The decision to overthrow my entire life and move to Central America to train to be a diving instructor has not been taken lightly. The idea started buzzing round my head last July. In August, James and I were getting seriously tempted. By September, we were convinced. Counting down the days to ‘le grand depart’, to the day that we step off a plane from England and into a whole new life, is proving to be a thought-provoking experience. I’ve been compelled to start writing, to lay the foundations for this blog, ready to release into the big bad world. I’m hoping to capture as much as the journey as possible – to share it with anyone who’s interested to know more about the world and what I’m doing in it.
But with months still to go and plenty of time to overthink my motives for embarking on this great adventure, I’ve also been sparing a thought to why I even want to blog about it in the first place.
I like to write. There’s a simple explanation. The process of assimilating one sweeping experience into a succinct set of words is one that I find to be cathartic, useful. It reminds me that I need to slow down sometimes; to counterbalance the rush of activity, emotion and sensation that travel and new experiences bring, and to take a moment to reflect.
But it’s more than simply an exercise in contemplation. I like to protect my memories.
I’m hopeful that this blog will act as a safe for the many and varied memories I am bound to make during this time away. I have been lucky enough to visit so many beautiful and inspiring places already in my life and have had experiences that have truly shaped who I am. But without pen hitting paper (or fingers hitting ‘publish’) these memories exist as hazy snapshots in my mind. Terrified of losing them, I am prone to overthinking the past, to obsessing over tiny details I’m scared I’ll forget.*
I want to give my future memories a safehouse, allowing them the freedom to drift in and out of my front of mind at their own merry will, secure in the knowledge that they won’t get lost in one of the more obscure corners of my head. You’re welcome memories.
I also like to chat. To anyone who knows me – no shit?! To those that haven’t met me, trust me, I’m a talker. Being isolated from friends and family is bound to feel lonely at times. I’ll miss out on social events and juicy gossip, and my motor-mouth will be chomping at the bit to join in. But I’ll be 7 hours behind and by the time I’ve finished work, ready for a marathon natter, the Brits will be in bed. This blog is my solution. I can shout my mouth off to my heart’s content on these very pages, happy in the knowledge that someone somewhere can pick them up when it suits them best. I see it as a conversation, albeit a fairly stilted one.
So that’s why I blog. And if you care to have a read, so much the better. And if you like what you see, well, that’s as good a reason as anyway.
* In an attempt to give my memories of all past travels a much-deserved new lease of life, I’ve made them their only little wing in this here safehouse. When I’m not recounting my latest adventures or tapping out my latest fears and foibles, I’ll be turning my attention to my past travels, to all the amazing cities and countries I’ve visited before the notion of ‘travelling’ even cropped up. Give an under-represented memory the love it deserves today, and read my ‘revisited’ posts here.