“Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be” …

… is what my good friend Lucius said to me last year when I was bemoaning to him that life in the City of London was all getting a wee bit crap. I thought that was really quite inciteful for a man, until I discovered that he pinched it from the pages of Elizabeth Gilbert’s self-indulgent self-help manual for 30-something divorced women ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. In retrospect, Lucius was way more likely to say something like ‘grow a spine and get out there’!

Whilst I identify few similarities between myself and Gilbert (I have no intention of finding either religion or Javier Bardem on this journey although I’m looking forward to the food), taking a break from my life and taking on a new challenge suddenly seemed like an amazing idea. Which is why, almost a year later, i’ve already spent a couple of weeks in China shovelling giant panda poo, and I now find myself less than three weeks away from boarding a plane to Bogota, Columbia. In at the deep end anyone?!

This trip is supposed to take me ‘outside my comfort zone’. Given that my comfort zone is expensive hotels, gourmet food, white beaches and giant margaritas, i’d say that one’s a ‘tick’. Four months of backpacks, overnight busses, 10-bed dorms and insects the size of juggernauts should be ‘character building’ if nothing else.

So it’s T minus 17 days, and i’m at home with mutant-flu feeling like something the cat threw up. Still, better now than on the overnight bus to Cartagena …!


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