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La vida loca! Wished you were there? We did, so here we are on our big adventure! A year in central America, to make sense of this vida loca...

Thoughts on La Vida Loca

UNITED KINGDOM | Monday, 13 January 2014 | Views [356]

Us on Isla de Cano

Us on Isla de Cano

It was odd and pleasant to get off the plane and be surrounded by familiar accents and environments.  Being away a year certainly gives you fresh eyes on your own country and home.  What struck us most?  Well, San Diego had given us some adjustment time already to the wealth and choice in shops and restaurants, although this was very nice to come back too.  For me, some things were how clean everything was – in Central American and Mexican towns you get used to being surrounded by trash the whole time.  Also all the buildings were finished - every second person wasn't half way through building an extra storey on the roof.  The other thing was how green and fresh the English spring was – the lushness of the countryside and the birdsong.  Despite its many faults, being away from British society and countryside for a long time made me appreciate it on my return, and Rachel and I spent a very enjoyable spring and early summer settling back into our house and putting down new roots (we acquired some ex-battery hens and a new ginger kitten), whilst job-seeking in the newly recession-hit economy.

It certainly cost us to pack up and leave for a year – particularly financially (obviously for the trip, but also storage costs, lost earnings and both going back into less financially rewarded jobs afterwards). But for the opportunity of experiencing the communities, individuals, cultures and environments we stayed in and moved through for that year, I think we’re both extremely grateful – things which you can’t buy, or put a monetary value on.  Now over four years later, I still read back our blogs from that trip and look at the photos with immense pleasure and re-live those experiences – a good escape in my mind from the realities of a British midwinter or sometimes perceived day-to-day grind of work and home.  It also strengthened our relationship – being in each-other’s company nearly constantly for the majority of a year is a good way of knocking off some of those rough edges!

Would we do it again if we had the opportunity?  I don’t know.  Rachel would say it was too long away, and she did struggle with home-sickness particularly in the last six months – I think it brought home to her the value of being settled and having roots in one place.  I on other hand could have gone on moving and experiencing and as long as I had Rachel to share it with – although the realities of life and finances unfortunately preclude that!  I would love to go on maybe less long adventures in the future.  I personally loved the way that my perception of time slowed massively when I was away – a function of continually experiencing new things and people. I certainly think the reality of living and travelling in a country for weeks and months gives you a much better appreciation and understanding of it, particularly when you stay in a community for some time.  So maybe we will – but not for now.  Now we have commitments and roots that put those adventures into the medium future at least.

Tags: post journey


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Argh!  Well, maybe not pirates this time, but dig the colour-coordinated bandanas!

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