It’s Easter weekend, and what’s more, it’s raining, the perfect time for me to finish sorting through my boxes. 6 months ago I became a homeowner, quite a big step given my nomadic past. Not that this, in any way, means I have stopped travelling. Whilst I may no longer be living on the road out of a backpack, I still have ample opportunity to travel, be it on shorter trips.
But back to my boxes, within them I found my old travel journals. I regret having lost the habit of keeping journals, as picking one up, years later, takes me back to past adventures. I open a journal at random and, as it happens, it was one I wrote exactly 10 years ago. As I flick through the pages I am transported back in time to the jungles of Costa Rica and Finca Lomas. It’s the day after the night before and I awake in my hammock with built-in mosquito net. I’m hung-over from a pig-roast farewell party we held the day before and dreading having to go to the outhouse as I count some 60 or so mosquitoes on the net above me.
Flicking pages and I’m on the Valhalla, a 75ft yacht I caught from Panama to Colombia. We’re anchored off a small deserted island in the San Blas archipelago – it’s post-card perfect, soft sand, palm trees and clear water. I’ve gone off to the far end of the deck in search of a bit of solitude and reflect on my travelling companions, an eclectic bunch, and the journey so far. A couple days earlier we got stamped out of Panama but as it was a Sunday, the immigration officer on duty in this remote outpost had to be bribed with the promise of beer and a few games of pool in what is probably the only bar between Colon and Cartagena (oh and a ‘fee’ of $20).
I randomly flick through the journal, I’m in the Amazon for the first time, I’m in the Galapagos, I’m hiking to Machu Picchu… and all the while I smile to myself, remembering once-forgotten anecdotes. I may have lost the habit of keeping journals of my travels but my hope is that via this blog I can recount some tales of my adventures, both future and past. From Paris to Palawan, from Mexico to the Masai Mara, it’s a big, exciting world to explore.