That saying ‘can’t wait to get home and have a cuppa’ is no lie.
Be it a freshly brewed cup of tea, catching your favourite tv show or climbing into your own bed, as much as we can’t wait to go away, coming home to our creature comforts is a feeling you truly can not beat.
But for me, there was something else, my comfort was in being able to say ‘I did it. I proved you wrong’
Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of support for my Darien Gap expedition, but the flip side to that was the number of people telling me a journey like that was for ‘special forces guys’ or that I wasn’t fit enough to do and then there were the ones who basically told me I was making a serious error in judgement and would end up in the hands of the wrong people.
Well, here I am. Nothing can beat that feeling of pure accomplishment!
That said, for about two days after landing back in the UK I never told anyone, aside from close family, that I was home. I took some time out to be alone in a hotel.
Yes, I know, you would think I would rush to see loved ones, given the fact I had been away so long; but I wanted time to reflect on everything.
This time also gave me the opportunity to put things in motion for follow-up interviews and know just what I would say about such a momentous journey.
When I was ready to face the world again I met up with those who had supported me, one being an ITV presenter. He never once spoke about it as if was an impossible journey, he just wanted me to go for it. Unlike others, I felt I could discuss my journey and not be seen as some crazy person doomed to fail again.
And now it’s back to normal life - whatever that is these days?
Thankfully, the secluded nature of the expedition is what I enjoy and never impacts me to the extent I become socially awkward. I have always enjoyed time alone, eating out or going to the cinema alone never phases me.
I was, however, eager to share my photos of my experiences with other people. That is part of the reason I enjoy doing these ‘crazy’ things. I can share my experiences and open the eyes of the naive or ignorant of the world.
I think we sometimes forget, easily so, that there is so much more in this world than we know or even care about.
So, what comes next? Papua New Guinea, Pakistan? Maybe.
I have tried to plan trips to countries in Africa but for some reason, I always come full circle back to Colombia/Latin America. Not because I know it but because I feel such a massive draw to the Amazon.
World's largest tropical forest, largest rivers and the largest amount of unknowns and uncontacted people.
Who wouldn’t be drawn to that?
Here is to planning the next expedition - Rio Negro from Colombia to Manaus in Brazil crisscrossing three borders Colombia, Venezuela and into Brazil.