I can hardly believe we have been here in Goa for a whole month already. Not because the time has flown by, because it hasn’t, we’ve moved gently with it, like floating dreamily down stream. I just still find it a little hard to believe that this is my life. I’m not on holiday; I have no fixed plans, and no return date. It’s a sense of freedom so vast it’s almost unreal, like wrapping your head around the infinite magnitude of space. It’s mind-blowing.
There is such ease to life here, and I have little to worry about beyond the recent discovery of my first grey hair, which horrified me I might add. But I suppose things can never be completely perfect.
Or maybe they can. Because ten days ago this happened:
Our adopted cat Safi had kittens. We had only discovered she was pregnant two days before she gave birth, and suddenly there they were, three tiny little mice-like babies ready to make sure I never leave our lovely little house, and distract me from getting any work done whatsoever.
It turns out, however, that new born kittens are actually less entertaining than I thought, so I have happily begun to fall into a routine with my writing instead, something I was never able to do back home in England with my 80+ hour work week and lack of organisational skills.
I am also continuing my graphic design work, and have been fortunate enough to secure some very exciting freelance projects to help make our travels a little more indefinite. I recently completed a website re-design for the lovely Monica McCarthy, and hope to continue to grow this side of my career as a digital nomad.
I have also been working alongside my team mates Kim and Sarah to promote our participation in the Rickshaw Run, a charity mission that will see us driving 3,500km across India in an auto-rickshaw. In a little under two months time we will be starting the engine on our (hopefully) trusty hunk of metal, and puttering our way across the Rajasthani desert, headed south across the sub-continent towards Cochin in Kerala.
The three of us have spent a lot of time developing our blog, Rickshaw Run Diaries, which charts every aspect of our forthcoming adventure, and trying to raise as much money as we can for our elected charity, FRANK Water.
We are thrilled to have already hit the 56% mark in our bid to raise £2000 GBP (roughly $3,200 USD) for FRANK Water, and are hugely grateful to everyone who has donated via our JustGiving page so far. Your incredible generosity will enable FRANK Water to provide clean drinking water to some of the poorest communities in India.
We have also secured some amazing support from a select group of companies we feel very proud to be working with, and who will be helping us cover the substantial costs of the expedition. At this point I feel it only right to give them all a big shout-out as a very small sign of our deep gratitude:
KEEN is an active outdoor company that manufactures eco-friendly shoes, bags and socks, and adheres to an admirable mix of work, play and giving back. KEEN calls this way of living the HybridLife and they design their products accordingly.
We are very excited to be working with KEEN, a brand we all love, and are extremely proud to announce that we have been appointed official KEEN Ambassadors. Not only will we be decked out in KEEN shoes, bags and socks while rattling along on our rickshaw, but KEEN is also providing us with a great big duffle bag full of children’s shoes to donate as we make our way across India.
Wimdu provides travellers with private accommodation all over the world with their catalogue of over 50,000 properties, giving you the opportunity to travel like a local by offering accommodation off the beaten track, from shared flats to apartments to houseboats. Wimdu also provides the opportunity for you to rent out your own home and make money whilst helping other people explore your corner of the world.
Wimdu will graciously be providing accommodation for us at the end of our epic road trip, enabling us to rest our weary bodies, reunite with our partners, write for their blog and update you all on our experience in comfort.
Atlas Cruises and Tours
Atlas Cruises and Tours is a travel agency with an impressive 25 years of experience, enabling them to help you find the perfect holiday on any budget. They work exclusively with the most reputable companies, and have a wide destination section where you can research tours and cruises to the world’s best locations.
Sykes Cottages is the UK’s leading independent holiday cottage rental agency, supplying top quality accommodation in the UK and Ireland for over 25 years. In that time they’ve grown from a small family business to a highly respected national agency with over 3,500 properties available for rent, catering to all tastes and budgets.
Hostelbookers prides itself on being the only independent hostel booking site that doesn’t charge a booking fee. With youth hostels and cheap hotels in over 3,500 destinations worldwide, they aim to be the number one provider of cheap accommodation to travellers of all ages.
Spending time sat comfortably on my backside and working on all these inspiring projects has undoubtedly contributed to my recent bottom troubles, but despite this, the past month really has been wonderful. We’ve done things in our own way, and at our own pace, and I have loved every minute of it.
In the coming weeks we will be stepping things up a notch, and are planning a road trip to explore north Goa, trekking the jungles of Karnataka, revisiting the world heritage site of Hampi, and celebrating Diwali with our new Indian friends. I am also hoping to finalise a volunteer placement with a local charity that rescues young girls from the sex-trafficking industry, but more on that later.
Our first joyful month on the road has been the perfect antidote to the past two years of hard work, sacrifice, planning and saving, and I feel grateful every day that I get to wake up and live each moment on my own terms.
I am also hugely grateful to all of our family and friends for their unwavering support and encouragement, and to all of you lovely people out there reading my blog. You have changed my life in more ways than you can ever realise.
Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart.
I can’t wait to share our next month of adventures with you all, and the many months that will hopefully follow.