Wow. This is it. The last leg. The final destination. The end of almost a year abroad travelling the world and seeing some of the best places the world has to offer, with the best travel buddy around. And what a way to finish, with cocktails and football on Miami Beach, in the sun.
After a not so short bus journey between Disney, where we said goodbye to Jayne, Kevin, Nathan, Kirstie, and Brooke, we arrived into the bus station in Miami. As it was late and we had pretty much no idea how to get from the station to Miami Beach and our hostel, we opted to take the risk free taxi route. The Hostel was pretty nice, and not that far from the beach itself. We had three-level bunkbeds, which was a first for me, which we shared with some German girls.
The only full day in Miami was spent properly looking round and doing what you do in Miami, enjoying the beach. We had a good wander down the main street, looking at the different bars and restaurants, before exploring the beach itself. It wasn’t easy with the boot and the foot, but the beach itself made up for the sore steps. It is like it is described, a fairly perfect beach, with warm water, and stunning sand. We whipped out our nooks and had a bit of a read, before heading to the nicest *cough* best value *cough* bar/restaurant we could find.
The food was great, we opted for Italian which is a pretty safe choice no matter where in the world you are. I’d love to say it was the food that we had gone for, but the restaurant we opted for had the best choice of reasonably priced cocktails, and we decided to make the most of them. I’m not a big drinker, so we didn’t go too crazy, but it was nice to enjoy nothing much more than a drink on the beach.
We timed it well getting back to the hostel, as it began to rain again. Hard. Huddling in McDonalds with many dripping wet locals and tourists while attempting to check-in flight will always be a funny memory.
The last day of our entire travels was spend in very British style. We found an Irish Sports bar that was open early, and sat in front of the TV watching the opening day of the season. Some big matches were on, and it what nice to get back into football before we returned home. Added bonus was that the place served some awesome breakfast and drinks, that we enjoyed until the final bus ride to the last foreign airport of the trip.
Miami airport was an experience. It was the only place that I have ever seen drug dogs on the departures rather than the arrivals floor. It was also interesting going through the scanners with my boot on (it was taken off, search, dismantled, and drug swabbed before I was allowed it back). As much as the security seemed crazy, it was nice to know the airport was pretty safe. Boarding that final plane was filled with mixed emotions, but I was final feeling like I could be ready to go home. I would have loved to have been able to afford to keep travelling for ever, to see more places, and go to more countries, but the time was right and it was a great way to end.
To all the people I met, the place I went, all those I taught, and those who taught me, all those who fed me great food, made me laugh, took me from one new place to a new incredible one, and of course to Jade – the greatest travel buddy – Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It was, without a shadow of a doubt, the best year and set of experiences of my life!