Many of you will have guessed (if you didn't read already) that this trip could not have been funded entirely by myself. But money isn't the only thing that made my trip as possible, as rich or as enjoyable as it could have been. These people and/or companies deserve explicit thanks, for going 'over and above the call of duty' and assisting with my trip. This does not include the industrial contacts I made while overseas - for obvious reasons, that's a bit more private!
Staff of YHA Santa Monica
Warner Springs Gliderport
Brandy Castle (accommodation)
Torrey Pines Gliderport
Johnny Streeter from Alki Kayak Tours
Steve Travis (sailing)
Tyler Sayvetz (sailing)
Staff and students of the University of International Relations
Staff and students of the Beihang University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Wang Yiwei (Eva), Ping Yue (Penny), Wang Wenhu (Frank) and Simba (??) of the above
Dilip, Sudha and Sudip Nair (1000x over!)
Chay Him (from Bath Uni)
Staff of the Five Stones Hostel
Nicolette Tham of the above - and more!
Staff of DelhiByCycle
Staff of Delhi Food Adventures
Sonul (the driver to Agra) and newlyweds Dave and Nora
Staff of BUNAC, especially Jess Parrett
Staff of Ideal Friendship Nepal
Bal Krishna Basnet (director of IDF)
Hem Gautam - my host father
Santa Gautam - my host mother
Adarsha, Arun and Samana Gautam - my host siblings!
Staff of Adreneline Rush Nepal (rafting)
Staff and students of the Jana Premi Lower Secondary School
Staff of SocialTours (food eduction)
... and of course my fellow IDF volunteers
Staff of Himalayan Ecstacy (trekking company)
Especially Santabir Thapamagar, our epic guide!
Staff of Blue Sky Paragliding
Especially Richard Tan, my first tandem pilot, and:
My fellow Blue Sky Paragliding Pupils
Staff of the Hotel Highland Comfort Inn
The designers of the Airbus A380
I must extend my most sincere thanks to Rolls-Royce, for permitting me to delay my entry to the company by 3 months in order to undertake this venture, and the Royal Academy of Engineering for awarding me the Engineering Leadership Advanced Award 3 years ago, providing me with the financial backing, the contacts and the impetus to undertake this adventure - and also, incredibly, to agreeing for me to spend so much of my fund in one big go!
And finally I must thank this people for being so immensely supportive of my crazy plan. For not just saying 'no, that's too ambitious'. For letting me bounce ideas back and forward, and for letting me go to explore the world on my own. For being a constant source of guidance and inspiration, no matter how crazy things are going. And for believing that I would make it back in one piece, a changed man.
Dear blog readers - how can I forget you! Thanks for providing the impetus for me to continue writing - each of these blog posts took nearly an hour to compose and that doesn't the hours of frustration in countries with very much worse internet than our own! Here are some final (as of January 2013) statistics for the epic website that the blog has become:
And with that, I say farewell, until the next big adventure and the 'colinin' blog :-) Thanks for reading!