It all started at university, if I remember rightly Mole (Tom - no prizes for guessing why he was called mole!), Pat and myself sat round and promised each other we would travel the world together.
I think at the time we were naive enough to think it would happen, but one thing led to another and well, it all fell to the wayside. And those two chumps let me go it solo (not strictly true - As I have the company of my wonderful girlfriend).
Anyway, from that moment on it was ingrained in my head. I wanted to travel, qualify as a PE teacher and travel. I just wasn't too keen on the usual routine. You know.. finish studying... get a job... mortgage... marriage... family... Don't get me wrong there's nothing wrong with that, I just don't think I would have been able to live with myself if I didn't at least give travelling a go. Once it was in my head I had to go out an expirence it first hand, luckily I met Emma who had the same views!
Little did I know at the time of choosing my career path, it would open so many doors. Being a teacher pretty much gives a skill that every country in the world needs and being able to teach English as a foreign language is even better. For some reason people love the English language. Now I'm still not 100% set on being a teacher, but it's defiantly opened up some doors for me, so I'm glad I chose it. And I do owe a big thank you to those who supported & inspired me along the way!
The day to leave came around a lot quicker than I thought it would. With Dad living over in Northern Ireland we said our goodbyes a week earlier, we've got use to not seeing each other for long periods so it was all still pretty normal. On the day it was a weird feeling, to me the atmosphere felt funeral like, I didn't enjoy it all, I mean we were only going to be a flight and phone call away so I didn't see the big deal. But anyway Mum accompanied me to the airport, about an hours drive down to Heathrow. Emma brought along her mum, dad and sister. Not a tear shed between mum and I. Emma will tell you that I'm emotionally dead to the world and she's probably right, I personally just don't really like a big fuss that's all! Emma and her family on the other hand, I think they recreated the river Nile in Heathrow airport. It's probably a very familiar scene to the airport staff and even though she'll kill me I can't help but laugh about it now!
And so there it was, decision made, everything I owned on my back, through security - a flight to Ecuador awaited.