Finally, after months of dithering and putting it off, I booked my flights last Thursday. I know, hardly the most epic and impressive single occasion in your lives, pressing a button on a computer and signing away a few hundred hard earned shamoozles, but I have been cacking myself about doing it. I have had my tour confirmed since December, but the fear had set in and I was struggling to budge. Suddenly, all my dreams of visiting jungles real and concrete and a new country every few weeks for months on end, when put on a plate in front of me, seemed very, very scary. After all my chat about wanting to go to the weirdest and most dangerous places (hello, Helmand anyone?), see my Top Ten Countries list, I had to admit that I wasn’t so flippant after all.

It took a lot of encouragement and phone conversations with my mum and boyfriend where they were audibly getting less enthusiastic and more, “JUST BOOK THE DAMN FLIGHT!” in tone, but I’ve done it!

I fly from and return to Amsterdam, as not only is it a lot cheaper that flying from London, but the flights are also more direct. Some of the ones from London took over 31 hours taking me on a ridiculous whistle stop tour of the entire US first. So we have arranged a city break for 3 nights into the bargain! Ridiculously, a ferry to Amsterdam, and 3 nights there is still cheaper than flying direct from London.

SO. On 4th May, Marcus and I get the train from London to Harwich, where we get the ferry to Amsterdam. We then spend 3 days saying our romantic goodbyes with a good ol’ plate of hash brownies or two,* and maybe a show (where *is* that banana going!?!) staying on a floatel/botel, whatever you like to call them, in the Dam, before I fly on the 7th May to Cancun. I am then booked on a tour of Central America until 21st June, finishing in Panama. Then. The world is my oyster! Mum and dad are thinking of coming out to see me at some point, no idea where, but many countries and islands have been thrown around. For a while it looked like we would go down to Brazil, until mum realised the Christ the Redeemer statue is being repaired until 2011 and is covered in scaffolding. A majority of our holiday snaps over the years have involved a member of my family stood sheepishly in front of an important or well known monument in whichever country. This could lead you to believe we were doing it intentionally and that we liked having unusual shots, rather than the regular picturesque ones…

The Sphinx in 2006

Ankor Wat 2007 (the green tarpaulins are also nicely reflected in the water in this one!)

Wat Pho 2007

Palace of Justice in Brussels 2009, at least the picture is poor quality anyway!

Bratislava Castle 2009, with a distinctly sunburn me.

There would be more, however over the years I have perfected my scaffolding avoid-ment techniques, aand you just thought the wacky angles were me being artistic!

Then Mexico looked likely, until a bunch of tourists were beheaded in Acapulco which put my mum off. Then it was Peru, but apparently it is too cold (!?), so Machu Pichu will have to wait! So right now we don’t know, but I am just going to go ahead and go along with whatever she decides.

My friend Bel has also expressed and interest in Central America, so I might be going back up to somewhere and meeting her, if not, I will probably do some more volunteering, again with animals, cos god I hate kids!

THEN. The most exciting part. Marcus and I decided to do something crazy.

WE ARE GOING TO THE GUYANAS! That’s right! I am committed, as I fly out of Suriname on the 7th September. I am SO excited! We are thinking, Guyana and maybe French Guiana too if we have the time, but we only have about 2 weeks, although I can always fly in early.

I am SO excited and SO scared all at once. I cried when I booked the tickets, and keep getting a sickening feeling of dread when I realise there is no going back now, I am committed to 4 months. Right now though I am looking at Suriname, and getting hugely excited!

* I would like to point out I am actually utterly against drugs, and although I am trying to sound cool, we will probably not even set foot in the red light district, and will actually be admiring the architecture and museums…but that make me sound super lame…so yeah, woo – DRUGS, I totally know how you “do” marijuana, you poke it in your eyes don’t you?


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