10 Months On The Road – From Africa to South America

laguna colorada bolivia

Into the Unknown

Roughly ten months ago, we embarked on this round the world journey. Backpacks stuffed, camera at the ready, and hearts full of anticipation. I had left my job to take off on this trip, this flight of fancy, travelling Africa and South America, not quite sure of what to expect but certain that the sudden plunge into uncertainty would beat the dreary routine that had been gnawing away at me for a while. I still enjoyed my job, but something was missing, creative batteries needed recharging and a two week break wasn’t going to cut it this time. Something a bit more drastic was in order. Something that would jolt me out of my comfort zone, in other words, one for the bucket list.

At least, we figured, it would be exciting.
And exciting it was, along with awe-inspiring, eye-opening, routine-killing, perspective-changing, adrenaline-pumping, and at times, heart-breaking and tiring, but never boring. Whether it was being offloaded from a bus at midnight in a pitch black town, or being the only outsiders revelling with the locals at a South African township, or driving on a road with more potholes than tarmac, or playing dominos by the side of a road in Cuba, many adjectives could be used to describe our experience but ‘boring’, certainly wasn’t one of them.

 

Even months into our sojourn, at times we lay awake in our hostel beds, thin walls affording us an exclusive into the goings on next door, pinching ourselves to make sure we were not dreaming, and that the constant stream of amazing adventures had been real. Somehow, bumbling through and without a plan, we had snaked our way across South America, from the beaches of Brazil to the faded grandeur of Buenos Aires, from the rugged beauty of Patagonia to local marketplaces in Bolivia. We gathered on our way, an eclectic collection of experiences and met an even more outrageous multitude of people. From politicians and lawyers, to carpenters and egg sellers, each had their own reason to be on the road. The road afforded them a healing balm to sooth whatever ailed them.

There existed a certain camaraderie amongst fellow road warriors – we were brothers and sisters, fellow citizens of the world sharing a common direction, if only for a time.

rusty bus bolivian altiplano
on the road bolivian altiplano
I left my job as an advertising Creative Director in August 2012 to travel Africa and South America for a year with my wife, documenting these beautiful places with my Fuji X-Pro1. View the rest of my RTW adventures on Handcarry Only and follow me on my journey by subscribing/following/bookmarking.