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Nuts In May

May 2015

You thought last month was bonkers? My friends, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Where do I start? First up, it’s important that you know I’ve been doing loads more work on the Jinja Island house, building a staircase up to my bedroom so I don’t ever twat my head after slipping off the ladder again. Getting concussed is a very bad idea when you live on your own. On an island.

Secondly, I’ve been doing a lot of writing. Each morning that I’m not off and about (or hosting anyone) I climb into a hammock down at the boat dock, cast a fishing line into the water and busy myself working on pitch documents, scripts, drafts of Man of the World – the book of my adventures to every country in the world etc.

Thirdly, I’ve been doing a lot of interviews for productions companies. It’s kinda cool because they tend to come to me! I’ve recently signed up with a company based in America called Tremendous Entertainment. They’re interested in making a travel show with yours truly at some point. It’s all very exciting!

Me watching the 2015 UK General Election results coming in. TL;DW: THE BADDIES WON.

What’s also exciting is all the amazing new friends I’ve made out here in Panama. There are just so many cool people out here, backpackers passing through, couchsurfers, yachties, young people setting up businesses, retirees living the life of Riley and the locals like Ernie, Mario and Fidel.

On the first weekend in May, I was invited out to Split Hill, which is just between Isla Popa and the mainland, as a new bar and restaurant had opened. I headed over there with Bill and Janis and my CouchSurfer Madeline from Canada. The next day the BEN gang had our weekly knees up at Rana Azul Pizzeria.

A few days later, it was the birthday of my mate Rebeca (who runs the little cafe opposite the bank in Bocas Town with Lizzie). So I invited the gang over to Jinja for cake and chili con carne. Rebeca (Panama), Lizzie (Botswana), Carmen (Canada), Dave (US), Tori (US), Martin (South Africa), Lazare (Belgium), Carl (UK), Marcela (Chile) and others descended on the gaff.

(Worth mentioning this is the party where Carmen and Lazare first met… as of November 2020, they’re now married with two kids. Oh and Lizzie met Martin for the first time… and they now own a farm together in central Panama. You’re welcome!)

Then I had some more CouchSurfers. First up, Alex Haynok from America who impressed me with her ability to get to the island under her own steam. We were joined a couple of days later by Lili and Léa from France. I think I might well have the best job in the world.

Later in May, I met up with Carl, Marcela, Rebeca, Martin and Lizzie for an afternoon of drinking and basking in the sun over at the Blue Coconut. I LOVE THIS TOWN!!!!

Also in May, I negotiated a personal loan from Michael who stayed on the island in March. It would be enough to buy Ian out for his share of the island. My “year” on Jinja Island could turn out to be a lot longer than that…

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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