What Inspired Me To Travel The World
The thing that inspired me to begin traveling was a longing to do something extraordinary and break from the routine that had become my life after leaving university. I saw an ad for a teaching job in China and thought, “Why the hell not?”
A few months later and knowing absolutely nothing about what my life would be like from this point onwards, I headed to Wuhan solo. From that point, I’ve traveled at every point possible, always on the lookout for new experiences to challenge me.
I Travel Whenever I Can
Previously, I would save up for a few months before embarking on a big trip. Now that my work is completely online, I can travel whenever I want and take my job with me! I like to travel slowly, really getting to know a place and its people.
Even though I travel a lot, my comfort zone is pretty small so I have to push myself to try new things on the road. I love immersing myself in wild places; being in nature really calms me. I don’t think you can beat the relaxing in a hammock with a beer and a good book either!
How I Choose Where To Travel Next
Nowadays, I travel with my long-term partner, Tim. Choosing where to go next is always difficult because there are so many places we want to explore! We try and travel for at least 6 months, and our most recent backpacking stint around South America was 9 months. I can’t wait to go back! Although I can be an avid planner, I prefer to prepare only what I need and let the destination surprise me.
I’m not much of a country counter and prefer instead to really get to know a place rather than tick destinations off a list. I know a lot of people aren’t keen on tourist spots but I like my trips to be a good mix of these and hidden gems, after all, the popular spots are popular for a reason!
My partner and I couchsurfed during our time in Bolivia and had a great time getting to the local people. One couple we stayed with hosted us for much longer than planned and introduced us to all the best cuisine. We still stay in touch.
How I Pack For My Trips
I am the world’s worst packer and have made several packing faux pas on trips that have come back to bite me. When packing for a trip to Ukraine in winter, I even forgot a coat! My must-have items are definitely my Kindle (I’ve always got my nose in a book) and a fanny pack to keep my stuff in. It’s not the height of fashion but it is a great practical choice!
Safety Precautions I Take When I Travel
Even though I don’t really travel solo anymore, I take the usual precautions when I am in a new environment. Speaking to the locals to find out where the dodgy areas are and learning a bit of the language has helped me in the past.
Travel Apps That I Frequently Use
My go-to travel app is maps. me. I have a pretty shocking sense of direction so anything which helps me avoid getting lost is much appreciated! I also use Google Translate for any language-based emergencies and XE currency converter so I know how much I am spending.
TrailWallet helps me manage my spending during trips. It allows me to put in my overall trip savings and it works out a daily budget breakdown. I can then log my day-to-day costs to check that I’m on track.
One Of My Scariest Travel Moments
Before I was as worldly-wise as I am today (which is to say, not very much), I accepted a lift from a stranger to the Great Wall of China. Although this wasn’t the most sensible decision to have made, my friend and I had tried asking around and really couldn’t see another way to get there.
We partnered up with a couple of Americans and jumped in the guy’s car. It was all going pretty well until my friend who was sitting in the front seat dropped his phone. He went to pick it up and then turned around, horror-struck. He looked down, pushing something back under his seat. It was then a saw the blade of a machete glint at me.
From this point, the car journey was agonizingly long and we couldn’t wait to get to the wall. Once we arrived, we tried to pay the driver but he insisted he would wait for us to return and take payment then. According to him, there was no other way to get back into the city. We resolved ourselves to our fate of being hacked to death and spent those few hours at the Great Wall like they were our last. It wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made but it makes for a good story now. I’d definitely take a taxi next time!
What Prevents Me From Traveling More
Even though it is easy to travel cheaply when you follow a budget, costs have still been my main barrier to travel. However, through pairing travel with work and volunteering opportunities, costs have become less of an issue. Of course, taking my job on the road has been a game-changer too!
Advice To New Travelers
For other people nervous about stepping into the world of travel, my advice is always the same: just do it! I’ve learned that even though leaping can be scary, you’ll always regret the things that you didn’t do and not the things you did. It is also always useful to know how to keep calm in a crisis. If you succeed in doing this, please show me how!
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