Since Lofty handed in his notice and I’ve gone full-time freelance, the question we’ve been asked most is: What now?
And our answer…
This is the Kingdoms and Carnivals route of our upcoming South American adventure, run by my favourite travel company, Oasis Overland. I travelled with them from Nairobi-Johannesburg back in 2007 and I just love their itineraries and their ethos – they’re all about off-the-beaten track adventure mixed with the opportunity to make great friends. Everyone is expected to muck in with the cooking, cleaning and set-up, but the Oasis crew take care of the sticky business of how we get from point A to B! Lofty had a taster of an Oasis trip when we used them to travel in Egypt and Jordan in 2012, and he was hooked.
The trip begins almost exactly 8 years since Lofty and I first met in Christchurch, New Zealand, on our respective post-university gap years. We met in a hostel kitchen, fell in love pitching tents on secluded beaches, and together experienced some of the most beautiful places on this earth. From that moment onward, our fates were sealed: our life together was always going to feature travel in a big way.
But reality also beckoned. We both wanted long-term, sustainable careers in addition to lots of travel. (Nothing like wanting it all!) For the years that we were settled in the UK, Lofty worked and qualified as an actuary and I worked in publishing and wrote my books. We travelled as much as we could in Europe (and sometimes beyond), taking advantage of the cheap airfares, long holidays and short distances. We also, you know, got married, bought a flat, bought a car… all the trappings of a life most people would dream of.
Yet our dream of travel was still alive, and we knew we had to somehow fit in one more big trip before we added ‘family’ to the above list. Now we’ve jumped in with both feet! We’ve sold the flat (and all of its contents!) and moved in with very generous friends, sold the car, quit our day jobs, and put everything remaining into storage. Our flights are booked, the trip is paid for, the backpacks have been dragged out from under the bed and are filled to the brim. All that’s left to do is fly!
Some of the highlights of the trip have been on my bucket list for years:
- Dancing the night away at Rio Carnival
- Visiting the stunning Iguazu Falls
- Eating steak in Buenos Aires
- Hiking in Patagonia and Torres del Paine
- Turning 30 somewhere between Chile and Argentina (I’m hoping for a posh vineyard in Mendoza…)
- Taking crazy perspective photos on the salt plains of Bolivia
- Walking the Inca Trail and seeing Machu Picchu (of course!)
- Flying over the Nazca Lines
- Spending a few nights in the Amazon jungle
- Sailing around the islands of the Galapagos
Has anyone been to these places? We are collecting must-dos and would love your tips! Otherwise, follow the blog for more tales of our adventures… setting off on 4 February 2016.