Around The World in 128 minus 1 Days

Around The World in 128 Days at the Age of 68 #nevertoolate

BZFLAG Travel - Contributor Inspiration and Love Stories, Travel Blog 9 Comments

In Sept 2006 I set off on a four-month journey around the world to meet up with many of my Internet friends. My book is the story of all those meetings and the places I saw, either with my friends or on my own

Around The World in 128 minus 1 DaysChris Phillips, an Englishman, decides to emulate Phileas Fogg by traveling right round the world. Unlike Phileas (Around the world in 80 Days!), however, Chris is not attempting a world speed record, but simply has a desire to meet numerous friends in far off places who have become good friends over a 6 year period of cyber connections on the World Wide Web via such great service providers as Yahoo and Zorpia. Also unlike Phileas, Chris is not accompanied by anyone, except by the 30 or so interesting friends of all ages whom he meets up with in their countries.

Around The World in 128 minus 1 DaysExcitements abound: failure of mobile phones, getting lost in the middle of the night, crashing through Yukon’s unexplored undergrowth, being knocked out on a bus, 3 day train journeys, sleeping in cars, airports and under the stars, mystifying boat journey under great waterfalls, close encounters with deadly snakes, spiders, cockroaches, and 3 creepy scorpions descending a bare arm, stroking of a koala and the adorable Quokka, and ravenous birds eating out of his hand. Meeting Alice in Wonderland was rather reflective, and he finds a way to rock around.

Around The World in 128 minus 1 Days
Not all the incidents in this story are hair-raising; some are funny, and a few sad, but all are imprinted on Chris’s mind forever. Now you, the reader, can share some of the adventures.

A lot of forward planning had to go into this journey, about a year in time.

Around The World in 128 minus 1 Days

Via Rail Train Restaurant, between Toronto & Vancouver

Firstly I asked a few special friends if they would be prepared to meet me, And nearly all did, many offering to actually put me up in their homes, Others I  stayed in nearby hotels guest houses.  I then asked other friends, who happened to live more or less en-route if they’d like to meet too. Many of those agreed.  So then I first enquired about flights to the  12 countries I wanted to go to. I then learned about “ONE WORLD”  flights, where six major airlines joined forces and one could buy for a single price a round the world ticket, which had unlimited use on four continents for one price (Plus landing fees)  You still had to book the actual flights.  In Canada, USA & Australia I used the train to cover vast distances, and I booked these journeys in advance too. For single over night journeys, I slept in the normal seats. But on the 2 or three consecutive night journeys, I booked a cabin. Then I started booking hotels etc. where I needed to stay near friends.  I had to continue doing that as I traveled.  4 of the countries for various reasons I could not visit I left out (Bolivia, Burma, India, & Egypt). Mainly because the six airlines did not include flights to those countries. But they were the countries I had not planned to meet anyone.  So that left me with Canada, USA, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, Philippines, Hong Kong & Singapore.

Around The World in 128 minus 1 Days

In the end, I met most of the friends I had planned to meet.  I think I missed meeting six people, 4 in Canada, 1 in the USA and one in Hong Kong.   But I did meet a few new friends, mainly friends or relatives of those I met.

Around The World in 128 minus 1 DaysNearly all these friends are still friends on Facebook, a few have visited the UK, and even stayed with us in Scarborough.

I have no plans to do another such journey, well I was 68 when I did it in 2006/7,   BUT I, with my wife,  are gradually exploring Europe by train, venturing out on three week holidays every other year, and often meeting up with further internet friends.   BUT I went on a Quaker Work Camp in Palestine, in October this year (2015) for ten days, and met a  three more friends there in Israel.

I have now met 67 of my internet friends, none of whom I knew before the internet.

Around The World in 128 minus 1 DaysWHERE TO BUY THE BOOK?

322 pages 80 in color Paperback version  (Only available from myself, now)

978-0-9574259-0-3 BUT  the Kindle version is available from Amazon.

Around The World in 128 minus 1 DaysMonkey Dividers

About the Writer

Around The World in 128 minus 1 DaysI am an ex-maths teacher and ex educational bookseller to schools in North Yorkshire.  I retired partially in 1999, and fully in 2004 (aged 65).  I have one son from my first wife (1972)  and happily married to my second wife, Dilys Cluer ( Married in 1992). This round the world trip was inspired by talking to many friends on the internet. I have many interests such as Stamp Collecting, Acting in drama clubs, Photography, Veganism, ( I was brought up Vegetarian), Organic Gardening, Green politics (Dilys is an elected Green Party Councillor on Scarborough Borough Council). The people I met did share some of my interests, but not all. I originally met them in Yahoo Groups and Later in Zorpia.com.

