Since summer I have been working to claw back some of my life and independence. Pursuing a career in freelance photography has given me late nights, confidence knocks, tight finances and plenty of let-downs, nothing has been easy but it has been mine. The high points have greatly outweighed the lows. In three years of teaching, I honestly can’t think of one occasion where someone has told me I’m doing a great job. I can’t think of one occasion where I have felt like my job is finished. Working freelance has offered me both of these on a regular basis. I’m overwhelmed by the positive comments from clients, peers and friends, each little boost gives me a lift in confidence. Every time I finish something it feels amazing.
Sally and I have been forced to think and reflect on our lives. What we really want from our life together. We have been forced to re-evaluate and it hasn’t been easy. We realise what we have here, our careers, are not sustainable. We aren’t happy yet and we aren’t prepared to call it quits and carry on like this. We are too ambitious, driven and want progression too much. Not in the conventional sense, we don’t want a raise or a promotion we don’t like what that comes with.
Now to really force change upon our lives we are challenging ourselves. We have nothing to lose but everything to gain. October 25th will see us leave the UK for Santiago, Chile armed with a camera, surfboards, tent, motorcycle helmets and a thirst for happiness and progression.
By putting work and finance lower on our list of priorities and putting life and happiness higher, we are already starting to see rewards. I went part time at school after Christmas and the work I have been doing two days a week has made me a lot happier, I have developed new skills, contacts and ironically, earned more money than teaching full time. Sally has been working hard to change her life too, she is now a qualified RLSS lifeguard and has secured a job with the RNLI this summer. It took training, dedication, revision and time. Things that we all know are hard alongside a full time demanding job. I am so proud of her.
Now to really force change upon our lives we are challenging ourselves. We have nothing to lose but everything to gain. October 25th will see us leave the UK for Santiago, Chile armed with a camera, surfboards, tent, motorcycle helmets and a thirst for happiness and progression. We plan on spending twelve months on the road between land and sea. 15,500 miles through a continent we have never experienced.
We will pass from the wave rich shores of Chile, through the Atacama Desert into Peru, passing through dreamy unrivalled left hand point breaks, into the unknown of Ecuador where we will leave the sea and pass through the Columbian highlands. Here we hope to cross the Darien Gap after around 4 months on the road. When we reach Panama, we will follow the Pacific up through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatamala and into Mexico. We will arrive in Chiapas where we will be forced to leave the coast and visit San Cristóbal de las Casas, home to one of the most inspiring stories of liberation and revolution that has captured our hearts and minds for years. Gurerro, Michoacan and Sinaloa, the three places in Mexico so volatile with the narcotics trade and vigilante groups it is advised not to visit are next on the list. Heads down and hotels for a couple of weeks. Once we reach Mazatlan we cross to La Paz, the Southern tip of Baja California. From here we retrace the steps of Californian drop-outs and hippies up the peninsula. From Tijuana to California, an experience I am sure we won’t forget in a hurry.
What do we hope to get from it? Who knows, but hopefully some perspective and a few stories to tell.