I have ACTUAL butterflies in my tummy writing this blog post, how ridiculous is that? I guess by the time you’ve finished reading then you will perhaps understand why. I’m basically about to change almost everything in my life. At the moment I live in London, I have a full-time high powered but amazing job and I lodge in a lovely North London house. In the last week I have quit my job, quit my house and I am about to quit London too… because on the 18th September Nick & I get on a plane to Venezuela and will spend the next six months backpacking around South and Central America!
I don’t really know where to start on how much news this is for one person to share! Firstly, I’m so sorry if you are one of my close friends and I haven’t had time to tell you this news face to face. It’s all come about quite quickly and I’m sure the next six weeks until lift-off will go even faster. After the year that Nick and I both had in 2012, when an idea and opportunity arose to take six months out and travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world, it wasn’t one we took much hesitation around snatching. As we travel we will be blogging… probably not a massive surprise as we both write for a living in some capacity, as well as in our spare time, with me blogging here and Nick writing for Den of Geek! I’ll share lots more information about where you can follow our adventures before we go, but I promise it wont be your standard travelator blog… mainly because I don’t enjoy reading most of those so I want to create something a bit more accessible to home-bodies and explorers alike. We will basically be providing a male and female perspective on everything we do and see. Additional to that, Nick has done plenty of travelling before, whereas aside from a couple of short stints around Spain, South Africa and Canada, I am a backpacking newbie. We will also still be working (of course!) recce-ing for content for a Film & TV Production Company. They have recently filmed a base jumping feature out there, and want us to report back some research and ideas for future content/people/places that might make great future shows or movies. Doing this is going massively out of my comfort zone but I think I’m at that age where it’s a bit now or never. I’ve met my bestfriend-boyfriend, I’m zooming into a career for life and I’m getting a serious case of the seven year London itch. I also want to expand my mind and my feelings and life skills. I love my life and am very grateful for it, but can’t wait to have some time out from seeing every billboard that hits the underground platform wall, checking twitter before I’ve got out of bed, answering work emails at midnight and that sense of predictability with no end point.
If you are interested, our trip itinerary takes us to Venezuela > Brazil (hitching a hammock ride on a boat down the Amazon!) > Bolivia, Peru (hola Machu Pichu!), Ecuador (currently battling our bank balance to see if you we justify the Galapagos) > Colombia > Panama > Costa Rica > Nicaragua > Honduras > Belize > Guatemala (where Craig may well be coming to meet us, for amongst other things, a night-time sloth hunting trek!) > Mexico > Los Angeles > Big Sur > San Francisco! We are currently in the haze of vaccinations, packing plans, itinerary nailing down and buried beneath Lonely Planet books frantically scribbling and scrawling. I’m swapping my monthly orders on ASOS to Nomad and hunting out must-have items such as waterproof jackets that fold to the size of an apple..! I’ve never been so excited in my whole life. I am practically vibrating, my waking and sleeping life jam-packed with thoughts about what we’ll see and where and who we’ll meet along the way. It still feels surreal that in mere WEEKS, I’ll be wandering the salt plains of Bolivia, trekking to waterfalls in Venezuela, staying in a family homestay on Lake Titicaca and hunting out Mayan ruins in Guatemala. I also can’t wait to get out there and use my certified level-3 Spanish on the locals. Although, I’m at that stage where I can speak eloquently and sound pretty authentic… then someone replies and my face crumbles as I realise I cannot understand a word of the answer!
So that’s the news. Just a bit dramatic! I can’t say there isn’t an underlying blind-panic clutching me every now and then, ridiculously based around taking a office-job break. Even though I’m working whilst travelling, I have had formal employment since I first stepped into a waitressing job at 16. I’ve never been unemployed since! During university I didn’t get a student loan, instead working nights, weekends and holidays at a string of bar, cinema and museum jobs to fund my rent and fees. I couldn’t even bring myself to do the typical gap yah thing when I shipped off to Canada after graduating, instead helping in a backpackers hostel for the summer. But that work ethic has got me to where I am now, but I have a creeping suspicion the hours and high stress a times have potentially had a part to play in my health woes of last year, so am certain that a break from the daily grind will have medicinal benefits too.
So, I’m not going anywhere just yet, and normal service will resume (e.g. I WENT TO A ROLLER DISCO ON FRIDAY!) but bit by bit I’ll be transitioning over to my temporary travel blog home and talking more and more about my excitement at seeing my all-time favourite animal, the capybara, in the wild and less about my latest cheeseburger adventure.