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A year on the road in photos…

Live the life you've imagined

It’s 365 days since we stepped out of our empty London home onto the early morning streets of Peckham and made our way to Rio. Twelve months and twelve countries later, we’re in Mexico with no intention of stopping our travels. It’s been an epic year and, short of reading the blog in its entirety, I think the best way to tell it is in photos…

Packing up house in Peckham

It began in Peckham, a corner of London feared by many and adored by others. Steve and I are in the fan club, but after one too many grey days, crowded tubes, and daydreams of the wider world, it was time to pack up our house and say goodbye.

Rainbow favela

Our first stop was Rio where we instantly fell in love with a city that remains our favourite. With an unmatched joie d’vivre, Rio captivated us with its heady mix of beach, jungle, favelas and riotous samba nights. It’s the antithesis of a British prude.

Ilha Grande trek

For the months previous to our departure, I’d spent much of it staring at a screensaver by Yann Arthus Bertrand on my workplace desktop. It showed a single pink tree amid a sea of green. The daydream came true when we went to Ilha Grande, and little coloured trees dotted the verdant jungle.

Beach at Trindade

Trindade, just down the coast from Paraty, was an accidental , and welcome find that I stumbled across when searching for a yoga retreat. If it hadn’t been for the paltry internet, we may have stayed months.

Birth of Bridges and Balloons

After time in nature, Sao Paulo, the concrete forest, came as quite a shock and was made all the more testing by an encounter with bedbugs – perhaps the itchiest critters known to man. Despite the trials, we loved it, especially our wonderful couchsurfing hosts whose house is where this blog was born.

Blue geometrica graffiti Sao Paulo

One of the things that comes to mind when reflecting on Brazil is the plethora of awesome street art, especially in São Paulo, where walking the city is as good as a trip to the contemporary art museum.

Another fine rainbow at Iguazu

Eventually it was time to leave Brazil – a country we adored but found prohibitively expensive – so we left for Buenos Aires, stopping en-route at the mighty Iquazu Falls where the catchphrase ‘Excellent Splendour of the Universe‘ instantly came to mind.

Couchsurfing with Roberto

A splattering of mayonaise, swiftly followed by a friendly face, greeted us in Argentina’s capital where we spent the first few days with a couchsurfing friend I had first met three years before in Barcelona. I set up home in the city for six weeks while Steve went off to California to film some interviews for Continuum.

Oui Oui hot chocolate

Much of my time was spent drinking submarines and…

From the balcony at Libros del Pasaje

…whiling away days in bookshop cafes, oscillating between wild optimism and panic about what the future held, eventually settling in the present.

Victoria learning tango at La Catedral

Upon Steve’s return, we couldn’t leave without first taking a tango lesson.

The fallen ice-bridge, Perito Moreno

But then it was on to Patagonia, and the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier.

Alfajores and Whisky

Whiskey, alfajores and a natural wonder of the world made for one of the most memorable days yet.

Filming timelapses above El Chalten

We almost didn’t risk El Chalten, fearing the winter weather might make it impossible. In fact, it made it better – with the arrival of snow clearing the clouds and startling us with the town’s beauty. Steve took the opportunity to film some timelapse footage for Continuum.

In the moment

We also made sure to stop and take the time to appreciate the stillness.

Whale watching in Puerto Madryn

Our final stop in patagonia was Puerto Madryn where we took a gamble and travelled for 48 hours on a bus for a slim chance of seeing whales. The universe conspired in our favour and made for an incredible day in the company of magnificence.

Sippin a Malbec above the vineyard near Mendoza

Mendoza welcomed us with wine, absinthe and the hospitality of couchsurfer Patrick who had stayed with us in Peckham the year before. We followed up with Cordoba, another of Argentina’s cities, and some more couchsurfing – this time with a pagan and a psychologist with whom we spent time pondering about why so many Argentines are in therapy.

Victoria and Steve horseriding at Capilla del Monte

The couchsurfers’ tips sent us to Capilla del Monte in search of nature and UFOs. In the end, I found courage.

Pena at the Casona del Molino 1

After a burst of travel, it was time to settle for some time and knuckle down to a period of work. We chose Salta, home to Leigh and Noah of Cloudhead Art who we had met at a Puerta Cerrada in Buenos Aires. The town’s excellent folklorico scene helped seal the deal and we stayed for two months.

