Thanks for your response. Tour directing is what brought me to the Azores in the first place, and I discovered somewhere relatively unspoilt, without frills, with a great sense of community.
Initially, I made it my base while I carried on tour directing for a few months. When the opportunity to jump back into journalism presented itself, I went all in. We were doing something that had never been done before, and it was an exhilarating time.
The problem was that the government grant took ages to materialize. It literally got stuck under layers of admin, the folks initially in charge left, it was a mess.
The question was never whether I would get paid but when. Because I built that project from scratch, I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
Maybe this piece is too short to do the whole endeavor justice… The idea was to explain how far vocation can take you.
As for now, I’m slowly getting back on my feet after losing five years of my life to depression. In hindsight, what happened in the Azores has quite a lot to do with it but it also taught me so much… I don’t regret a single minute of my Azorean life.