Wednesday 27 April 2011

Here we go again....

After nearly two whole years back in Sunny England I've decided it's time to head off travelling again. On May 17th I'll be jetting off to Latin America for at least 9 months.

It was only June 2009 when we touched back down in the UK after 6 1/2 months trekking around SE Asia. Still, that feels like a lifetime ago and an incredible amount has changed since my return in all aspects of life; professional, personal and social. I've been working for the same publishing company in London since I got back; meeting many great new people and learning invaluable skills along the way. I actually have something worthwhile on the CV now and am certain my time working for Thomson Reuters will help me career-wise in the future. I've been living in a huge house in the Stockwell/Brixton area (the 'Stockwell Palace' to give it the full title) with a diverse group of equally brilliant housemates who are now among some of my closest friends (the 'Tennet Inner Circle' to use another full title). The personal life has changed vastly in the 'ol long-term relationship department as well - hence why I'll be embarking on this set of travels alone (something that becomes increasingly daunting the more I think about it...)

I'm aware that I've been incredibly lucky work-wise - bearing in mind the country has been in constant recession - and this has understandably led some people to question whether 'throwing it all away' and leaving the country for more long-term travels is the wisest thing to do. To those people I say...... ".....Shhh"!

In all seriousness, though, this wasn't just a snap decision; I've thought long and hard about the pros and cons of taking more time out of working life. What I've realised is, at the end of the day, I can do this now - I have the money saved up, the lack of responsibility with no spouse, no car, no house and no (proven) children. This is unlikely to always be the situation in the future. Furthermore, I well and truly caught the travel bug on the last trip. Travelling really opened my eyes to the countless opportunities and amazing sights, sounds, people and places all over the world, and this becomes something that's always at the back of your mind as you create another statistical spreadsheet at work on a rainy Tuesday afternoon. You've got to think about the 'Life CV' as well as the 'Work CV' and which one is going to be the most important to look back on when you're old and decrepit.

Anyway, the long and short of it is: I'm off again! :)

The Rough Route
I don't have a definitive plan of action - this trip is going to be a lot more unstructured than the last - all I have booked is a flight out to Cancun, Mexico on May 17th and a flight back from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Feb 24th (2012). In between those dates, anything can happen! A very, very rough plan and route would be Mexico - Guatemala - Belize - Honduras - Nicaragua - Costa Rica - Panama (i.e. Central America) in the first 3/4 months, then crossing over into South America around September time, before heading: Colombia - Venezuela - Ecuador - Peru - Bolivia - Chile - Argentina - Uruguay - Brazil - HOME! This is very much open to change, though, and I won't be in any rush - I plan to spend a substantial amount of time learning Spanish in Guatemala at the start of the trip and will hang around if somewhere really takes my fancy or offers the chance of paid work or worthwhile volunteer programs.

Travel writing is still something that I would love to do as a career (or, more realistically, something to top up the income as well as a 'proper job') so I'm hoping to dedicate enough time to this blog to make it fun to read and a worthwhile record to look back on in the future. I've managed to keep up the travel writing during my time back in the UK: firstly by contributing weekly articles to my old university paper, then a couple of feature articles for The Independent (Take the plunge into 2010 & Six classic cocktail bars) and a number of well-read and positively-received guides for (see here). In addition to writing regularly on this blog, I'll be contributing articles to Journey Latin America online magazine (here) during this trip. There's currently a couple of other writing opportunities in the pipeline as well, so I'll be sure to keep you all informed of anything else on that front.

Anyway, I think I've jabbered on long enough, all that's left to say is click the 'Follow' icon in the left-hand sidebar if you have a Google Mail or Yahoo account and you'll get email notifications whenever I add a new entry to this blog.

Until next time...(when I should be in Mexico.....!) :-D

1 comment:

  1. Right on! Best of luck in your travels and your writing! We have lived in Latin America for the past 2 years and we're actually making the move over to Ireland, so we're expecting a little bit of culture shock.

    Safe travels!