The start of the trip - a reflection

Trip Start Feb 14, 2006
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Trip End Dec 15, 2006


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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Welcome, welcome

So, here we go - the commencement of my first blog. As many know I am already 6 months into the trip so the the start of my blog will be a bit of a retrospective.

I better introduce myself - my name is James and I'm a doctor who used to work in a big hospital in Melbourne, Australia. I am travelling with another big-hospital doctor called Lousie (this was actually a serious typo - her name is Louise). Amazingly, she is still my girlfriend after 6 months of social mistakes like that.

Why are we here? We are both very junior and lowly doctors in Australia - remember the first season of Scrubs and you have a good summary of our previous lives. Both of us had spent years dreaming of the time when we could give up all our responsibilities and travel the world. However, after 8 years of nothing but medicine it was with a huge amount of excitement, trepidation and downright terror that we both sent in our letters of resignation and decided the life of a backpack and guidebook were better than holding a retractor for 7 hours straight whilst operating on a man's rectum.

So, on the 14th of February we said our respective goodbyes to sobbing parents and boarded a plane to Santiago, Chile. I would love to say the start of our trip was a real success but, quite frankly, after 24 hours together we were fighting so much we were ready to break up. I remember lying in bed on wondering how the hell I was going to get out of this relationship and I know she was thinking the same thing. It is a really special feeling when one is less than a day into a year-long trip with your lover and best friend and you are already wondering how well she would fare on her own.

The anger, it must be said, was partly attributable to Santiago. Never has there been a capital city that says 'why bother' the way Santiago does. It has the wonderful ability of being able to strip ones desire to travel away from you. This had obviously happened to some others we met there - an Austraian bloke we met in the hostel remarked 'I got here 3 months ago, got drunk, and...well... I'm still here'. He hated Santiago and spoke no spanish. Basically sums that city up to a tee.

Santiago was not somewhere we would stay long - It was only a short time before we would be off again - stay tuned for the next exciting update of Latin America 2006!!!!
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