The post that’s dealing with challenges

Well, hello there. Hello from the capital of Bolivia, La Paz.

It’s been a rough few days and I’m taking this opportunity to post because it’s pouring with rain outside and I’m bored.

Three days ago I lost my passport, camera with all my photos on from 6 weeks of South America, mp3 player and loads of other little things.

The only thing I give two shits about is my camera. Once in a lifetime photos of the most incredible things I’ve ever experienced in my life. Gone. Forever.

I’d be lying if I said I was anything but completely devastated.

I’ve gone through the stages of grievance and I’m trying to accept what’s done is done but I’m really struggling.

I’ve bought a new camera so I can start again.

I have been mentally beating myself up about this since it happened because it’s completely my fault. A lapse in concentration and I was punished in the harshest way possible.

I’ve not slept well since it happened and I don’t know whether to cry or bash my head against a brick wall.

I suspect neither will help.

I just have to keep moving on. Physically and mentally and emotionally.

I’m trying to find some perspective. I have my health, I have my phone, access to money and the memories.

I still feel like a complete fucking idiot. Ashamed and embarrassed. I hope I read this back one day and these feelings will be a distant memory.

I’ve got Peru and Machu Picchu coming up so there’s plenty to look forward to.

In other news, the previous week was fantastic. I met a group of people who I became really close with. I didn’t want to leave them and, pleasantly, they didn’t want me to leave.

But I have so much ground to cover between now and July that I had to go.

My reasoning being I don’t want my trip to be ruled by the people I meet en route. Everyone you meet is moving; whether it’s tomorrow or next month. So, to get attached to people isn’t necessarily a great idea.

I did get attached and it was a real wrench to leave.

Right, so that’s anger, depression and sadness all covered in this post. Excellent. Good work.

Despite all of this, South America is officially my favourite part of the world.

I was thinking last night, despite all my woes and troubles, would I rather still be at home, back in London being generally miserable and not experiencing life and what the world has to offer?

The answer was absolutely not.

So, ya know, there’s that.

Let’s hope some better things are coming my way and that I get over my loss quickly.

As always, I hope you are all doing well.

N x

The post that’s seeing possibilities

Do you know what the best thing is about travelling?

You do? Oh, we’ll knock this post on the head now then.

See you later.

No, but seriously though.

There are obviously loads of brilliant things about travelling. And I think that can change from person to person.

What’s great for one person might not be for someone else.

Maybe that’s obvious.

I’m almost a month into my trip now and the sheer range of people I’ve met so far is just so massively eye opening.

I’ve met dozens and dozens of people, male and female, straight and gay, between 18 and into their 50s, from countless different countries, on everything from 2 week holidays to epic 18 month round the world trips.

And they’ve all got their own reason for travelling. And they’ve all got their own version of themselves back in their homeland.

They’ve all got different jobs. Different circumstances. Different ambitions. Different pasts.

Some of them you’re happy to never see again, some you instantly click with and you’re gutted you’re travelling in different directions, and some you are glad you had a night with but know that’s probably enough.

And when I talk to these people, everything they tell me about themselves feeds into my mind.

It’s like my brain is a sponge and I’m absorbing it all.

Then it’s like there’s this filter, and all the information is pouring in, in vast quantities, and my mind rifles through it and decides what’s interesting, what’s useful, what can help me, what’s a great story, what’s amazing, what’s funny, and so on.

The rest gets discarded. But it all gets considered.

At the moment, I’m being exposed to so much information from so many people on a near enough daily basis.

And I can’t help but be amazed.

It makes you realise what is going on in the world. Who’s doing what. All these people doing incredible things.

‘Incredible’ in the subjective sense.

And it makes you consider your own life and why you live it the way you do.

Hearing all these people’s stories, it makes me realise the pointlessness of my pre travel existence.

The utter banality of it. And then I did something daft and had a quick look on Facebook.

