How quickly time flies! Two weeks ago marked my first year anniversary of leaving England. In fact, this is the longest time I have ever been away from the UK and my friends and family and I must admit I’ve had the bouts of homesickness and wondered what the hell I was doing several times – desperately trying to make a brand work whilst paying the bills and staying afloat.
But in that year, I’ve written and published a book, met the most amazing Colombian man and found somewhere to call home. Not bad for a years work.
And that’s not all…
I started this blog 3 years ago when I decided to fling myself back onto the travel path after separating from my ex-husband. The first few months were pretty emotional and my earlier posts were honest and very raw. Since then, my posts have been more light-hearted and I hope – entertaining.
And… after 3 years of hard graft, the work has finally paid off and I am so excited to announce that I have been ‘highly commended’ in the individual travel blog category at the UK Blog Awards 2015!
To celebrate, I am back on the road after realising that I have stayed still for far too long, so I have left Colombia for 3 months to start travelling again and discover what the rest of Latin America and the area has to offer.
Having only explored Cuba, Colombia, and Panama in the last year, my new itinerary looks something like this:
The rest of the Caribbean as far down as I can.
With the Caribbean being primarily marketed as a romantic place for couples, I want to see what the Caribbean islands have to offer women travelling alone, and if you can travel there on a backpackers’ budget (fingers crossed).
I must admit my adventurous streak has calmed down in the last year. In the past I have hitchhiked in the Balkans, met an Albania drug dealer and a Cuban pimp, and have taken a few risks but having had so much luck in the past, I am not going to take any chances when it comes to safety. As much as I really want to visit El Salvador, the more I hear, the more doubts I am having.
“Don’t take the public buses,” being the main reason as well as travelling through Honduras to get there (I travelled through there before and didn’t really feel safe).
I’m not usually one to listen to rumours but more than one hostel owner has told me of people who have come through who have been robbed. And although I have met a handful of people who visited the country with no problems, I have also heard stories of more than a handful of people who have been robbed. Having lived in Colombia, I think I’m pretty vigilant but El Salvador has a more dangerous reputation, and as much as I don’t want to experience being held up at gun point, I also don’t want to be completely paranoid the whole time I am there. I am not taking any chances when it comes to my safety or losing my laptop, (I must be finally growing up!)
How am I affording this trip?
As well as earning money from freelance writing, travelling on a budget can be quite easy. If you eat street food, are choosy with the tours and activities you do and travel overland (the bus from Panama to Costa Rica only costs $45 dollars), then you can make your money last longer. I’ll be sleeping in a hostel dorm as much as possible then when I need my space, I’ll be opting for a private room and as I’m travelling in the low season, it will be easy to stick to my budget of £20 a day. There are even hostels on some of the Caribbean islands and for others, Couchsurfing should hopefully fill the gaps.
I have 12 weeks to complete my itinerary before heading back to Colombia at the end of July. So plenty more blog posts to come!
Have you been to the Caribbean? Do you have any tips for travelling cheaply on the islands?