I’m back… can never be replaced with where ever one goes, no matter how beautiful the place. Home always is home and a glass of plain water of your own house, can any day beat the Champagne and wines of the most exotic places, even if one is a constant traveler.

Memories linger on still, with a couple of weeks done now with the trip, lasting friendships, some old ones renewed, some new ones made, what stood out was the fun and the harmony that was spent over the week. It never ceases to amaze that people on tours also fight (a joke from a Chinese friend, that if 10 Chinese families go on a group tour, they will come back in 10 different flights), but being together, taking care of each other, waiting for others, if one was lagging behind, the talks, the sharing of thoughts, can never be defined or explained. There are people of two schools of thought, one that believe in travelling alone, one that believe in groups (both known and unknown), the trick I thought is to survive both.

Yes, one would have had more time had it been a solo trip, one could probably have seen some more of the spots, spent time there, relaxed and lazed around, but then this was also a trip, where one went to see places. If relaxation is what is needed, then one can go to the beach and lie there all day. What was achieved in those five days as a group, possibly might not have been possible alone, we might have seen less, we might have spent more time somewhere, but all said and done, another memorable trip and lots of happy photographs.

As I sign off from this series a round of thanks to all, both the group that I travelled with and those that have followed me on this trip. Not saying goodbye, but until the next one.

2