Same thing. Pointlessness. That was all I saw. Pictures of food. People moaning about the weather and traffic.

When you’re not in that world anymore, as I’m not at the moment, and you’re able to look at it from a distance, it really makes you think.

I’m not having a go at those people’s lives, if they’re having fun, carry on.

But I don’t know, right now, if I can return to that world.

So, the title of this post is about possibilities. And it’s impossible not to consider the possibilities the future could hold.

Not when you’re being bombarded with all this exposure to what the rest of the world is up to.

You end up saying to yourself:

Wow, maybe I could do that.

And this could be about something specific or something general.

It’s like, oh my god, people are actually doing this thing! Then something that, in your head, had seemed a bit of a fairy tale suddenly becomes a lot more plausible.

You develop much more of a ‘fuck it’ attitude.

So far, I’m having such a good time. I’m so content right now, that I don’t even feel the need to shout about here or on any social network. I’m happy to just let it be without uploading my life onto a machine.

“If I hadn’t seen such riches, I could live with being poor” – Lyric from the song Sit Down by James. It couldn’t be more apt.

Anyway, here’s to possibilities.

Cheers.

N x

The post that wants the next place

I’ve got a bit of down time so I thought I’d check in. It’s only been 9 days since my last post, so this is pretty good going!

It’s the night before I move on to my next city. The hostel I’m staying in is a bit shit. And the people just aren’t my kind of people.

I sat down to chat with the some of the other people staying here last night and they were either:

A) not interested in talking to me
B) too stoned and into drugs to get any words out of

Which was a shame. I’ve had no trouble meeting and talking to people so far but this lot are very cliquey.

It’s a shame, especially when you feel like you’re making a big effort to get to know them and ask them about their travels and stuff. And you’re getting like one word answers or grunts, totally bereft of any enthusiasm.

This hostel was a bit cheaper than some of the others I’ve been using, so maybe they attract a different type of backpacker. Twats, if you will.

I think the people I meet has a big impact on how enjoyable my stays are in each place.

I’m still loving it though. The fact this place has weirdos in it won’t inhibit that.

I have to be up early (and despite temperatures being in the mid to high 30s nearly every day, I have managed to catch a bit of a cold), so there are my excuses for going to bed at 10:30 when others are still up.

I suppose that’s the good thing about travelling solo. You don’t like somewhere, be it a hostel or a city, you can just leave. And that’s that.

Also, if people don’t like you, it literally doesn’t matter, because you’ll never see them again and what they think of you is completely irrelevant. They probably couldn’t give two shits that I think they’re boring arses either, so it works both ways.

So tomorrow is another day, another city, another hostel and another set of people. Let’s see what they bring.

That’s enough about me, I hope you’re all doing well!

N x

PS – I’ve just re-read this. It doesn’t sound like I’ve done anything. I really have seen some amazing, amazing sights and had some great nights. But I don’t want this blog to read like a holiday postcard. Hence the above content.

The post that’s a million mental miles away

Hello from Argentina!

I’ve got 6 hours to kill until I have a flight to catch and it’s hammering with rain today so I thought why not write a (very) little post.

So my trip is 6 days old now and I feel like the worries and stresses and strains of pre trip are a million, billion, trillion miles away.

It’s so nice to be away. Physically and mentally.

My only concerns here are, what shall I do today? What shall I have for dinner? Where shall I go tomorrow?

Just being completely removed from ‘home’ life and the daily monotony of work and people and all the rest of it is bliss.

It’s like someone flicked a switch and, bang, I have another life now. For as long as I’m travelling, I have another life.

Gotta love escapism. The ultimate act of escapism for me. Yes, it’s not forever, but while I’m here I can pretend it is!

I’m not intending for this to be a bragging, boasting update. There have been stressful moments and it’s not all plain sailing. There are definitely challenges.

Bit they are different to the usual ones that crop up in daily life. I prefer them.

So far, I’ve met some cool people too. Very important. Hope that continues.

