Monday, 15 September 2008

Well...

Holly crap! I made it :) What started one mild spring evening with two friends downing a pint of ale in a bar a short stroll from Canterbury Cathedral finishes more than 6000kms and 18 months later with a small group of friends enjoying a Guinness in a small Irish pub in Jerusalem.

Apart from time and distance, what separates these two places is a multitude of experiences, some good, some bad, all of which contributed to making this one of the most challenging and fulfilling 18 months of my life.

My journey by foot has come to an end but the real journey continues as it always has...this is life. As many of you know Canterbury and Jerusalem were not locations chosen by me, nor do they hold any particular meaning for me. Rather they were presented to me, this is often the way life works...

All that I did was accept the challenge :)

And what an experience! This is the type of adventure I know will affect the rest of my life; the benefits will surely take some time to realize. I met some amazing people and experienced many breathtaking locations, I'd like to thank you all for sharing it with me, it meant a lot. I know some of you have been here since day one - cheers Niccu from Romania! I feel privileged that you and everyone else who's followed my pilgrimage took the time out of your own lives to participate in this journey with me. Thanks guys...

And then there's the other Party Pilgrims. Dan, whose adventurous spirit started this pilgrimage. Steph, my mother and solid walking companion for seven weeks. And Sabine, the crazy German woman who traveled half way around the world to participate without ever having met me. You guys are awesome and I know the bonds formed in those cold, desolate, hungry times will remain forever, I couldn't have asked for better walking companions! :)

One thing that failed to metamorphasize during the pilgrimage was a reason for doing it. The closest I come is...

Because I could!

And for me that is enough. I'm here to experience as much as life has to offer. Joy, happiness, fear, love, anger, desperation, loneliness, contentment, frustration, the list is endless, but a pilgrimage is an opportunity anyone can take to experience all that life has to offer in a very short period of time...



There are as many paths to God
as there are people on the planet...

I chose to walk...

8 comments:

Jenni said...

well said Ben!

Nicu Panaitescu said...

Dear Ben,

You did it and you rock!!!

You'll never know what reading your blog and following your journey meant and still means to me and I won't tell you here. Thanks for this and thanks for mentioning my name within this post! I would like to know more about your future endeavours but I'm sure I'll find you at partypilgrims dot com.
God bless and be as happy as you deserve to be! And that's a lot, believe me! :)

Nicu Panaitescu said...

I've stolen your photo and a few words here:

http://asmallerbang.blogspot.com/2008/09/ben-dale-did-it.html

Cheers again!

Ben :) said...

Thanks for that guys :)

I'm enjoying my down time right now but within a couple of weeks I will get the website updated and let everyone know what's next for me.

I figure the easiest thing from here is focus on a book, as the bulk is already done in the blogs.

Then I'll try to get into the documentary but we'll have to wait to see how it all pans out...

talk soon...

Ben :)

Leigh Norrie said...

MArvellous!!!!

Congratulations, man! Sorry, a little belated. Made up for you.

All the best from now on!

Leigh

Colin said...

Congrats Ben.

-Colin from Damascus

aaron said...

hey ben well done- interesting that you're going to write a book. Must of been pretty awesome taking in all that history and culture. Hope your transition back into regular day to day life is a smooth one. I'm sure you'll find you're experience infinitely valuable in the long run. You're a natural cultural ambassador. Good on you, bro

silversurfergh said...

Welcome home my friend congratulations on an epic journey but it's great to have you back in OZ safe and a better man for the experience.

Will see you on the Goldie for a surf and cold beer CHEERS