Monkey Dividers

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Comments 9

  1. Really such twomonkey travel is an inspiring anddifferent stories to tell and learn well im in my 50 s so its never too late to enjoy

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  2. Really such twomonkey travel is an inspiring anddifferent stories to tell and learn well im in my 50 s so its never too late to enjoy life….

  3. Chris, I have just come across this whilst depressingly searching the internet for destinations I’d rather be than dreary greater manchester. I am just 23, and have interrailed around europe, and worked in west africa. I well and truly have the travel bug and worry I am not seeing enough whilst I am “young and free”. You have proved it truly is never too late. Never stop exploring, your adventures sound amazing! and it’s so great you’ve made so many new friends.

    Chris, you are my inspiration.

    Yasmin

    1. Hi Yasmin Thank you for your kind words. When I was your age, the only country I had visited was France and a little later Switzerland (Apart from Scotland England & Wales that is. I NEVER in my imagination ever though I would take that trip. The BZFLAG are a WONDERFUL inspiration to travel. But in 1999 I fpund the Internet as I was semi retired from work, and started talking to people (mainly youngsters,) asll over the world. And after when one invited me to her wedding in Arizona in 2002 I felt I just had to visit more friends. so after 4 years of planning I embarked upon the trip of my lifetime. So if you ever get the chance to travel TAKE IT. You never know whenthat might be. But I was 68 when I did it. and so glad I did. I have now met 67 of my interenet friends, and been now to three weddings of them. . If you wqant to add me in Facebook please do, but remind me who you are if you do LOL
      I have just published my second book, this time about What I did in the street I grew up in in the 1940s to 1960’s. We are planning a reunion next Sept in The street in Tunbridge Wells, Kent., UK.
      Thank s again for you interest
      Chris

    2. I am seriously thinking of a second trip to Many SE ASian contries (Vietnam, Thailand, Malaya, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal & Egypt, by train or boat only) but i can’t go for at least 2 years. By that time I will be 80 🙂 All the best for your travelling.

    1. Thank you Loren for your kind words. When I was young the only country I had visited was France and a little later Switzerland (Apart from Scotland England & Wales that is. I NEVER in my imagination ever though I would take that trip. The BZFLAG are a WONDERFUL inspiration to travel. But in 1999 I found the Internet as I was semi retired from work, and started talking to people (mainly youngsters,) all over the world. And after when one invited me to her wedding in Arizona in 2002 I felt I just had to visit more friends. so after 4 years of planning I embarked upon the trip of my lifetime. So if you ever get the chance to travel TAKE IT. You never know whenthat might be. But I was 68 when I did it. and so glad I did. I have now met 67 of my interenet friends, and been now to three weddings of them. . If you want to add me in Facebook please do, but remind me who you are if you do LOL
      I have just published my second book, this time about What I did in the street I grew up in in the 1940s to 1960’s. We are planning a reunion next Sept in The street in Tunbridge Wells, Kent., UK.
      Thank s again for you interest

  4. “#never too late” Yes. it was never too late for a 68 years old like you to travel around the world. A piece of advice…Just be sure you have your medicines with you always::)

    1. Thank you Abi Kennedy for your kind words. When I was young the only country I had visited was France and a little later Switzerland (Apart from Scotland England & Wales that is. I NEVER in my imagination ever though I would take that trip. I wonder what made you add that bit about the medicines? Have no fear, I did go prepared, and was never ill at all. The BZFLAG are a WONDERFUL inspiration to travel. But in 1999 I found the Internet as I was semi retired from work, and started talking to people (mainly youngsters,) all over the world. And after when one invited me to her wedding in Arizona in 2002 I felt I just had to visit more friends. so after 4 years of planning I embarked upon the trip of my lifetime. So if you ever get the chance to travel TAKE IT. You never know whenthat might be. But I was 68 when I did it. and so glad I did. I have now met 67 of my interenet friends, and been now to three weddings of them. . If you want to add me in Facebook please do, but remind me who you are if you do LOL
      I have just published my second book, this time about What I did in the street I grew up in in the 1940s to 1960’s. We are planning a reunion next Sept in The street in Tunbridge Wells, Kent., UK.
      Thank s again for you interest

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