Anyway, that’s it from me for now. My phone is doing weird shit and making it hard to type.

I hope you are doing well! I’m going to read some of your blogs now since I still have an hour and  half to kill before I go again.

N x

The post that is leaving

Back in October, I wrote this post. The final sentence reads:

In 19 weeks, I’ll be gone and that is a fantastic feeling

Now, those 19 weeks are over. Tomorrow is the big day.

I’m doing what I set out to do – roll the dice.

Leave my pokey house share, finish work, get on a plane and fly away. Far, far away. Specifically, South America.

I was excited when I wrote that post. Now, I’m still excited but also very very nervous. I’m not sure why.

Afraid I won’t like it there? Afraid I won’t make any travel friends en route? Afraid I won’t enjoy the backpacker experience any more?

I think all of these things are probably true to some extent. But I think that’s normal as well.

What I really want to do is enjoy these next for months. Just relax, take the obstacles and problems that inevitably crop up when travelling with a deep breath, and get around them with a smile and a shrug.

A shrug because, really, things matter less when you’re on the road.

It’s all up to me though.

Up to me how I react to these situations. Up to me whether I have the courage to talk to fellow travellers. I’ll be all alone so, as intimidating as it is to go up up to a group of people you don’t know and say hi, it’s do or die.

You either do it or spend your time by yourself.

I’ve been one of the people who has been one of a group and was approached by a solo backpacker and I always always made them feel as welcome as possible.

Because I know how hard it can be for some people to do it and I’d like to think I’ll be given the same treatment.

It’s so strange to think that tomorrow, there will no more boring life that’s driven me to roll my dice, no more annoying and loud housemates, no more tedious job, no more monotony.

My days now will be varied and weird and full of spending money I’ve taken so long to save. My life for the next few months is literally about to be flipped on its head.

All of the things that I were so important to me and occupied my mind so often – girls, dating, money, savings, jobs, career paths, how I never see my friends any more, why I never have Friday night plans, how much my life sucks, how boring my life is – that’s all about to stop. Just like that. Gone.

It still doesn’t feel real. I don’t think it will until I set foot on foreign soil.

What this means for you, dear reader, is that I probably won’t be blogging for a while. I’m sorry to drop that bombshell on you. Be strong at this most difficult of times. Talk to your therapist. Ask your boss for some compassionate leave.

Seriously though, I love writing this blog but without a laptop or a tablet, I just don’t see how I’d manage it.

I have the WordPress app on my phone but my phone is an ancient steaming pile of faecal matter and I certainly don’t have the patience to type out a whole post on it. I also don’t know what the internet situation will be.

But, hey, never say never. I don’t know what awaits. Maybe I’ll hunt down an internet cafe one afternoon because I can’t fight the urge to unburden myself in written format.

This blog is my go-to therapeutic tool and, thinking about it, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that I’ll drop in from time to time to talk about what’s been happening. (There will be other blogs, it’s not you it’s me, etc.)

I think because this blog documents the time leading up to my decision to travel, then the period between booking the trip and leaving for it, maybe it would be a shame for it not to document at least a little bit of what I’m feeling from time to time.

Maybe I’ll do some really short little posts. Like a sentence or two summing up recent goings on. Something like that.

But we’ll see. No promises.

If I have WiFi from time to time, I’ll still be able to read, like and comment on your blogs. My phone can cope with that!

I suppose I should say that of course I want to have fun and enjoy my trip and meet some cool people and see all the amazing things Latin America has to offer, but what’s also massively important is to stay healthy and safe.

I’m not expecting every day to be a blast, and that’s fine, but if I can remain healthy and safe, that would be terrific.

Without getting too… I don’t know… sentimental about it, thanks for reading and liking and commenting over the past nine months since I started posting.

I’ve come to appreciate it so much more than I ever anticipated.

I love the interaction I get there, I really do. So, yeah, cheers.

And with that, I shall sign off.

Stay cool, you guys.

N x