It’s hard to believe that my trip to Peru was almost 3 months ago.
I found it really difficult to respond to people’s questions of “how was it?” other than “fantastic”. There’s no way I can neatly summarise the whole experience into a few sentences. Which is very similar to how I felt after returning from my trip around the USA. As time has passed experiences I had on the trip have gradually become anecdotes and I can talk more freely about some of it than I could before.
One of the things that I first did upon returning, after a hot bath, cold beer & a bag of chips, was to show my girlfriend the photos. This was a major anti-climax for me and I felt very disappointed that my photos hadn’t captured anyway near the scale of what I was looking at. Peripheral vision plays a huge part when you’re taking in a view and you lose all of that when you box up a section into a photo. I didn’t feel the photos did the trip justice.
Now I realise that it was too close to the memories of the experience for me to look at the photos. When you can picture in your mind exactly how it was and how you felt as well, it’s difficult to see that in a photo. However, now that I have been back a while and other things have muddied my memory I think the photos are great. Not great in that I want to get any of them blown up and framed on the wall, but great memory joggers. Now when I look at the photos they help to remind me of what I saw and how I felt which is fantastic, so I have come to realise that I didn’t need to try and capture all of that in a photo, I just needed to capture the essence of the moment and that would drag my memories forward from the storage room at the back of my mind and I can relive it.
To call my trip a voyage of self discovery might be going a bit far, but I did surprise myself in a few ways. I was surprised how well I coped with the physical exertions of the trek, altitude and the jungle heat and humidity. I also coped well with some of the hair-raising aspects of the trip with crumbly paths and steep drops on the trek and the jungle having open access to my room. It’s certainly not a case of me becoming fearless, but I have definitely dealt with scenarios that could have scared or worried me which is not something, thankfully, that I have to do on a day to day basis, so I was proud of myself for coping in the way that I did.
Knowing that I can cope with trickier situations to what I am used to, I have enrolled on a scuba diving course that starts in January. I have snorkelled before, but never really had the confidence to dive down to any sort of decent depths and knowing how helpless a human is bobbing about in an ocean teeming with life did make me very apprehensive. I think that by becoming a PADI qualified scuba will help me discover a whole new side to the ocean and perhaps even enjoy being down there amongst it all. I will blog how it goes.
I have enjoyed writing the blog and I certainly enjoyed keeping the diary of my trip – I almost wish I had done that in the USA now. As with the photos, reading through what I had written also jogged a few memories of what I hadn’t written about. I don’t think I will keep up the travel blog unless I think the trip is special enough to write about – a week lounging by a pool in the sun sounds great, but wouldn’t make much of a blog.
I have fulfilled the main travel ambition I have had over the years, but that has left a gap to fill. I wonder where I could go next…?