Mate above San Lorenzo, outside Salta

It was a time filled with meriendas, mate and a far too many visits to the dentist.

Building a garden in a Wichi village, Argentina

We also volunteered with a Cloudhead project, helping build gardens with people from the Wichi tribe in Northern Argentina.

Steve, Lila and Victoria

Eventually it was time to say goodbye to our new friends and leave for Chile’s San Pedro de Atacama, home to some of the world’s clearest sky.

Galaxy above San Pedro

It didn’t disappoint.

Climbing the sandboarding dune in San Pedro de Atacama

…and sandboarding was thrilling entertainment for the daytime.

Cairn on Salr de Uyuni

The adventure town was the perfect departure point for a tour of Bolivia’s salt flats, which took us through three mystical days of coloured lagoons, geysers and the dreamlike salar itself.

Witch in La Paz

La Paz was perhaps the most striking city we’ve ever encountered, nestled into a sea of mountains at dizzying heights. Some turn to witches for altitude remedies, we chose Coroico, a town just outside the city tucked into the stunning Cordilleras and at a much more palatable elevation than La Paz.

Alaya at Sol y Luna Coroico

In Coroico, we stayed in one of the most beautiful rooms we’ve ever come across, charmingly decorated, and with breathtaking views.

Steve and Nina-690x966

We also met some friendly creatures at the local animal refuge. This spider monkey named Nina took a particular liking to Steve.

Steve and sunset on isla del sol

Our final stop in Bolivia was Copacabana and Lake Titicaca where we took a boat to Isla del Sol, birthplace of the Incas. It’s a magical place with a serenity that’s catching.

From Bolivia, we headed to Cusco in Peru for ten days, a town we had fallen for three years before. We mostly walked around enjoying the vibe, eating good food, and failing to take many photos.

Winos in Porto

Our next stop marked a fork in the road. Steve went on as planned to Ecuador while I made an unexpected detour to Porto for the Travel Bloggers Unite conference. It was a detour filled with friends, old and new. I spent 24 hours in London waiting for a connecting flight and made a whistle-stop tour of family and friends, then went on to find plenty of kindred spirits at TBU and the subsequent port-filled blog trip to the Douro Valley. To top it, two of my favourite friends from home came out after the conference to join me for a few days of sun, markets and even more port.

Bloggers on the steps in Girona at TBEX

Still on my detour, I travelled to Spain where I met even more of my favourite bloggers and put my liver to the test at the Blog House in Besalu, followed by TBEX in Girona. Conundrums ensued about the nature of marketing blogs. The final stop was my beloved Barcelona and a joyful reunion with more friends.

Vilcabamba valley - land of conspiracy theorists

After three weeks it was back to South America to join Steve in Ecuador where we based ourselves in Vilcabamba for a month, a town full of health food and conspiracy theorists. It was also where the saga of the mole took place.

Karmapa in Continnuum

In seemingly no time at all, it was time for another fork and Steve took off to India to film an interview for Continuum. He planned to be gone for a week but ended up staying a month while chasing the film’s most elusive interviewee yet – His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. With a name like that, I think you can imagine how worth it the chase was.

Yoga teachers and students at yoga teacher training

During that time, I went to Mexico to complete my yoga teacher training course – a choice I’d made to deepen my practice, but which transformed me into a teacher. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, not least because it led us to San Pancho…

Controlling the sea

…which is where I’m writing this from now, high on my love for this tiny town that we’ve come to call home. Luckily, when Steve returned from India, he fell for it much as I have, and we’ve now been here three months and will stay for another two, working on Continuum and teaching yoga.

New York

Since being here, we’ve barely left the town apart from a birthday trip to Yelapa, and Steve took a short trip to New York to film a little more and to launch his company’s short film Overview at Harvard. It’s been met with an incredible response including more than a million hits on Vimeo. Needless to say, I’m wildly proud, and can tell you that the follow-up feature film, which he’s currently editing, is set to blow people’s minds. Check out the trailer and you’ll see.

So that takes us up to the here and now – San Pancho 2013 as a yoga teacher and a successful filmmaker in a community we adore. It’s a blissful end to an epic year, and we have nothing but excitement for what comes next.

