One Year On The Road

Today it is a year to the day since Vicki and me left the UK. So far, it has been a journey of three parts ……

Part One – Mexico

We flew from Manchester to Cancun, thinking that it was going to be the start of a Very Big Adventure for us both. We were prepared, or thought we were, for everything that Latin America could throw at us.

The day before we’d finished packing up our houses in Birmingham, dropped the rental car off and caught the coach from Digbeth Coach Station to Manchester Airport, stopping in a hotel close by. Then we caught Thomas Cook‘s morning flight from Manchester.

Chichen Itza in the sun
Chichen Itza in the sun

Continue reading One Year On The Road

Checking back

detourSix months ago I wrote a blog post trying to imagine what my life would be like in six months,

It was called Check back in 6 months  for those who don’t want to read the whole thing, this is how I imagined my day, today in fact December the 11th


It’s December, coming up to Christmas(of this I can be certain!) We will be in a rented apartment in a small town, we may have sourced some sort of tree, branch maybe, and a string of fairy lights. I will go off to my teaching job in the morning, introducing the topic of Christmas and traditions around the world. At lunchtime (I finish work at lunchtime in my new job) I will walk through the small town and get some groceries, I will spend the afternoon on the balcony marking, preparing lessons. I can’t imagine my view, at the moment I imagine street traders and crowded shops, Colombian voices,mostly women with latin temperament, for some reason, I can’t hear any men. From the other window, I can see mountains in the distance and goats wandering on a rubbly path. Continue reading Checking back

A change of plans

We’ve suffered a pretty severe change to our plans.

Red Cross symbol
Red Cross symbol

During our time in Oaxaca, Vicki started suffering from stomach pains. Fortunately, Mexico has a health system that gives free access, without appointment, to everybody and next door to a lot of pharmacies there is a separate entrance that leads to a waiting room for the doctor on duty.

We went to the doctor’s on the block next to our house and he prescribed some over-the-counter medicines for Vicki. These didn’t have much effect and, by the time we had arrived at our next rental in Puebla, Vicki was feeling increasingly poorly, so much so that we phoned the insurance company and went to the Urgencias at Christus Muguerza Hospital on their advice.

By now Vicki was in excruciating pain. She spent a horrible night and morning in Urgencias with me trying to interpret between her and the doctors, as well as trying to contact the insurance company so that Vicki could be admitted, which finally happened at about five o’clock in the morning. At this time, one consultant had been and given a tentative diagnosis of kidney stones.

The following day the hospital put Vicki through further tests, bloods, an X-Ray or three and a CT scan, after which the diagnosis changed from kidney stones to diverticulitis with suspected peritonitis on the side. Continue reading A change of plans

Check back in 6 months










I keep one of those time-capsule diaries, you write a couple of lines each night and there are five years to each page. Since I booked my flight, what I write seems more important, because who knows where I’ll be when I write today’s entry next year.

It’s the funny thing about craving spontaneity and adventure, you spend a lot of time wanting to know what it will be like. I try to imagine where I will live, how I will feel, what a typical day will look like, will there ever be a ‘typical day’

When I look back at this, in six months time I wonder ,where will I be writing it from, where will I have slept, how will I be feeling.

This is what I, sort of, imagine. Continue reading Check back in 6 months

You can’t hug on the internet












Sometimes your brain is at odds with your heart. My heart says ” I’m leaving my children” My brain says ” my children are no longer children”. Both are right and it’s a daily (hourly) fight.

My three boys are in their twenties now, living independent lives, being good, grown up people. I have a good and healthy relationship with all three. Mostly our interactions are typed through Facebook Messenger, but we keep in touch, we chat occasionally on the phone and I see them to varying degrees from once a week to every couple of months. I pride myself on my ability to let them be adults and my resulting ability to be an independent person at the age of 50. Continue reading You can’t hug on the internet

My Year of Learning

I remember having two steep learning curves in my life, neither took place at school. The first was when I had my first child, goodness knows how I kept him alive, by the third I knew what I was doing. They all, thankfully, turned out very well. The second was when I set up a company, which grew quickly and is going today; I learnt a huge amount in a short space of time.

What I have discovered is that when I stop learning I get bored. So in the last twelve months I have started to learn two new things, Spanish and Teaching English.

I left school at 15, Continue reading My Year of Learning

Jumping off a ladder!


Just over a year ago I quit my job. What a short sentence!

Behind it lies so much. I wanted to quit my job, before I even had it, about 20 years before actually. In my early twenties I didn’t want to be regular, normal or routine, I had ambitions of being free, seeing the world and having great adventures. I didn’t feel lost or lonely, I just felt excited. I was 22, sold my house (yes I bought a house when I was 21), left my job and bought a one way ticket. Except I didn’t really go, while I was getting all this ready, I met someone, fell in love and a developed a new ambition, funny how your life can turn on a sixpence Continue reading Jumping off a ladder!

Big Plans for 2015

This year, if everything goes to plan, I am going to do something I’ve wanted to do for some time and live and work abroad.

Lake Titicaca from Wikimedia - I want to go there








As of next week I’ll be studying on a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) course for two days a week at Gloucester College. CELTA is one of the more widely recognised qualifications that prepare people to teach English as a foreign language. The course lasts five months, finishing towards the end of June.

There are some significant birthdays (the kind that end in a zero) amongst family and friends in July and so my plan at the moment is to be heading off for Central or South America around early August time.

Hopefully by then I’ll have narrowed it down to a more specific locality. Continue reading Big Plans for 2015