A journey that started 3 months ago

After living 6 years in the UK, I felt that it was time to come back home, to my family, to my friends, to my own country…however, as I was about to turn 31 I thought the best way would be to do a bit of travelling first; now, after 3 months I am in Thailand, while Pistorius is about to be sentenced, Morales was reelected in Bolivia and Ebola (apparently being worst than black death or western countrie’s invasions) is spreading around the world like a fast food chain and getting everyone alarmed.

Shakespeare’s Globe, London

But before leaving the English capital, two things had to be made. First, finally going to the Shakespeare’s Globe by the River Thames and spending 3 hours standing at the yard, while watching the actors performing well known plays written by the famous poet and trying to avoid the summer sun that on the day I was there it was scorching; secondly, doing something good for somebody else, a selfless act that would start my journey on the right way and Macmillan Cancer Support seemed to be the best non-profit organization to help.


So after a night when I said goodbye to all my friends in London and I also celebrated my 31st birthday (which I did not tell anyone about), I left that amazing land that accepted me in 2008 and that after educating me and making me a more open-minded an cultured person (as I like to think), released me into the wild, as a homeless and jobless man, to travel the world and write everything about it in here.

Skelleftea’s airport way out, Sweden

Consequently, the first bit was from London Stansted to the small town of Skelleftea in Sweden. To take pictures and notes about everything I was seeing was the plan, as with an old friend of mine we had decided to create a blog, a website that could talk about places and news from a different perspective, not as a travel platform but as an alternative to the mainstream media. Hence, www.the34thminer.com was born.

But those were nice times…end of July 2014, still really warm in Scandinavia and the trip by land from Skelleftea to Helsinki (through the EuroCity of Tornio/Haparanda) was a delight.

Trans-border conurbation marketed as “Euro-city” (according to Wikipedia…)

Helsinki’s Street Artists, Finland

Then, a few relaxing weeks in the Finnish capital with my family (having a nice trip to Tallinn in between), to recover from years of hard hospitality work in the UK (50 hours a week in average as an Hotel Assistant Manager was quite stressing indeed).

Having got there by the end of July I managed to get free visit days at most of the places, which in Finland, one of the most expensive countries in the world, was a great help.

Expositions as this one, from Alfredo Jaar at Kiasma Museum, featured pictures of happy friends who changed history (and millions of people’s lives with it).

But I also had to plan the coming journey, so even though I had an idea of the places I wanted to visit and an estimate amount of time I could spend on each, it took me a few days just to organize myself and get the Chinese visa, the only one in fact that I have needed after travelling to 8 countries: Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Mongolia, China, HongKong and Thailand (great to have a Chilean passport, on this subject at least).

So by the second week of August, it was time to leave the “temporary nest” and start the real adventure, the pilgrimage I would regard as the most important in my entire life and Saint Petersburg in Russia was the first stop, as I had plan to take the longest train journey in the world, the Trans-Siberian Railway.