Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It begins

As I write this I am sitting in the international terminal of Auckland airport, killing time before my flight. It will be my longest flight to date, as soon I will be high in the air and hurtling towards Chile. Right now I am still quite calm about the whole situation, far calmer than I expected to be. I think the reality hasn’t quite set in yet. Soon I will be in in South America, with no travelling experience and no understanding of the culture, customs or language of the region. I don’t know anyone in the region and am travelling by myself, and know no one in the region. I will be many hours, miles and time-zones away from everyone I know and love.  The situation is both extremely exciting and overpoweringly scary.

 For three months I will work long hard physical days on a remote hillside in Southern Chile with seven others from NZ and a group of the locals. I am looking forward to what promises to be a simple and satisfying lifestyle with plenty of time to think, a lot of good healthy exercise, a smattering of bike riding and a bunch of new mates.

After that it is off for three months of adventuring with no real agenda or itinerary. I will be out to see a good chunk of that part of the world and get a feel for the culture. I want to have my eyes opened. I expect to struggle, to have highs and lows and to end up in some challenging and uncomfortable situations. I hope to learn something about the world and about myself. I expect to see some incredible sights. If I’m lucky I will make some great new friends as I go.

As I go I’m planning to record it all to a greater or lesser degree. It will be something to do to fill in the time while I’m travelling, for a start. South America is a big place and I expect to get well acquainted with long bus trips while I am here. But I think it will be helpful for me to reflect on my experiences and will provide something I can look back on fondly. If my writing provides others some insight into travelling then that is a bonus. Hopefully it won’t scare Mum too badly.

If you’re reading this then there’s a good chance we know each other. Let’s keep it that way. Drop me an email or message me on facebook. I’ll try to return the courtesy. Looking forward to hearing from you.