This time, seven years ago, I put on a brave face as I hugged my Mum and Dad goodbye at Heathrow Airport. “I’m sure it’ll go fast… Don’t worry I’ll be fine.” I was petrified but didn’t want to show it. I hadn’t really planned for this. By a few twists of fate, I was 19 years old and on a gap year. I’d been on a gap year scheme, interning at an Investment bank for the first 6 months; during which time I had asked pretty much all of my close family and friends if they could join me to no real luck. It was a case of me going alone or missing out on a trip I’d been dreaming about for years!
I was about to embark on my first solo trip, which meant taking two flights and travelling for around 15 hours. I was going in straight in the deep end… My first solo trip was to Argentina. Little did I know it then, but that trip was about to change my life!
Travel had always been something I’d been excited about. Since my first family holiday abroad, going on safari in Kenya, my parents had taken my brother and I on many amazing holidays, visiting countries like India, Turkey, Spain, the Greek Islands and the USA. I’d loved each one and even as a child, I scoured the Internet and even Teletext, eager to find our next holiday spot. I’d pester my Dad for weeks each summer and try to convince him! My interest in travel heightened further when I was selected to represent my school, aged 11, on a school exchange in Manduria, Italy. It seemed exotic and exciting and the kind of thing that only happened in movies! I stayed with the kindest Italian family and experienced normal life there, attending the local school for a week and attending all of the family meals. It was the first time I’d been to Italy and the warmth, passion and beauty of the place had me mesmerised. From the pasta to the best Italian breakfast cakes I’ve ever had (thanks Elisabetta and Vincenzo) I came back wide eyed with excitement!
So aged 19 I went off to Argentina, and volunteered with an Argentinian non-profit organisation. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I had the most incredible time. I made friends quickly, had experiences I hadn’t even dreamed of, and went on to travel to Brazil from there.
The travel bug was firmly planted and so over the summer breaks from university, I slept under the stars by the Angel Falls in Venezuela, I fell in love with Pho Gah
in Vietnam, I was brought to tears learning about the recent history of Cambodia, and I partied like never before in Thailand. And it was around this time that I decided to start a blog!
Soon after, I graduated and started working in the City of London as a Consultant. I loved it, there’s a real thrill about working with clients to problem solve, and I was so excited about the prospect of working in new cities all the time. I started working on projects abroad in Milan, Rome, Cork, Madrid, Hong Kong, and Zurich to name a few. It was utterly exhausting but I love the buzz of landing in a new city, with a foreign language in my ear, new scents in the atmosphere and of course the FOOD! Well, everyone who knows me knows just how big a part food plays in my life. I still remember ringing my Mum from Milan, on one of my earlier work trips and telling her, in more detail than anybody probably needed, about how incredible the food was and how I had eaten two gelato’s on a Monday! All in a day’s work apparently!
Amidst all the travel and given that I was working long hours, I felt too busy to blog. I didn’t have the energy nor the time and before I knew it, it had been months since I had posted. A big part of the tale I may have omitted was that it was around this time, in 2014, when I met my favourite distraction of all, my man, or “The Doc” as he’s referred to on here. We met and juggled long distance for a while, whilst he was at med school and I was working with clients between London and different European cities but he soon turned out to be my ultimate travel partner and the biggest supporter for all my blog. We’ve been to Milan and Lake Como, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Lombok, Copenhagen, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Delhi, Jaipur and Dubai together and undoubtedly he has brought some balance to my travel! Together, we’ve just fallen in love with luxury boutique hotels and making an active effort to slow down on our trips. My travel style has certainly never been the same, and when we visited Hotel Mousai
, well, it’s safe to say I pinched myself and felt the contrast since my backpacking days in South East Asia!
In this whirlwind of long hours in my day job, lots of travel, and falling in love, I neglected my writing – it just felt too much. But I never forgot the feeling of reliving happy travel experiences as I wrote, and I really missed writing so much. So about six months ago, I decided to give travel blogging another go. And I haven’t regretted it for a second since.
From family travel to backpacker to business traveller to being on the hunt for the best luxury hotels, I’ve been in love with travel of all types for as long as I can remember. Before I’m back from a trip I’m already lusting after the next one, my Pinterest
boards are constantly full of wanderlust, and the easiest birthday present to get me is a Lonely Planet guide! Travelling gives me a high like no other a hit and the more I travel the more I love it, and the more I get out of it. See, travel, to me, isn’t just about getting a break, getting away from work and unwinding. Yes, that’s important too, but for me, travel is an opportunity to gain a new perspective, to see life with fresh eyes. I get a burst of excitement trying new foods and flavours. From discovering Dulce de Leche in Buenos Aires to eating Stingray in Kuala Lumpur to actually being brought to tears (I know… how embarrassing!?)
with the excitement of going to eat at Noma
in Copenhagen, food and travel are what I’m most passionate about. I love reading other blog posts on travel and I’m obsessed with seeing all of your travel Instagram
posts (let’s connect if we don’t already!?) and I’m constantly inspired by different travel styles.
I love to travel so much, and I can’t see that every changing, but looking back I can see how much my travel style has changed and how many people, decisions, and opportunities led me to get to see so many incredible places. I feel so lucky that I’ve had the chance to do so and through my blog truly want to share that.
Well that, my friends, is my travel story so far, as part of the July travel link up
. What’s your view on travel and what’s your travel style? I’d love to know your thoughts – please do leave me a comment below!
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