Today’s blog comes from Liz who flew off on her first great adventure 10 years ago…
The 31st Jan 2005 was the day I got on the plane for my post-uni big trip. I’d booked to go to a conservation project in Belize and, when I was sent my STA ticket a few days before jetting off, I found I’d been seated next to some random guy. For 10 hours. I distinctly remember speaking to my mum about it and thinking “why on earth is this Christopher Peacock on my ticket?! I hope he’s nice, I’ve got to sit next to him”…
Turns out we were both 22, both heading to the same project and, well, we hit it off. Big time. In Belize we lived in the jungle for 2 months and spent our days with 20 other volunteers wielding giant machetes (highly romantic). The project was a jaguar sanctuary and we were cutting a boundary around the conservation area to try and help prevent poachers getting in and killing the wildlife. It was the definition of roughing it, sleeping in hammocks, sitting by the fire every night and chatting away to tune of the buzzing insects.
After 2 months in the wilderness Chris and I decided we just hadn’t spent enough time together – so he changed his flights to match mine and we spent two months travelling Central America. Diving in Honduras, making our way through Mexico for a bit, lazing by clear blue lagoons…it was a tough time to be alive.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
We came home to London and crashed back to reality. Joining the daily grind we worked for a couple of years as media planner and copywriter and saved saved saved. What for? More travel of course!
First to South America, back to Belize (the scene of the crime) and onwards to see more of Central America for 10 months. Then we moved to New Zealand and lived in a van.
A nice roomy campervan with 2 bedrooms and a on a lakeside you ask? Well not quite – he was a tiny Toyota Hiace called Ted but he did often have a sea view. We had a double bed in the back with a little stove to cook with. For the first few months we were working and it was tough (we hadshower at the gym) but on the road it was amazing. We’d drive and drive and park up by the beach and sleep and wake to the sound of crashing waves and the open road. All wonderful of course till we got to Queenstown and it was so cold that there was ice on the inside of the windows!
Warmer climes called so we headed to Australia to live and work for some time before moving on to Asia where Chris proceeded to break his knee playing football on the beach (I was furious, we had mountains to climb) necessitating an early return home. After 2 and half years. As I said it’s a tough life.
It’s 10 years since I first boarded that plane and sat next to “that guy”. We married last year and used our conservation machetes to cut the cake.
I remember back in 2005 thinking that, if I met a nice guy in the jungle, he must be the one as…well quite frankly I looked bloody horrible the whole time! I knew that if someone could like me there he could probably like me anywhere. Or, as it turned out, everywhere.
As told to Anna Corbett.
We were so in love when we heard Liz and Chris’ story that we just had to share it with you all. Thanks for being such good sports guys!