Well That Was Fun: Lookback at 2013

So I’ve finally stopped travelling for the year in Chile. I am spending Christmas in Valparaiso and New Year’s in Santiago. It’s nice to finally take a breath and look back over the year I’ve had.

I’m sitting in my boxers right now, sun beating down, wishing I was in the pool rather than typing on my laptop. However, when I started my trip I couldn’t feel my face and was wearing a ski jacket. Here’s why…

Map

2009 and 2010 were spent travelling round the world and this year has been all about going down the world. I started in Vancouver in January and have travelled (mostly) overland down to Santiago, Chile doing every country on the mainland on the way down.

I’m not going to pretend it’s been a journey of self discovery; I’ve pure and simple had a blast. If anything I’ve had a little too much fun…

So here’s some of my highlights from travelling down the Americas!

Snowboarding in Whistler

Snowboarding with 32 entrepreneurs in Whistler was eye opening, inspiring and also just hilariously funny. Scandinavian Spa, it got weird.

Whistler Snowboarding

Spring Break and Sailing in Mexico

Spring Break 2.0 wasn’t as good as Cancun 2012 but it was still funny to laugh at American Freshman who couldn’t handle their drink. I also went sailing and figured out what happiness was all about.

Ep 2

Making Travel Plans

Enough said…

Planning

Revisiting Guatemala

The last time I went to Lanquin in Guatemala I didn’t do the trip to Semuc Champey because I’d hurt my back. The morning of the trip people were on my case (some of them I didn’t even know!). You’re only here once they said. You can’t not go.

Well, I can do whatever the hell I like. Also, I wasn’t only going to be there once, because I came back, bitches. I did the trip to Semuc Champey and it was awesome. Sliding round caves by candlelight and swimming around limestone pools. Highly recommend it.

IMG_6238

Caye Caulker, Belize

This has to be my favourite places in Central America and probably one of my favourites in the world. The only downside is that it lacks a beach BUT it’s an English speaking country with chilled Caribbean vibes. The food is incredible, good bars, a little nightlife, excellent tanning weather and a nice breeze to keep you cool in your hammock. I’ll be back here for sure.

Caye Caulker

Diving in the Bay Islands

Honduras really does have world class diving. Roatan and Utila are both great spots although Utila is a bit more backpacker friendly. Here I finally got bothered to get my Advanced PADI (even though I have been diving on 5 continents). I also got to catch up with two of my besties who were working with orphans in Haiti but nipped over for a visit.

Amar Diving

Yellow Submarine, whaaaat!

Yes, I went to 2000ft below in a submarine… and it was yellow!

There wasn’t an abundance of sea life at that level but as you can imagine everything was a bit weird and wonderful and there was a petrified coral reef from the ice ages.

Submarine

Sailing the San Blas

You can’t go overland from Panama to Colombia so your two options are to fly or do a five day sailing trip. As they roughly cost the same, sailing really is the way to go. The last day can be a bit rough if you don’t have sea legs but eating fresh sea food, glorious weather and boat banter more than makes up for it.

San Blas

Image: David Newell

Living in Medellin

Being ‘homeless’ is great especially with the level of freedom it provides but sometimes you need a place to call your own after months on the road. For me Medellin, Colombia was it. I had a beautiful apartment in the city. I particularly liked drinking my Twinings English Breakfast Tea (my fave home comfort) on the balcony whilst reading a book.

Medellin

Publishing My First Book

This year I started the Escape Guides series the first of which was a travel guide on taking a Gap Year. It received over 2000 downloads in the first five days of publication. I was pretty chuffed to say the least.

Ipad Holding

Galapagos Islands

I’ve wanted to visit here for years and it’s been on my bucket list since I can remember having one. The wildlife here is unparalleled and it was a pretty special travel moment to be amongst it all.

Galapagos

Sandboarding, Huacachina

I’ve done sandboarding before in the Sahara but with the dune buggies and the crowds of backpackers this is a popular place to do it. Just remember to keep your mouth closed. Sand gets everywhere…. everywhere.

Sandboarding

Machu Picchu

A few years ago, when my walls were covered in travel photography porn, there was pictures of Machu Picchu there. I’ve wanted to climb up there for a very long and it was worth the wait.

Machu Picchu

Mountain Biking the Death Road

Sure, why not mountain bike down the world’s most dangerous road. Falling off near the edge was pretty funny (read: stupid) but it was exhilarating and has made me want to do more mountain biking tours.

Death Road Amar

Salt Flats, Bolivia

I escaped from a one armed T Rex. Need I say more?

Dinosaur

So what a year! I’ve been extremely fortunate, ticking off bucket list items like there’s no tomorrow and meeting incredible, inspiring people. Antarctica is next in the New Years and then who really knows!

May 2014 bring more adventures, new sights and more importantly, brilliant people into our lives.

Train

3 Comments

  • Rob

    December 22, 2013

    Awesome year, nice work and lots of travel.

    Did you hit up Corn Islands in Nicaragua and I’m off to Santiago in a day or so, cool part of the world and hot hot hot rightnow!

  • TINA

    December 24, 2013

    Make a Gap every year!!!

  • Susan

    December 29, 2013

    This is what the life is..Amazing year for you and wish we could be a part of a this. Pics make it evident that 2013 was awesome year for you..As Tina said ( Make a gap year every year).

    Keep it up. Thanks Susan.

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