One month ago I returned from a trip where I visited 3 different countries in 5,5 weeks: 1,5 weeks in Miami, 2 weeks in Mexico and 2 weeks in Guyana. Prior to making my decision to travel I was experiencing wanderlust for the first time in my life, and to be honest, I really needed the break. I had too many existential open-ended questions about my life and figured that some soul-searching would do me good. I had some savings and my nursing summer job was ending in the fall, which created a perfect gap for me to escape.
As an impulsive person my travel plans changed from week to week depending on my mood. When I was feeling adventurous I planned on backpacking through Vietnam alone. When I felt like I wanted my trip to be about self-reflection and writing, I researched the Trans-Siberian train ride. When I was feeling extremely confident, I thought of joining these two ideas together: I would first take the Trans-Siberian train all the way to China, maybe stopping on the way in Mongolia, then take the express train from Shanghai to Hanoi, backpack from Hanoi down to Ho Chi Minh and finally fly to the little island of Phu Quoc just outside the coast of Vietnam. Impressive, huh? Yeeah, didn’t happen.
I ended up choosing a completely different direction. Instead of going to Asia I bought a plane ticket to South America. I hadn’t seen my Guyanese family in 3 years and I missed them; a lot had happened in 3 years and I needed to update face to face. I added Miami to my list since my cousin Shaun and his wife Waheeda lived there and I really needed a "big brother hug". My last travel stop came about when I bumped into an old high school friend of mine in Finland. Belen, as a proud Latina, urged me to visit her and her family in Mexico, since "I was in the neighbourhood" and Mexico was the “best country in the world”.
So, it was set! My travel plan was to first visit Miami for a week, fly to Mexico for two weeks, fly back to Miami, spend a night, fly to Guyana the next day for two weeks and fly back to Miami for a couple of days and finally return to Finland. Not nearly as exciting as my original plan, but it was almost as complicated. Besides, it was typical for me to start out with an extravaganza, over the top idea, realize that I was being completely delusional and end up choosing a more practical game plan. Typical #artistlife.
Prior to leaving, I felt that this was going to be a journey that would bring me closer to my roots, make me feel more independent and just force me out of my comfort zone to be more open to the world and ultimately to myself. And I was completely right. To read further about my revelations during my semi-crazy Latina trip, keep following my posts. First destination: Miami!
Photos by Kai Kuusisto @kaikuusistophotography