It’s funny how when you travel for a living you start to lose track of time. Maybe this is something that happens in life in general as you get older, but it seems accentuation in travel. I came back to Ecuador after over a year and a half since my last visit expecting everything to be exactly how I left it. Only to find my favourite restaurant has shut down, my favourite pub has moved, and one of my favourite places in the world, the Shangri-La Lodge in Tena, has burned to the ground.
It’s sad sometimes realizing that things keep moving even when you’re away. It doesn’t really feel like it should be happening, it’s like life is moving on without you. But then, it usually comes to you, you’re moving on too. You’ve changed since you left, you’re different now as well.
The first time I set foot in Quito was two and a half years ago, I was fresh out of University and struggling to find my way. I’m all grown up now: a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a little bit more guided on my life’s path. However, I still wonder if Quito looks at me and my changes. Does it worry that I no longer look at it with such wonderous eyes? Is it disappointed that I no longer fight to see every little gem it holds? Does if feel neglected since I’ve taken so much time between visits?
I begin to think about all the other destinations in the world that I’ve loved and left behind. I wonder how much they’ve changed. I wonder how much I’ve changed as well. Would Cusco, Peru still make me feel like I’m living in a history book? Do the girls there still hassle every person walking past for a massage? Would Rio de Janerio still take my breath away with it’s beauty? Does the sun still set in a red glow on Ipanema Beach?
You see I think the reality is beginning to set in that I am about to leave South America, and this time for a very long time. Who knows how long it will be between visits to Quito. Will I ever see Quito again? Unlike a friend or a family member, you can’t skype a travel destination. When you drop that connection you drop it for good, or at least until your next visit.
Ecuador will always have a seat reserved in my heart. I have made so many friends here and have had so many great experiences that it will never be forgotten. Regardless of whether I am in Ghana, Australia, Japan, or France I will never forget it. Because the truth is that although we might change, and the destination might change, nothing can take away the experiences we’ve had.
This past week there was no newsletter because I was off in the Galapagos Islands playing with the wildlife. I had an absolutely amazing time on a trip with Gecko’s Adventures. Click here to see my photos of the Galapagos Islands. The first time I was in Quito I looked at people going to the Galapagos Islands and thought to myself that I’d probably never have the chance to go; I didn’t have the money. Now, I realize that anything is possible, and no destination is off limits.
When I was preparing to go to Antarctica I met an Aussie that taught me that if you really want to go somewhere there is always a way. He couldn’t afford a trip so he worked out a deal with a ship captain that let him go on the trip if he swept the boat every morning and evening. If you really want it, there is always a way.
I am off to the jungle to see if I can help my friends at the Shangri-La and then back to Colombia before heading home for the December. I am dreaming of a warm December, but after 3 winters away I think anything will feel cold for me.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this week’s content online. The digital magazine is coming along nicely and will be available very soon.
Stay safe and never stop exploring, no matter where you are.
Your editor in chief,
Brendan van Son
This editor’s note is just a small part of a larger weekly Quick Mag Newsletter. If you sign up for the Quick Mag you’ll receive the next digital magazine free. To sign up check the magazine subscription options.