Deep breath

It's almost time to detach from the UK and my brain is feeling slightly dislodged. There has been a huge amount of sifting through itineraries and ticking off lists lately, then adding in things that could probably wait 6 weeks but somehow feel too urgent to leave undone.

I've also found myself visiting very British places recently: Welsh mountains, Cotswold hills - as though taking leave.

And now, I'm alone, in an airport hotel room, with the faint sound of the extractor fan in the bathroom and the sudden heavy footfall of the occupants above. 

The trip is slowly coming into focus.

I'm trying to imagine what a 13 hour aeroplane flight will be like, if I'll see the Arctic Circle as we stop at Helsinki, the Russian Steppes and Mongolian mountains as we draw near to the islands of Japan - and into The Ring of Fire.

Volcanic head wall of Cadair Idris, Gwynedd, Wales. 

Volcanic head wall of Cadair Idris, Gwynedd, Wales.