I set this blog up initially so I could write stuff from my travels, maybe I won't be writing them straight onto the world wide web, but hopefully they'll be getting on here eventually...
Personally I find reading travel blogs alot more interesting than the ones of people who sit at home and do day-to-day update of their lives.
So the basic plan was to get a lift down to Spain with a guy who contacted me via Helpx.net, however I had to let him know today that I've had to give it a miss, partly due to him not being easily contactable (this is a journey to Spain we're talking about, not just down the road..) and because I would like to try and push through another 3-4 weeks torture...I mean, work, in order to have a decent bank balance when I set off.
It was hard to turn that lift down, it seemed like it was going to be the spark that set the adventure motor running, but sometimes good things come to those who wait. It will also make it a bit easier for me and my girlfriend, who is planning on joining me mid-July, wherever I am.
So the plan is still to get to Spain by mid-March, now its just a case of figuring out how. I have had romantic visions of me getting a ferry to Amsterdam and hitch-hiking down, counting on the good hearts of other and good fortune of myself to make it to my destination. But in reality, I don't speak much French at all and it could take alot of time and patience. One day I will do it, I promise.
I really do not want to fly, although it is without a doubt the easiest and cheapest option, it seems like a complete cop-out, there is only a few miles of water between England and mainland Europe, only a fool would skip out all the good bits inbetween. So I'm still undecided on that one, but, however I end up getting there, I should hopefully end up in Andalucia, Spain. A place that holds a special place in my heart, after spending 6-7 months living in 2 remote mountain houses in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Since that time spent galavanting through the wild mountains, seeing hundreds of vultures circle up on vertical air currents, watching snakes slither into dry-stone walls, I have longed to be back there.
In 2009 I spent a month volunteering at a lovely little cortijo about an hour away from where we used to live. This was a fantastic time and I met many amazing people, however a month was just not enough and my longing to travel has no subsided since then. As I never fancied the prospect of university, coupled with the fact that I picked what I now see as the wrong options at college, travelling has become my major concern. Who knows, I might go to university someday in the future, but for now, while the world is still a reasonably normal place and I am lucky enough to have a European passport allowing me to travel almost completely freely, I feel it is my duty to see and feel as much of life as possible.
The cliche that travelling in 'infectious' is overused to put it lightly, but all cliche's are formed from truths and it is the uncertainty in this case that one craves, not knowing who you will be volunteering with, or where you will be tomorrow. For some people this is not even an option, they thought of having to pitch a tent somewhere in an unknown country to them is terrifying. But that surely is living. More so than 'living for the weekend'. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-party by any means, but theres partying and theres being a drunken lout just because you've got nothing better to spend your money on.
So after having my fill of Andalucia and all it has to offer, there is a possibility to head to Portugal, a place I have never been, to stay with and English couple I met whilst volunteering 3 years ago. Another location on my agenda is Asturias, Northen Spain. A place compared more to Scotland than anywhere else, its beauty is in its rugged-ness. A place where bears still wander the barranco's. I found a HelpX host who is renovating an old hamlet with a group of volunteers. They forage for food and sleep under the stars, in what sounds to me like a mini-paradise. I like to think they haven't got back in touch yet because there is no internet connection, although we will have to wait and see...