As our date of departure creeps closer, I find my nerves tingling with trepidation. I’m not the type of person that dwells on dangerous possibilities – after all, I’ve done plenty of foolhardy things in my time (jumping out of a plane, flying a plane, climbing Nevis Peak unguided and so on).
No, I’m not nervous about getting hurt. I’m nervous that I won’t last the course. I’m nervous about reaching a break point where not having a clean, comfortable bed every night or warm running water will wear away my zest for travel. I’m worried that I will miss my sisters with whom I’ve always shared a city.
I’m worried that living out of a backpack won’t ‘free’ me in the way it’s supposed to. I’m worried that I’ll just want to come home.
And, so, I want to talk about an idea I heard from a close friend, Priya, a few weeks ago. She told me about a couple she knew who published the itinerary of their three-month honeymoon and invited their friends and family to visit them on the road. Their lengthy honeymoon together was to be punctuated with visits from close friends and family, giving them the best of both worlds.
I’ve been told numerous times that I’m lucky to be going on this trip. Friends, colleagues and relatives have told me many times that they’re jealous of our plans, or that they wish they could spend two weeks in Fiji or Tahiti or Brazil, or any number of the amazing places we’re hoping to get to.
So here’s my proposal: if you know me or Peter (or even you don’t and we can verify you’re not a psycho), we invite you to come and spend a week or two with us in any place we’re going to.
This may sound like a twee and whimsical idea more suited to the script of a Zooey Deschanel film but we really mean it. If you’ve always wanted to go to one of these places, how about using us as an excuse to do it? You don’t have to spend all your time with us of course – a few meals would be nice in the least.
We’ll be in the South Pacific through August, September and October and then most likely South America from November onwards. We’re currently trying to convince Peter’s father to visit us in Bolivia.
He’s always wanted to see it – mainly because of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – but isn’t sure he can make the arrangements. Well, the thing is, he can make the arrangements. And if you’ve always wanted to visit Bolivia or Argentina or Peru and you’re reading this now, then you can make the arrangements too.
Peter and I aren’t ‘lucky’ like so many people say and we’re certainly not rich (an ex-teacher and a freelance writer are hardly paragons of wealth), but we’re doing this crazy and grand thing anyway. We really, really hope that some of our friends, family and acquaintances will also decide to do a crazy thing and come and see us on the other side of the world.
We are 100% serious. If you even think you might consider it, get in touch. If I can’t come home, maybe a part of home can come to me. Come and join our travels!