Heading for the Orient once more

Monday, November 14, 2011
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Spending a full 6 months in the UK this summer has given us both the opportunity to settle into our life of retirement. In the main this has been a painless transition and we now have new routines, interests and hobbies.

The summer weather was uninspiring but events around the world were far from dull. We landed back in the UK in April as the "Arab Spring" was spreading through the Middle East and North Africa, and the British royals were preparing to stage a spectacular wedding. UK forces became involved in the war in Libya, US forces killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, we witnessed the sudden demise of the News of The World and unrest spread throughout Syria and was brutally repressed. The world was shocked by terrorist attacks in Norway and we saw rioters take to the streets of major British cities. Muammar Gaddafi was finally located and killed and as we prepare to depart we leave behind a Europe struggling to control a major economic crisis which could well see the end of the Euro.

Our main destination on this trip is a country that has had its own share of troubles and notoriety - Burma, or Myanmar as it is officially known. We had planned a visit there in 2007 but had to cancel at the last minute as unrest spread through the country. Since then, there have been signs that the military junta's hold on the country may be loosening. Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from house arrest and has herself cautiously encouraged the spread of tourism. To see something of life in this country that has been isolated for so many years is going to be fascinating.

But first we are off to relax on a tropical beach in Thailand.
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