Sunday, December 2nd

It is very near Christmas. Here in Cambridge it was raining earlier but the sun has now come out. I have just finished the first draft of this journal and am quite happy with it. I will have my mother have a look at it before I put it onto the web site but I think I have captured the spirit of the trip. I hope that those of you that have read this will enjoy it and I have some how brought part of this unusual and important part of the world to life for you.

I am still very much considering the idea of living for a year or so in Japan. Having discussed the trip, mother and I still very much enjoyed Japan over China. I think the reason being is that for both of us it was very different to what we have been used to being exposed to in Chinese culture – Japanese is so much more unusual for us. Besides, if I move there it will be an excuse for mother to visit me! She likes that I live in England right now for the same reason! Perhaps I should move somewhere where she does not want to visit…(GRIN)

This trip was very exhausting but the memories, of course, will last forever. It took a lot of planning and not a small amount of tension to do but it was really worth it for both of us. I appreciate having been able to show mother something perhaps she would never have seen on a tour or travelling alone. I appreciate having her insight and thoughts along the way. I appreciate being able to talk to her about life but also to be able to laugh and have a good time. She is a very good friend and still is even after this trip!

I will definitely have to go back to re-visit certain places but this has really given me an idea of what is out there and what to expect.

All the best, Steve