My dear friend advised me that by the end of my trip I will forget I ever lived in the UK.
Maybe after a year! Three weeks is short enough to remember what sushi tastes like. I am a true Londoner who would love to live in South America provided that I have the same luxuries that I am used to!
I am a self confessed Nandos snob, yet a half chicken extra hot with spicy rice sounds tantalizing right now. I went for a walk to the bottom of the garden (that’s how far my walks go in this heat) and discovered four chickens in all of their peri-peri goodness staring down at me from the top of a tree. Who even knew that they could fly?
I’ve tried my hardest to switch off from social media and enjoy my holiday, but there are a lot of slow times, and I guess I’m just not used to not being busy. In London it’s not uncommon to pack 5/6 tasks into one day travelling across the place; over here I’m lucky if I leave the house for more than one reason in a day! However I am enjoying the peacefulness of the village, and I can completely see why many choose to come back to retire here.
I’m really proud of myself for throwing myself into the Guyanese way of living, including fishing, food shopping and driving. And I finally have the hang of driving without fear of my life! The traffic lights however will forever cease to amaze me. Going by the reactions of other drivers, I’ve worked out that:
- Red means stop. I guess. Unless someone is waving you to go, then you can go.
- Flashing red means go, because you should stop, but no one is around so it’s fine.
- Flashing amber means go.
- Flashing green means go.
- Green means go.
It’s quite simple really?!
One thing I did struggle with was finding things to do as a tourist in Guyana. They’re not so digitally advanced and there aren’t many websites for tourism companies, and if they exist, there isn’t a great deal of information.
After a long time searching, I came across a bird tour along the river Mahaica. I was hesitant at first, as I associate bird watching with old men staring at pigeons with binoculars because they have nothing better to do in their gardens. But like everything – nature in South America is like no other. I am so glad I went! The Mahaica river is home to over 50 different species of birds, and I saw so many!
It was truly spectacular and I cannot believe that these tropical birds come in so many different colours and sizes. An expat couple from London and currently living in Barbados joined us on the tour and commented that they have never experienced nature like this in Barbados. I am proud of my country!
My favourite was the Scarlet ibis, you could spot it’s lovely red from a mile off!
I want to keep them in my non-existent garden!
One thing that I love about the Scarlet ibis is that if they are locked in a cage, they lose their vibrant red and fade to a very dull pink. To me this associates freedom with vibrancy, and that’s exactly what Guyana looks like. Many of the people who relocate back to Guyana describe it as being in a country where they feel “free” as opposed to locked in a cage in a first world city.
Well it beats a London pigeon any day.
I will definitely miss the warmth and the sun (when it’s not trying to ruin my life). I will also miss the the community spirit here in the village. Imagine living back on campus, or for those that didn’t attend university; in an estate with all your friends living next door. It is so lovely to be able to walk down the road or sit outside on the balcony greeting everyone that walks past. EastEnders may have fooled you, but that just does not happen in London.
Guyana, it’s been great, I’ve had fun, I’ve laughed, I’ve eaten far too much and drunk my body weight in diabetes ridden fizziness… until next time!
Lizzy shares her lifestyle and opinions whilst travelling around the world.
Not only is she a young, career-focused professional, she’s a Starbucks and Zara enthusiast.
She’d like to settle down and have kids, but all in good time.