Volcan Cotopaxi, Ecuador
When you spend any meaningful length of time away from everything you have ever known, you can not help but learn something. The past two years have been the wildest, emotionally volatile, serendipitous adventure, of my life.
Now, back home, it kind of feels as if my piece of the puzzle does not fit any more. My perspective, how I think about the world, how I decide what is important, It is not, how it was. I find myself living in complete contrast to the life I was living this time last year. Dealing with the anxiety and discomfort I have come to expect from moments like these, is as exciting as it is isolating. Continue reading
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Getting into Venezuela can be tricky, and there really isn’t much helpful information out there. I spent weeks looking through blogs and forums to finally piece together a plan of attack. I absolutely loved my time in Venezuela so hopefully this guide will help you get to experience it as well.
So, Is it dangerous? Continue reading
Venezuela, it could be the most misunderstood country in the world, but it’s taught me that I’m in no place to make that judgement. There are a few things that are true, the government is corrupt. There are dangerous areas. It can be near impossible to find information or book transport/accommodation outside of the country. It’s cheap to the point of being almost unfair to the local people.
But like every country in the world these factors don’t define it. What defines Venezuela, is its resilient, friendly and passionate people. It’s incredibly unique and diverse landscape. And the lesson that it teaches all that travel there. Venezuela is a master class in open mindedness. If you give it a chance, It will surprise you in some of the most profound and incomparable ways possible. Continue reading
I never want to go back, I don’t want to slide into another set of lederhosen, I don’t want to sing another verse of Ein Prosit, I don’t want to eat another bretzel or taste another pork knuckle, I fear even beer, that beautiful golden nectar, I have now sworn off (at least for a while). Continue reading
What if we fell?
Looking out that window in a cloud,
What if we fell?
Came crashing, burning to the ground. Continue reading
Thinking about leaving fills me with a feeling of being caught so intensly between sadness and excitement that I remain firmly in the centre of the two, in a purgatory of experience. Lost In the false protection of avoidance, I fool myself into thinking that I am ready.
I’m leaving home once again, only this time It’s Ecuador, and not Colombia, or Australia that I’m leaving behind. over the last six months I’ve explored Ecuador’s unique and diverse landscape and culture. I experienced so much and so intensely that I could only ever appreciate it in retrospect.
Traveling is a whirlwind of discovery and goodbyes so much so that the goodbyes seem to become almost routine. We miss the point of them.
I’ve been staring at this Volcano for six months, driving back and forth through Ecuador, it’s not hard to spot. Cotopaxi is the second highest active volcano in the world, it towers majestically and threateningly over the Ecuadorian landscape, and for some reason I just felt drawn to it. I have had this inexplicable obsession with climbing to the summit. Of standing on top of Ecuador’s most famous volcano, and staring out into the land that since November has completely and utterly stolen my heart .
It’s hard to say what drives someone to want to conquer a mountain, is it pride, stubbornness, stupidity or something else? Why does it feel so innately primal to reach the highest point possible and stare at the world from above? For that short second all the pain and anguish of getting there disappears you’re high on more than the altitude. You’ve beaten the mountain and your reward is to peer for the briefest of moments at the beauty in this world. All the magnificence that surrounds you comes rushing towards your eyes, greater than the sum of their parts. You look, as the giant you stand on does at the world, and you see what it must be like to be something more than human, it is a transcendent experience. Continue reading
Getting to the summit of Cotopaxi is no joke, 50% of people who attempt it fail. Standing 5897m (19,300 ft) high, It is the world’s second highest active volcano, and there is no way anyone can make it without some form of training at altitude, to acclimatise.
After a lot of research, asking around and recommendations from other travellers I figured the easiest and most enjoyable way to acclimatise before my climb was to trek the Quilotoa loop. Continue reading
For a while now I’ve had this feeling that I’ve been stuck in a dream, floating in and out of experiences, that two years ago I couldn’t have imagined having. Coming home felt like part of that same dream, seeing all the people I loved, visiting all the places in Australia I have missed. Even getting the opportunity to explore more of what my beautiful home has to offer seemed within the infinite possibility of a dream.
I am still yet to wake up, it’s exciting but at the same time terrifying to think that, like a dream, I might suddenly be jolted awake; forgetting everything that has happened. Getting on the plane from Australia headed to Ecuador didn’t feel out of the ordinary at all. And that kind of scared me.
I have always had a romanticised view of hitch hiking. It embodies so well a sense of freedom, a calculated carelessness, an unshakable trust in the kindness of strangers and an uncompromising desire to move forward.
It’s an exercise in optimism as you pick a direction, a goal, and little by little move towards it. It can be a daunting task to maintain any optimism as car after car passes you by; all while a storm menacingly approaches the patch of road you have been helplessly stranded on. But that sinking feeling is instantly alleviated and replaced by an overwhelming sense of relief, and happiness, as you watch that same patch of road disappear from the rear vision mirror of your next ride. Continue reading
I’ve spent a full month now back in Australia and in that time I have been fortunate enough to of spent most of my time exploring it. Visiting places I’ve never been before and getting to know better the places I have.
Being away for so long and getting this opportunity has really opened my eyes to how much I once took for granted, to how truly beautiful my Island home really is. Continue reading
It was a surreal feeling, my feet on the ground in the home town I left fourteen months ago, struck by waves of melancholy, familiarity and confusion. I felt as if for the first time, lost.
My adventure thus far had been the single most profound change in my life, but it didn’t seem like it was over. That the journey I started all those months ago had come to an end. I set out with one goal; to discover the world and in doing so discover myself. I wanted to put myself in uncomfortable situations, to test myself, experience everything I could and grow in the uncertainty of every moment. Continue reading
I can still remember that morning full of nerves and excitement; I kissed my family and girlfriend goodbye. I had a one way ticket to Mexico City, a backpack, and vague plans of traveling and living in Colombia for half the year.
Fast-forward eight months, and I’m sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River in New Orleans. A smile as big as any of the cargo ships passing by. I can see a thunderstorm brewing in the distance it’s getting closer but I’m not worried, I’m just enjoying this moment, thinking about my life and all the people and places I’ve been. My time in the United States is almost up. Tomorrow I head back to Mexico City, back to where it all began.
They say “no man steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.” Continue reading