Thank you for following our journey. All your comments and support delight us daily. Namaste amigos, and here’s to the next 12 months…

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Comments

    • Victoria says

      Thanks Lucie. We should be there but not 100% sure right now – it all depends on a few logistical things. But hopefully see you there!

  1. says

    Hi guys,

    I wish I had found your blog at the start of your adventures. I would have loved to been following all the way through.

    My husband and I are 360 days in and like you, we see no end in sight. I had no idea how many others there were out there living a nomadic life. I think its so amazing that so many people are following their heart and living their dream life like we are. I wish more people would do it!

    Congrats on such an amazing year and Im really excited to read about where your next 365 days take you!
    Nicole @ Suitcase Stories recently posted..How my life went from ordinary to extraordinaryMy Profile

    • Victoria says

      Lovely to hear from some kindred spirits. Thanks for getting in touch! And good luck with your journey too :)

  2. says

    Wow Victoria, it’s amazing to read through your last year like that! You and Steve have had a truly incredible time (and I’m so happy I was around for a bit of it in the middle!). Truly stunning photos and reminders of the adventures you’ve got up to. Can’t wait for the next year and just as many fascinating stories!
    Flora recently posted..The Roof Dogs of QuitoMy Profile

    • Victoria says

      Thansk Flora. It was great meeting you in Porto/Girona. Hope all is well in Ecuador. I’m enjoying following the adventures :)

  3. says

    You really have had a spectacular year! I love how you have managed to see such insane diversity in such a short amount of time, I guess that is South America for you though!
    I especially love the picture of you on the beach- it looks like the sunset is coming from your fingertips!! Very cool.
    Jade

  4. says

    Congratulations on a life well lived – what a spectacular year you guys have shared. It has been an absolute joy to follow your adventures through your stunning words and images. I look forward to crossing paths with you both one day, hopefully in the not too distant future :)
    Hannah recently posted..Silver linings notebookMy Profile

    • Victoria says

      We do hope so. Thanks so much for all your support Hannah. You know I’m a huge fan of your blog too. Let’s hope it’s not too long til we cross paths.

  5. says

    Looks like a great year! I hope to travel to South America next year and was just inspired x10 to do so.

    I can’t wait to tune into your future adventures!

  6. says

    Wow guys! Congratulations!!! It is so nice to read about kindred spirits.

    We have backed the film and so hope it hits the target. It has to be seen by everyone!!!

    THAT photo of the night sky in Chile has made me want to go right now.

    Keep up the good work.
    Peace & Love,
    Paul

    • Victoria says

      Thanks so much Paul. It means a lot to us that people back the film. It won’t get made without people like you! Thank you :)

  7. says

    This is such a beautiful and inspiring post! I only just found your blog, but I wish I had been following it for the past year! I’m hoping to complete a yoga teacher training course sometime in the future-I wouldn’t have initially thought of Mexico as a destination to try it :-)
    Casey recently posted..Padangbai Barong Dance: An Exorcism CeremonyMy Profile

    • Victoria says

      Neither would I, but I was delighted to find it. San Pancho turned out to be the perfect destination!

  8. Kalista says

    I am so inspired by your journey, your stories, and your photos. I look forward to reading and seeing more of your adventures in the year ahead!

  9. says

    What an incredible year, and better yet, the photos that accompany it.

    Writing a blog is as much about documenting the awesome things that you both get the opportunity to do, but it also serves as a great chance to promote to people the possibility that anyone & everyone is able to do the same.

    You guys are a great example, and I’m sure many people will want to come join you over the next 365 days.
    Dale recently posted..Our Favourite Things – Vancouver IslandMy Profile

  10. says

    congratulations on your 365 days. I wanna do that someday with my partner. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Which place did you like the most?

  11. says

    Hey Victoria!
    I just started following your blog–a week ago I went to the very beginning and read every post–and I love it! I love living vicariously through you and your awesome adventures. I think my favorite post was when you talked about having a moment of panic and questioning why you would quit your job, what you were doing etc. I have been planning to travel after I graduate this May and that is EXACTLY the type of stuff that goes on in my head.
    I am so excited to keep following you and hear what y’all do next!
    Cate recently posted..Alive and..My Profile

  12. Farideh says

    Victoria …what an amazing journey .
    Your photos are great

    I am leaving for Ecuador in a month .

    I look forward to having a lot of joy visiting other parts of the world with its beautiful people .Which part of the world are you now?

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