Wow. Today I realised it’s exactly six months since we closed the door on our house in Peckham and set off on our adventure around the world.
When we left that day, we had no idea where our journey would take us – what we’d do or where we’d go beyond Brazil. We had proclaimed we were on a quest to find a way to live – to perhaps even find ourselves – but our views on that have changed since then. We’re already living the way we want to – bringing our careers on the road. We’re not aiming for a particular destination – geographically or mentally. We are digital nomads and we love it that way.
Here’s an update of what we’ve been doing during those six months and what we plan to do next.
Where we’ve been
We started in Rio – our favourite city yet – and worked our way down through Brazil, stopping at Ilha Grande, Trindade, Sao Paulo, and the mighty Iguazu Falls. Next stop was Buenos Aires where I stayed for nearly two months while Steve went to California to film Continuum. I ate a lot of vegetarian food, enjoyed Palermo’s cafes and swam in ‘what am I doing with my life?’ questions, but came out smiling and focused the other side.
Narnia, UFOs and wine
When reunited, we went on an adventure down to Patagonia where we marvelled at glaciers, hiked through winter wonderlands, and came face-to-face with whales. We drank wine in Mendoza, looked for UFOs in Capilla del Monte and finally settled in Salta where we stayed for six weeks. We worked our socks off, volunteered and took a weekend in Cafayate for yet more wine and amazing empanadas.
When it was time to move on, we headed for Chile and festival-like San Pedro de Atacama. This was our launch point for a trip into the wilds of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni. After surviving the cold and altitude, we headed for some respite in magical Coroico where we met some excellent monkeys before heading to La Paz. We lived the high life there with some couchsurfers before moving on to Lake Titicaca and it’s mysterious Isla del Sol. And that brings us up to Cusco – where I’m writing this now.
The work we’ve done
Production for Steve’s feature documentary Continuum is well under way. He joined the rest of the Planetary Collective crew in California in April and filmed interviews with a whole host of his heroes. Now the others are filming visual narrative footage around the world and he’s hard at work on the editing stage. His company’s first short film – Overview – is due to be released in October. It’s about the Overview Effect – a shift in perception often reported by astronauts, and features some amazing footage and interviews from awesome astronauts and philosophers. He’s also preparing all the business side of things and getting ready for a Kickstarter campaign later this year. And, if that wasn’t enough, he’s also been learning to program.
I started the journey with a question mark over what I would do next, but soon realised that I wanted to keep writing so started by making this blog. I’ve been endlessly surprised by the scope of the travel blogging world and have been delighted to see the blog grow – not least by being named Travel Blog of the Month by Travel Bloggers Unite.
I also came back to an idea that’s been alive in me for some time: The Vegetarian Travel Guide. This is a huge project but progress is well under way and we have a provisional release date of January 2013. Steve’s new programming skills mean he’s been working on the technical side, and I’m working on the plans and content. It’s a collaborative effort with contributors worldwide, and will feature vegetarian-friendly listings, travel tips, recipes and reviews. This is a site I really wish existed so I’m excited to be making it happen. Sign up to be the first to know when it launches.
I’m continuing to freelance and my interview with Andrew Bird was published in Oh Comely in May. I’m working on more articles for them now.
Where and what next
I’m about to head back to Europe for three weeks for two travel blogging conferences in Porto and Girona. I have a 24-hour stopover in London where I’m going to grab some time with friends and family, and eat as much of the food I miss as possible. Some of my friends are coming to visit me in Porto between the conferences, which is incredibly exciting – a real holiday! I’m also really delighted to be spending some time with some of my favourite bloggers in the Travel Bloggers Villa for a few days prior to TBEX. A group of us newbie bloggers get to pick their brains and learn – it’s an amazing opportunity and I’m super excited to be a part of it.
Kickstarter, yoga and the end of the world
During this time, Steve’s going to be staying in Ecuador to work on the film edit. I’ll meet him there at the end of September. We’ll travel and work for a bit and then Steve is off to North America again to launch the Kickstarter campaign and do some more interviews for the film. I recently made a pretty big decision to go ahead with a long-term dream of mine and do a yoga teacher training course while he’s away. This will take place in an incredible looking jungle lodge in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico and will hopefully help curb those moments of hating the universe! I don’t intend to teach anytime soon but I want to learn more and hopefully kickstart a daily practice.
Steve and I will reunite at the end of November and head somewhere awesome for a Mayan end of the world party. For our first Christmas away from home, we envisage a beach, jacuzzi and cocktails. The rest of Planetary Collective are joining us in early 2013 to finish up editing of Continuum. For that, we’re looking for a base somewhere in Central America, or potentially Colombia. Any ideas for a good location would be much appreciated.
As you can imagine, we are super excited – a little like this photo below!