We Are Under The Same Sky | Estamos Bajo El Mismo Cielo.
I am back in Blighty. Good old Blightly! Nine months, six countries, a million laughs and countless memories later, the proverbial Blighty is pretty much how I remember it.
It was never my plan to be away for so long, nor did I expect to be back this soon. It was perfect not having to be restricted by time, although my bank account did not have quite the same care free attitude as my timekeeping.
Yes, I’m back in Blighty. But it won’t be for long. I’m taking a sabbatical from travelling while I replenish my savings before heading off on a new adventure early next year, this time I’m heading to the East, although it was a series of random events that brought me to that conclusion not the roll of a dice or the toss of a coin.
Recommended Reading: Toss a Coin, Roll the Dice. On the 1st January 2016 I let chance decide where and when I would go on my next adventure.
Blighty is a nice place. I'm living in Kingston-upon-Thames - my old stomping ground when I first moved to 'the big smoke'. I realise now that it isn’t really London. It's beautiful, but it doesn’t feel like home. My pre-travel employer has offered me my old job back on a six-month contract. They know that I am heading away again in the New Year, and I loved it while I was there, so I feel so fortunate to be given the opportunity to go back.
No, not much has changed in Blighty, but everything seems very different. It’s like looking in the mirror and seeing someone else’s reflection looking back at me. I guess the thing that has changed the most is me.
Since I landed back in the UK I have hardly stopped for breath. I have moved house twice and had two jobs. I am organising a festival with my friends and have started a charity with some of the people I work with when I was in Brazil. I haven’t had the chance to feel homesick for my life on the road, but I know it will come, and that the overwhelming certainty of ‘normality’ will be crushing.
Recommended Reading: Between The Wars. Living and working in the biggest favela in the Southern Hemisphere. A piece I wrote that was short listed for the World Nomads Writing Scholarship.
In an attempt to fight off, or speed up, the post holiday blues I have been looking back on my old posts and photographs from my trip and have decided that I will share with you my favourite moments from the time I spent in South America.
Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. August 2016.
This was the last weekend that me and my favourite ladies were all in the same county. One has been living in Spain and then Portugal on her year abroad, the other... well she could be anywhere at any time. I am so, so looking forward to seeing them both again soon.
Paraty, Brazil. September 2016.
A few days away from the chaos of Rocinha with my dear friend and roommate Martina. This felt felt like it marked the start of my adventures in a different way. Up until that point I had pretty much stayed in one place, from Paraty onward it was life on the road.
Source Temple, Brazil. October 2016.
"There is another way of looking at the world." That's what is written on the way into Source Temple. And when I left there back in October, I really did see the world differently. There is so much love and light behind those gates and I think about my time there everyday.
Pichilemu, Chile. November 2016.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. December 2016.
My sister and best friend (yes, they are the same person) flew out to see me for five weeks over Christmas. We laughed until we cried from the moment she arrived until the minute she got back on the plane. This was a special moment from our adventures in Bolivia.
Montevideo, Uruguay. January 2017.
My sister's last day in South America and the friends we made at the hostel in Montevideo. The day was essentially spent drinking beer and singing along to a guitar that one of the boys had with him. As the sun set we all sung 'Wish You Were Here' and, for the most part, we were all in tune. Or at least that's how I remember it.
Valparaíso, Chile. February 2017.
The first time I visited Valparaíso I left my heart behind. I was only there for three days but I cried when I felt. The second time I was there for almost a month and it was no less emotional when I left. There are some places you visit when you travel that resonate with your soul, and Valparaíso was one of those places for me.
Elqui Valley, Chile. March 2017.
Miraflores, Lima, Peru. April 2017.
The sunsets in Miraflores are incredible and this was the last one I saw on my South American adventure. I had a lot of sunsets behind me by the time I left this beautiful continent. My body is in London, for now, but we are all under the same sky and my heart and mind are watching the sun set on the other side of the planet.
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