The world is so vast, it’s bigger than one lifetime.
Visiting a country for a week or more, is like a first date. Honestly, I’m only just starting to get to know the surface of the place and people. I think you need to live somewhere to truly understand it.
My travels have influenced who I am and how I see the world. I will share a few places that have been formative in my teenage life.
As a teenager I was very lucky to go on an international scout camp and stay with a
Swedish family. I love Sweden’s outdoorsy culture – walking and canoeing in the summer, cross-country skiing in the winter. Wild camping and fires are natural part of enjoying the outdoors.
I have returned to Sweden many times to go cross-country skiing.
A highlight was a hut to hut cross-country skiing tour in the north of Sweden. Eating flat bread and cheese sandwiches, drinking blueberry soup. We sat on our skiis as the snow was so deep we would sink up to our thighs without them! One of my best bits of kit on that trip was the bothy survival bag – it kept the five of us warm when we need to stop and refuel.
Each hut had a wood burning stove, it was good to get warm after a cold day at -25C!
An expedition to Kenya enabled me to walk through the bush and spend time with the Samburu tribe. At night, we each did a two-hour watch of our camp. The fireflies flash, tiny beacons of light. It’s dark, properly dark in the bush. The stars seem to have more and more layers of stars behind them. The roars and barks of wild animals’ sound very loud and very close in the dark. I told myself “it’s your imagination, they sound closer than they are”, but in the morning, there were large paw prints close to our camp!
I respected our camels and their herders. Treat camels fairly and they are very loyal, they will not put up with abuse. There’s a lesson for us all! And another thing be cautious of hippos. Don’t get between a hippo and its water. They may be big but they panic easily.
Chile is a huge country with very different climatic zones from the Atacama Desert in the north to the Glaciers in the south.
I was distressed to witness the devastation for the forests due to a fire that was carelessly started. The fire had burned all summer, then smoldered away in the soil through the winter to reignite in the following year. There was nothing left except black trunk stumps, like a cemetery for the forest of the past. Human’s devastating impact on the world was laid bare.
Our expedition was based in Torres del Paine National Park for three weeks as we cut through fallen trees to clear the walking route. The trees are huge compared with the trees I had experienced in England.
Under the edge of the glacier, where it carved away the rock, you could stand and listen to the dripping melt water. Looking up, the light was making its way through the ice. There were the most exquisite blues -dark to light.
There’s no where on earth like it – the intensity of the colour is incredible.
Glacial water is the coldest and most invigorating shower. I remember coaching myself to go for it and brave ice-cream head to wash my hair, brrr! It felt so good to be clean.
For more about places I’ve visited, head to the Blog for inspiration.