I love a holiday as much as the next person, but I’ve never been the type of person to go ‘travelling’. I associate the word with gap years, rucksacks and Thailand; a rite of passage that people aged 19 – 24 go through to put off being a proper adult. I’ve always enjoyed my European beach holidays once a year, where I can read, drink and sleep for a whole week and come back with a mega tan and some dodgy biscuits for the office, but 2014 has really changed my whole perspective on the idea of travel.
As I’ve written before, three of my best friends in the whole world live abroad. Their experiences made me start to realise that if I want to see more of the world, I need to do it now. I’m 26, and before I know it I’ll be shacked up with a mortgage and kids, unable to jump across an ocean for two weeks whenever I feel like it. I started saving with the aim of getting to Australia for the end of 2014, but with a massive stroke of luck, I was given the opportunity to work in Sydney for two weeks in February!
|Sydney Harbour Bridge selfie|
So I flew across the world by myself. Something I never thought I would do. It was extremely daunting, and before I got on the plane I was on the phone to my boyfriend essentially until we buckled up and set off. I dosed up on Rescue Remedy, made friends with the people sat next to me, and knocked back free G&Ts and a Nytol when we went through horrific turbulence. I was in Sydney for two weeks, Melbourne for a week and then flew home via Hong Kong for another week. Although I stayed with friends in Sydney and Hong Kong, those friends all have jobs, so during the day I was left to wander around alone.
This is pretty scary at first but I totally loved it. I discovered new places, ate what I want, say down when I wanted, and had no qualms asking strangers to take photos of me if a selfie wouldn’t cut it. I’ve honestly never felt so liberated and so consistently excited! Unearthing something new was like a little secret all of my own, and as much as I love to experience new things with those I love, having that independence made me feel so at ease and so free.
I remember exactly where I was when I decided that I was going to travel more. I had queued for nearly two hours to get on a glass-bottomed cable car across the sea from Hong Kong to Lantau Island – the home of the world’s largest bronze seated Buddha statue. Eventually I made my way to the bottom of the stairs leading up to the statue, and looking up at it I was so incredibly happy. It was awesome in the truest sense of the word and I couldn’t believe I was actually there to experience it. I genuinely felt emotional. It was then that I knew I had to see more of the world; that seeing all of the different cultures and lifestyles on the planet is what makes travelling worth it.
|Lantau Island selfie|
I came back to the UK and instantly started planning new trips. I’ll be posting something soon about my 2015 travel plan and believe me, I want to see as much as possible! I can’t wait to share it all with you on this little blog of mine too.