I knew this trip was to be a big one, the life changer, the life affirming, the life giver, and I knew that I would come back changed in some way … but I had no idea of the extent to which this trip would peel back my layers and leave me (happily) raw, exposed and authentically me. I knew it would be a big one because, first and foremost, it fucking terrified me. I drove my friend and travel agent crazy with a series of near cancelations, myself crazy with self deprecating talk of “I’m too x, y, z to be able to do this” & because the road to get here was kind of paved with shitty and sad circumstances – it made it all feel so uncertain. But something within me stayed afloat and booked the ticket, got my ass in row 32 seat C from Perth to Abu Dhabi and fanned the flames in my belly every single minute of my journey thus far.
Here’s what have been the biggest take aways and revelations –
During a time of which I had no obligations or commitments – I chose to write every single day. I literally can’t hold back from writing. I’m fairly confident that I’m in possession of the world’s most up to date journal. I can’t withhold the words and when I’m not writing in my journal, I’m tapping away for hours at a time creating posts that capture the magic of my experiences. Even as I type this, approaching the descent portion of our flight to Lima, I had literally JUST finished writing a post on our Incan Trail experience, put down my phone and words and sentences for this post began to swirl and persistently niggled at & willed me to give them form. So I gave in, despite having eff all battery AND a fear of landing, and here we are.
The second thing I’ve learnt? I’m one frikkin happy little human. In the past, my happiness and positivity has been questioned//challenged and in doing so made me question who I was since I obviously was completely out of whack with my self perceptions. I have legit not stopped smiling for 6 and a half weeks. I have not stopped being grateful for 6 and a half weeks. I haven’t stopped appreciating every second of life that we have been lucky enough to be gifted, for 6 and a half weeks.
Friends and family will be shocked to know that travel Emily is so organised and my memory could be likened to a savant. Seriously. Back home, I am so forgetful, I lose things, my brain gets muddled – here, the group will ask me to recall names, facts, translations etc and … I can. More often than not. That NEVER happens. I have travelled across borders, independently and with others, and have managed to always have my documentation safe, secure, up to date and accessible. Again, hello, not me at all.
I guess this trip has also solidified what I always knew. I am at my best, I am my most happy, my most full of hearts and my most radiant when I am around people. I have fallen in love (and I’m not using that term loosely –
I mean, would do anything for them, think they’re the bees knees, relish their company) with approximately 100 people on my travels. Men and women. Old and young. My tour group, the guides and reps that I’ve crossed paths with, the locals, the workers, waiters and waitresses, children on the street – meeting people, sharing moments and stories (and, let’s be honest, often shots) has made me so so so profoundly happy. I’ve formed incredible friendships that I know will defy time and distance (sexy llamas – I’m especially looking at chu), smiled so hard that my cheeks hurt and eyes are near closed and will walk away from this journey with lifelong friends in NZ, the U.K., Germany, Ireland, Scotland and, about a thousand across South America. Thank you to everyone who obliged in my far too frequent cuddles, terribly inappropriate jokes and dirty mind and constant professions of “this is AMAZING!”.
Final self realising lesson? My favourite experiences (when trying to play the game where we limit it to a top five list) have been the ones that saw me out in nature, basking in the wonder and beauty of the incredible playground that we have been gifted. Hiking, sightseeing, riding – as soon as I was outdoors – I was glowing.
So here’s what I know –
Life is meant for living. And connection, to our world and to one another, is the best way to live.
So I resolve to never stop seeking, learning, growing, connecting … And it seems the travel is the magical elixir that just might make that a reality.
Blessings & a happy señorita cloaked in wanderlust x