BootsnAll Travel Network

Back in the U.S. of A.

Yesterday evening I landed in Atlanta, GA after a 9 hour flight from London. Although the Delta flight was probably good compared to most US flights, it was the worst flight I’ve been on this whole trip. No personal video screens, no free booze, and the airport security in Atlanta was a hassle. I think I want to go back to Africa. 🙂

In contrast my flight from South Africa to Bahrain was great. I was met in Bahrain by my good friend Murtuz, who has been living and working in Bahrain for two and a half years. Although I wouldn’t call it modern by any means, Bahrain is quite westernized and there are a lot of westerners living there. I arrived on Oct 31, and spent my first evening in an Irish pub drinking Guinness, surrounded by people in Halloween costumes with a dj playing the latest American dance music. It was quite weird. I spent a week in Bahrain, and did some sightseeing (the Bahrain Fort, the National Museum, etc), but spent most of my time relaxing and enjoying Morty’s guest room with a comfortable double bed and a big bathroom all to myself. 🙂

Bahrain has a handful of sport/social clubs, so we spent a lot of time at the British Club enjoying beers by the pool and watching rugby on the big screen. Murtuz is also an avid golfer, so we went to his golf club a couple of times as well. The European Seniors Tour was in town for a tournament at his club and I got to watch a Pro-Am tournament that Morty was playing in. His team did really well, coming in second overall.

After living it up in Bahrain for a week, it was off to London for a long weekend. Despite being horribly expensive, London was really, really cool. I spent an entire day walking around central London and along the Thames river, and saw most of the usual tourist spots. I also ventured around several different neighborhoods just getting a feel for the city and taking in the surroundings.

I managed to couchsurf my way through most of the weekend in London. My first two nights there I met up with an American girl from San Jose named Jennifer who has been working in London for a year and had spent two years prior to that volunteering with the Peace Corps in Kenya. It was great to meet her and share stories of Africa. I also got to catch up with some friends that I’d made previously on this trip, staying one night with a friend I met in Thailand, and another night with a friend I met on Mt. Kinabalu in Borneo. Coincidentally, my friend Donovan from Portland was also in London at the same time I was, so I met up with him one night and was treated to a fabulous dinner by his brother-in-law and his wife.

Five days in London wasn’t nearly enough, but I’ll have to win the lottery before I can afford to go back for any length of time. So after a great weekend in London it was time to fly back to the States. So here I am in Atlanta. I’m spending two nights visiting my friend Bob, one of the two Americans I met on my Kilimanjaro climb. From here I’ll pop over to Birmingham, Alabama to see another good friend from home. I’ll spend the weekend in Birmingham before flying back to Oregon next Monday. I’ll arrive back in Eugene just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m really looking forward to being home, seeing all my friends and family, and putting the backpack away for a while. But I’m already missing traveling and am a little bummed about having to return to the “real world.” At least the holidays are a time of year when everyone gets to relax a little and enjoy life, so that might ease the pain of re-entry a little bit.

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