Turning My Back On the South American Dream


How good are you at making tough decisions? I’m terrible at it, I ignore the problem until the decision is either taken out of my hands or until I am left with no option but to make a choice. It’s a flaw that I’ve had for years, but I’ll be damned if I cannot work on changing it. In the last 18 months I’ve done exactly that, seek to change. I painfully ended my relationship with my partner of over a decade. I left my job of 13  years and I made the decision to leave my family behind to see the World.


The plan was originally to stay in Mexico City for 6 months, embrace the culture, learn the language and seek to improve myself in foreign surroundings. After returning to Mexico following Mum’s illness I decided that life was too short and I decided to travel through South America with one of my  best friends, something I’d dreamed of since I was a child. The plan was to blow every penny I had travelling through Central America and all the way down to Ushuaia in Argentina, after which I’d return to Mexico City then onto the UK, get a job and finish my degree.

Somewhere around El Salvador I had a revelation, I don’t want to go and get a job, I want independence, could I possibly do what many have done before and create a career on the internet? A location free existence. I’m forever the romantic and these thoughts first dawned on me as I stood atop Pacaya volcano watching the sun go down, who wouldn’t want to do these adventures whenever the fancy took them? I have friends who do exactly what I’m talking about so I’m well positioned to tap them for knowledge, I just never really realised it was what I wanted.

'The Dawning' by Anthony Middleton
‘The Dawning’ by Anthony Middleton

As my travels continued through Nicaragua I knew the decision was creeping up on me, I had to be shrewd and swift with my decision-making and my options were to either continue with the trip and go for broke or head back to Mexico City and put the work in. The further South I got the more expensive it would be to get back to the UK or to Mexico City so the decision had to be made. I had no intention of staying in Central America as you may have seen in my last post and when I arrived in Costa Rica, it was decision time.

I weighed up all pros and cons, tried to strip the emotion away from the decision, took advice and then decided to head back to Mexico City. I didn’t want to be the guy who went for a cool trip once, I want to be the guy who lived life on his terms. My friend made a wonderful point during the decision making process, truth versus ego, maybe you suffer from this?

Gradgrind wouldn't stand for stand for such indecision.
Gradgrind wouldn’t stand for stand for such indecision.

Basically instead of looking at emotive areas like disappointment or how your decision will appear to people, take the Thomas Gradgrind approach and look at the cold, hard facts, this is where your decision lies, use nothing but ruthless pragmatism and you’ll get your answer.

I may very well fail to create a living online, it isn’t easy, but at least I can look back and say I tried. On the other hand this may well be the greatest decision I’ve ever made, the moment where I put my flag in the ground and claimed my life as my own where I make the decisions, I choose the terms and I create the facts.


2 thoughts on “Turning My Back On the South American Dream

  1. Stu you’re an inspiration,missed totally at work but thankfully can keep up thru social media,well done on all your decision do far and good luck with the future,take care live and hugs xxx

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