In August 2008, I left my job and flew to Seattle to embark on a 6-week cycle ride down the West Coast of the USA, with a group of 15 people, finishing in San Diego.
I made my way to La Paz, Mexico, for a week of sea kayaking, and then continued my travels in South Mexico, Belize and Guatemala, before flying home for Christmas.
In January, I set off again for Tanzania to take on a 3-month volunteer project, teaching in a rural village in the West Usambara Mountains, before travelling around the country for a further month. I flew home on 1st May 2009.
I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures!
September 19th 2009
Hello again! I bet you thought you'd heard the last of Long Distance Laura. Well, I never got round to posting photos of the last phases of my trip: an unforgettable week on Zanzibar with my sister Rachel; a couple of crazy weeks travelling around Lake Victoria with my friend Yvonne; and going on safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. As most of you know, after a summer of freelancing, I am about to start a new full-time job at IMG Artists in West London, so it's time to knuckle down once more - until the next adventure. Some of the events that these photos encapsulate are now a distant, but incredibly happy, memory.... Enjoy the pictures - all three pages of them! And thank you for following my blog. Laura xxx ... read more
May 2nd 2009
Hello everyone, I'm home! I arrived back in the UK on Friday and am thoroughly enjoying Spring-time in Hereford so far. Really looking forward to catching up with you all soon. Take a look at where I spent the first 3 months of this year - there are 3 pages of photos here which I hope you enjoy! Laura xxx ... read more
April 18th 2009
Hello! I am having a few days' relaxation in Bukoba, on Lake Victoria in North Tanzania, and thought I would share some of my recent adventures with you. Two weeks ago, the day finally arrived when I had to leave Milingano and all the friends I have made there, and of course the children. It was an emotional moment, especially after several days of goodbye parties, singing, dancing and festivities. Even the four of us prepared a little goodbye song that we sang to the entire school and teaching staff, and I also conducted my school choir in a performance of their own, as well as getting the whole assembly singing a simple round that I had taught to the children over the weeks I was there. I think all of us felt that, although it ... read more
March 20th 2009
Hello! I have decided to write an update about my life here in Tanzania. Having had a bit of difficulty finding a computer that will upload my photos without my having to sit at it for several days, I have decided to post a quick entry without the photos, and then rectify the situation when I get home, as I just can't wait to show you all what it is like here in pictures as well as descriptions. Life here is about as different as it could be from living in Chalk Farm! It is intense, a bit mad, and forever fascinating. Also tiring sometimes. Pretty much nothing is easy, but at the same time, everything is interesting, and the chance to become part of an African community is something special so I am doing my ... read more
January 3rd 2009
Hello! Just a little message, this time from the UK, where I have been spending a hugely enjoyable two weeks, firstly catching up with my friends in London and then celebrating Christmas in Hereford with my family. We have had snow here and I have had to dig out all my winter clothes, hats and boots again. Our New Year festivities were great fun and I now have exactly a week left before I fly to Tanzania for Phase 2 of my adventures. I hope everyone had a merry Christmas and I wish you all a very happy and peaceful 2009. I will be in touch again from Africa! Lots of love Laura... read more
December 15th 2008
Hello! Firstly, the photo glitches in my last blog entry have now been fixed. I can´t believe that my travels in America have finally come to an end, and this time tomorrow I will be on a flight home. The last week has been really interesting so I wanted to do a final blog update to tell you a bit about it. For a couple of nights we stayed in Rio Dulce, Guatemala, in a hotel by the side of the river which is very scenic. The highlight of this period was our trip to some natural hot springs, where we sat in the cool water of the river underneath a HOT waterfall, enjoying this amazing, relaxing experience for as long as possible before it was time to take a boat ride back to the hotel, ... read more
December 7th 2008
Hi everyone! I am writing from Flores, Guatemala, where it is raining! Luckily this has been a VERY unusual occurrence while I have been travelling through North and Central America. Since I last wrote, I have seen many stunning parts of Mexico with my Intrepid group, travelled through Belize, including two days on Caye Caulker island where there are no cars and you can pad down the sandy streets in your bare feet, and have now arrived in Guatemala which on first impressions is a beautiful and friendly country. The group I am travelling with is loads of fun and we have done so many interesting things. We have hiked in the jungle, bombed through the Sumidera Canyon in a speed boat, visited several Mayan ruins including the famous Chichen Itza, snorkelled on the world´s second ... read more
November 21st 2008
Hola! A quick update on my adventures in Latin America! As hinted at in my previous entry, I managed to get out of La Paz for a day´s mountain biking last week, which was headed up by the very likeable Miguel of 'Baja Challenge'. Five of us cycled through some beautiful scenery in La Sierra de Laguna just south of La Paz, seeing Santiago on the way and finishing up at a beautiful natural pool with a waterfall. We swam and lunched and the braver ones jumped into the pool from the top of the waterfall - I was not one of them! After another day´s relaxing in La Paz it was time to fly to Mexico City for a night at the vibrant, busy hostel there - right in the city centre with a roof ... read more
November 10th 2008
Hello! Here I am reporting from hot, sunny Mexico. On arrival in La Paz just over a week ago, I actually wasn't very well, and had to spend a day in bed sweating off my mysterious illness - nothing life-threatening, luckily! That evening, I met my kayaking group for our briefing and the next day we set off on the speed boat for Isla Espiritu Santo, which is a totally undeveloped, volcanic island 18 miles away from the seaside town of La Paz, on the Baja California peninsula. The plan was to cicumnavigate it in our kayaks, camping on a different beach each night. Luckily, I managed to forget about feeling poorly for most of the time, and in the second half of the week I was almost back to my normal self, albeit with a ... read more
October 31st 2008
Hello Friends! I thought it was time to update you all on how I have been filling my time in the last couple of weeks, with none of my new cycling buddies to entertain me! I have got to know San Diego pretty well now, having spent lots of time here, enjoying the lovely hostels (I have tried out two of them now), relaxing and reading, making new friends, cooking some tasty meals, scooting around on my bike to visit the beaches, the zoo, the shops, the park, the Natural History Museum, walking some trails on the coast and even squeezing in a quick massage for the benefit of my poor overworked legs! And then guess what - I flew back to San Francisco! I was so taken with what little I saw of it when ... read more