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A Life Changing Trip to South America

By Nina DeianaPublished 6 years ago 4 min read
Sunset, Samborondon.

I’ve arrived in Guayaquil, Ecuador, one week ago, and I’m already feeling very much at home. What brought me here is a combination of coincidences (do really coincidence exist?), events, and choices.

I’m a Sardinian born living in London UK as a full time actress. I spend my time doing what I love. Who doesn’t want to be a West End performer, live in the coolest city in Europe, experience the amazing feeling of making a living while having fun?

The thing is that at some point I had to face some questions about some very important matters like: do I really want to be devoted to my job for the rest of my life? Do I invest enough energy and time in my personal and social life? Is this who I want to be or what others want me to be? You know, things like that.

As I was asking my self such questions and trying to find some answers, I received a phone call.

The person on the other side was Paola, a cousin of my father, from Ecuador. My grandmother Maria had a brother who was a true adventurer and back in time (it was about 1950) left the island of Sardinia, ending up in Ecuador. Here he had two children one of which is Paola. I knew very little about this side of the family and I had seen them only two times in my life, when I was very little, as they travelled to Italy for vacations.

Paola and the family were coming to London for a trip, hence the phone call, out of the blue.

I looked at it as a chance to properly meet my cousins, to get to know more about them, as we share the same blood but we have barely seen each other in our lives. We spent a beautiful 2 weeks together in London, I've enjoyed being a tourist with them and showing them around town. The goodbye time was quite emotional and as we waved hands while they got in the black cab, I've heard Paola saying "come visit soon darling!".

You know, the usual “come visit soon darling!” that never happens.

But actually happened that a few days after they left, my land lord gave me a two weeks notice, my agent decided to close the agency, my contract ended.

Basically I was left homeless, unrepresented and without a job. Wow.

All at a sudden I needed to find a new home, a new agent, a new show. Start auditioning again. And most of all I still had (and still have) to find the answer to some very important questions. I felt like what I had done so far in my life didn't belong to me anymore, that I got it all wrong. So much effort put into something that maybe it's not anymore what I want, the thought of having to start everything again from the beginning at an age when according to our society one should have settled long before. Having to face all this on my own. What do I do now? Where do I start from? The house first. No, the job first. Actually, I should go out and find a boyfriend first. Everything is easier when its shared. No, I shouldn't. Oh my god I'm nearly 35 and I have no kids!

A very intense 10 minutes of panic.

Until I booked a one way ticket to Guayaquil, Ecuador.

The next day I went to buy a camera, a Fujifilm, the one I’ve always wanted. Two days later I had packed all my belongings and put them in a storage facility, in PBox64. Hugged my friends goodbye and had a few glasses of prosecco.

I got my flight on the 2nd of July, the day of my 35th birthday.

In the exact moment I turn 35 I was up high in the sky looking back from up above at all the things that I’ve done, achieved and lost so far in my life, and looking ahead at what’s next to come. Feeling excited, free, light, as I have nothing to loose but so much to discover.

I landed in Ecuador and as I got off the plane my eyes were instantly filled with curiosity, surprise, and a new light.

I’m in the county of Guayas at the moment, planning to travel across the Andes next week, visit Cuenca and Quito. Galapagos next. Amazon at some point. Peru.

It’s now only me, my camera and my backpack. It's a constant feeling that something amazing is about to happen, it's just around the corner.

As I started researching on the extraordinary life of my father’s uncle in order to write his biography and possibly a screenplay, I had the time to visit the peninsula of Santa Elena this week, where I met the beautiful Jorobadas Whales, sea lions in the wild, and lots, I mean, lots of iguanas and crabs. This country is beautiful, very peculiar, extremely controversial. I met some extraordinary and inspiring people so far. An artist named Armando who let me visit his house in the old town of Las Penas, a housekeeper name Ofelia and one named Jessie, a fisherman with no name who welcomed me on his old boat, and some other very interesting characters.

If you want to be my companion and know more about my story please follow me on Instagram. I would love to share what I see with you and feel your support during this life changing experience.

Here some of my shots from this first week! I hope you enjoy them.


Here is all I have. Apart from the important stuff, that' all in my heart.

Different Sense of Time

Young fisherman enjoying a rest in the shadow, San Pablo.

It feels like no one checks their clocks here. They listen to the ocean, look at the sky and know what's the time for doing what.

One of them... ish.

San Pablo. A fisherman (gentleman), helps megetting off the boat.

He seemed very surprised to see a European girl asking to join them. They clearly didn't know I was born in Sardinia.

Time to Sell

San Pablo. A very basic and yet effective selling technique.

As the boats come back from the trip, young men are ready to sell on the street.

A Few Steps Down the Road

As a pescatatrian, not sure I want to comment this.

Saying goodbye to the fishermen and walking less than two minutes down the road.

At the Food Market

The fruit here is very cheap and yet delicious!

Local Handcraft


The city of Guayaquil


A drunk human, an iguana, and a pigeon.

My Friend Mike

At fist I was scared, now I love him.

Off Whale Watching

Sea Lions in the Wild

La Loberia, Salinas

Love Everywhere

Ofelia, inhabitant of San Pablo. Housekeeper and brilliant cook.

The Very Bottom of the Ridge

Time to rest, after a long walk.

south america

About the Creator

Nina Deiana

Italian/British actress and voiceover artist.

Travel, jazz, nature, science, yoga and photography. Plus an other thousands of interests.

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    Nina DeianaWritten by Nina Deiana

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