Setting off for a big trip round the Americas, I thought I would come back with new friends, fun memories, a good story and lots of photos. Coming back with a business was never on the agenda.
Trying to get cool in Costa Rica!
Just like most travelling stories, my journey began with a backpack and shedding a few farewell tears with my mum at Gatwick airport. I was ready to explore the Americas for 10 months with two of my ladies. Our trip started with a cheeky road trip in North America, followed by bumpy bus rides through Central America and finally trekking, bussing and training through South America. After a few months, my friends were ready for home, I wasn’t. As tough a decision it was, we decided to split. Leaving a group to become a sole traveller was tough. Taking the road alone was scary, exciting and challenging.
Getting stuck in the middle of a protest...no buses allowed so time to use man power!
Travelling alone led me to spontaneously volunteer at a NGO in Bolivia. This NGO was amazing providing hydrotherapy, food, rehab and equipment to children who had severe disabilities. Run by an inspirational team that worked with whatever they had to support the children as best they could. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the funds so that each child had their own wheelchair or even their own special aids to help them walk. They shared what they had between the children. Having worked in the NHS for years…I find this thought alien, I’d always been taught about the risks of sharing equipment not only to reduce the risk of spreading infections but also so that each person has equipment tailored to them. Realisation set in that in some countries basic health care is a true luxury. Being British with the NHS fulfilling my every medical worry or need whenever I need it I feel that good healthcare is an opportunity that everyone is entitled to. It made me sad to think that a simple thing as your birth country can determine what opportunities you receive.
Trying to Jump for joy in Brazil!
I knew trips could be life changing. But I never thought it would change my view of the world. It’s fair to say South America took my life and shook it up like one of James Bond’s cocktails.
With Love From