"Travel expands your mind, it shows you exactly who you are as a person and gives you the knowledge and ability to deal with anything life throws at you".
Mike Huxley, has been travelling the world for over twenty years now and has visited over 100 countries. He is a qualified nurse by trade but is also a published author and founder of his own online travel business, Bemused Backpacker.
Why I Travel
I was inspired to start travelling simply by the fact that I did not want my life to be limited or defined just by the immediate environment I had grown up in, and reading about great inspiring adventurers like Sir Ranulph Fiennes showed me there was a lot more of the world out there to see. Travel, and in particular independent gap year and solo travel, is important because without it you will never see the person you truly can be, you will never push your boundaries, step out of your comfort zone or see your own potential. Travel expands your mind, it shows you exactly who you are as a person and gives you the knowledge and ability to deal with anything life throws at you. In short, travel makes you the best version of yourself that you can be.
How I Incorporate Martial Arts With My Travels
I have been training in martial arts since childhood, ever since my dad took me to my first Goju Ryu Karate Dojo, but later on I also trained in Judo and Ju Jitsu as well. It hasn't influenced my travels much but it has always been a part of them and I have always tried to improve my physical body through training whilst travelling as much as expand my mind by my travels. The arts I primarily trained in were all Japanese, so Japanese culture and spirituality were always important to me and obviously this inspired numerous trips to Japan where I continued my training for a while. I have also tried to explore and train a little bit in different arts during my travels whenever I could as well, a little bit of Muay Thai in Thailand, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Capoeira in Brazil, Tai Chi in China and many others.
How I Decide Where To Travel Next
I don't really have a specific process for picking my next destination. When it's for my personal travels I usually just ask where I have not been to yet and pick somewhere that sounds interesting. I tend to travel slowly and overland a lot, and a lot of the time I will choose to go somewhere on the spur of the moment whilst I am already travelling which is why I never have a very tight itinerary. So if I am in a hostel and hear of an awesome island I had never considered before I may change my plans and hop on a ferry, or I may decide to hop over the border to a completely different country if the mood takes me. Quite often though I travel a lot with work now, so if I am working with a specific DMO or tourism board that usually determines where I will travel.
How Long Do I Stay In A Particular Place Before Moving On
If it is for work it is usually for as long as the campaign lasts, but on my own travels I tend to stay on average for about a month, sometimes longer, sometimes a little less, it all depends on the destination but I always recommend travelling as slowly as possible. When I first started travelling twenty years ago I tended to move a little quicker in an attempt to see as much as I could, but over the years that has eased up a lot. I remember arriving on Palau Tioman in Malaysia, one of my favourite countries in the world for the first time many years ago. I had originally only planned to spend a few days there, maybe a week at most, but ended up loving it so much I stayed for a whole month just on one beach! Waking up every morning to your own little slice of tropical paradise and swimming in the ocean before breakfast is hard to leave!