Yes… I know… Back in 2018 – just before I left for South America – I said that that was going to be my last trip.
… And then, back in 2014, I was just returning to South East Asia to ‘see the places I missed last time’.
… And before even that – back in 2011 when my ‘blog’ was just posted on Facebook as Notes – I flew to Asia with the intention of staying for just four months (like that was ever going to happen). And that was supposed to be my one and only ‘big trip’.
And the funny thing is, I bet none of you are surprised. This is just what Tej does, right?
But, I am genuinely surprised. I did honestly think that my last trip was my last trip. I was going to come back, get a mortgage and do all that other adult stuff that most people my age have already done.
But Covid happened, and all those months of lockdown made me feel a bit restless. In that time I also managed to save some money (even though I wasn’t really trying) and… I don’t know. Maybe I am just going through a *cough* quarter-life crisis, and realising I am not going to be so young and able-bodied forever?
Plus, the UK is a bit of a shitshow right now, so 2023 is looking like a good year to make an escape.
And, you’ve seen how skinny I am in those photos! Let’s be honest; I could do with losing a few pounds. Going travelling again, therefore, is imperative to my HEALTH!
So, here I am: once again, I have packed all my stuff into a friend’s attic, gathered up my gear, booked some flights, and am soon to resign from my job.
And this is – most definitely – going to be my Last Trip.
I will – most definitely – settle down and get a mortgage, etc when I get back.
Anyway, this time the destination is…
Initially, I will be flying to Santiago in Chile. In all honesty, you probably won’t hear much from me during those first few weeks as I will be treating it as a nice holiday and a time to reunite with some friends that I made there during my last trip.
I will, however, at some point in March make a trip to Pucon; a part of northern Patagonia that I didn’t make it to last time, and I will be bringing my tent and hiking gear with me. Parc Nacional Huerquehue is a place currently on my radar as one to explore.
After that, I will be flying to Ecuador, and once again you will probably not hear from me for a little while because I will be returning to the lovely Merazonia Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Not only will there not be too much for me to blog about during my time there but – lacking wifi and electricity – I will be living off the grid.
It will be at the end of April – when I cross over the border in Colombia – that the actual backpacking part of this trip will begin in earnest, and you will get regular blogs to read (filled with pictures of me standing smugly in front of dramatic backgrounds).
Sometimes while staring out wistfully into the distance…
I will be spending around six to seven weeks in Colombia, in all, and my itinerary includes such places as the five-day jungle trek to Cuidad Perdida (‘The Lost City’, sometimes nicknamed “Colombia’s Machu Pichu”), Cartagena, Medellin, the mysterious ruins of San Augustin, and the highlands around Minca.
After that, I will be venturing up into Central America. First to visit some of (the safer regions of) Honduras, and then to Guatemala. I have a feeling that Guatemala will be my favourite country on this trip, not only because it has many jungles and mountains to explore, but also many old ruins from both the Mayans and the lesser-known Quiche civilisations. I am planning to pass through the city of Coban just as many of Guatemala’s indigenous communities are gathering there to celebrate the festival of Rabin Ajau.
After seeing the world-famous ruins of Tikal, I will be crossing the border into Belize to see yet more Mayan ruins, and do some snorkelling in the reefs around its many beaches and islands (perhaps even some scuba diving if I have enough money left by then).
Mexico will be the final leg of the main vein of my journey. Starting off in the Yucatan peninsula, where I will likely do more diving and explore even more ruins (such as Chichen Itza), and then on to Oaxaca region until I finish off in Mexico City itself.
I am also considering visiting the island of Madeira whilst on my way home, if the travel fits well and I have enough money.
So that is my itinerary as it currently stands. Doubtless some of the details will change along the way but – knowing me and the way I travel – the broad strokes will stay true as long as I don’t run out of money sooner than I expect.
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