Sam Bowker: The Grand Tour Diary (2005 - 2006)

This is the archived journal of a 2005-2006 'Grand Tour' around the Eastern Mediterranean and along East Africa, written by Sam Bowker, whilst in search of his PhD topic.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Australia - Canberra, Home again.

Dedicated to all future Grand Tourists

Finally, I'm back home, and the GT has ended.

Dad met me at the Jolimont centre, and we headed straight over to my grandmother's for a long-missed lunch. That evening was celebrated with a sensational family feast, with 16 of us gathered at Karmen and Wayne's house (my sister and brother-in-law). It included my grandparents from Brisbane, and my cousins Grant and Louise with their gorgeous new baby Elliot, whose well-illustrated blog is listed in my links to the right. It was like Christmas, and unusual to have so many of us all gathered simultaneously. It was a superb evening, with lots of stories from everyone and plenty of items collected overseas being passed around.

It's wonderful to see my dog Assad again, illustrated in the very first test post of this blog. Likewise our very affectionate cat Bits, and my three housemates, two of whom I hadn't met before leaving Australia. All the other administrative matters are being smoothly sorted out, and I'll be resuming work in a couple of days.

The last few months seem unreal in light of how easily I'm fitting back into Canberra. Things have changed here, but simply remembering how vastly different the last few months overseas have been is a big task. I still have to review the second half of the photo archive, and assemble the hard-copy photo albums, but that's really it. There's a few important people I want to stay in touch with, and several "Grand Tour Resolutions" have been determined.

Then there's the biggest question, the PhD. It's been on my mind for a very long time now. These experiences overseas have helped raise a multitude of topics, each dutifully recorded in my diaries. They've also helped me identify subjects I have no real interest in pursuing any further - such as my theories on African Airport Art and cultural mirroring. But each new topic aside, I still haven't cut them back to a sharp and targeted question. At some point I'll collate all the topics, lay them out on a table, and network them into a overriding and precise question. That's what I did for my honours thesis, and it certainly worked then.

There may be a few more posts to come. Highlights, lowlights, and an inventory of the items I've collected. But that's really it for day-by-day content.

The diary ends here.

Thank you for joining me.


  • At Wednesday, March 01, 2006 8:10:00 pm, Blogger Sardone/McRory Family said…

    Mate, Congratulations on a wicked tour and I for one really appreciate the opportunity to share it with you in a small way.
    You took me back to many places I visited when I did my GT in 1994, following a similar route.
    Thankyou for the flood of memories and the things I learnt from reading your blog.
    Cheers Mate,

  • At Thursday, March 09, 2006 6:31:00 am, Blogger Jenny said…

    Sam you absolutely have to keep writing - no matter what it is. You have a very real talent for taking someone to the place where you are, letting us see it through your eyes, and doing it with a lightness and humour which is a delight to experience.

    Thank you.



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