The first significant leg of my journey has been from the UK, through France by coach and train, and then slowly through Spain with my friend Ben in his van (and home), Jemima.
Now I am sitting on a ferry from Cadiz to Lanzarote, a journey of 31 hours, with very limited on board entertainment (a cafeteria and an overhead TV showing Jamie Oliver in Italy with no sound which only serves to make me hungry two hours before dinner is served.)
It would have been significantly easier, quicker, and considerably cheaper to fly direct to Lanzarote from the UK, but I chose to go the slow route, and aim to avoid flights if I possibly can. Why? A few reasons, really. I have always liked the idea of setting out from home, and seeing and experiencing the landscape around me change as I travel through it. I want to feel the sun getting warmer on my skin, the days getting longer as I wind my way south. I want to watch the environment change around me, from mountains to plains of olive trees as far as the eye can see, then to coastal valleys of avocados, orange groves, vines, and endless blocks of hotels along the Costa del Sol.
I don’t like the convenience or low cost of flights, considering their real-world cost and impact on the environment (yes, I do know that coaches and ferries emit carbon too, as does driving a van the length of Spain).
Finally, I was once told that when you fly somewhere, it takes a while for your soul to catch up with you. It has stuck with me. I very much want my soul to be with me every step of the way on this journey.