Monthly Archives: December 2012

The story of 2012

In terms of the past 3 or 4 years, this one has been a bit of a game changer. I know it’s a cliche but I don’t think I returned from my 3 and a half months of travelling the same as when I left. The people who know me best have even commented on it. I feel like my attitude towards life has shifted for the better and I’ve discovered things I want to get out of life that I hadn’t even thought about before. I met with an old friend the other day who summed up the events of my previous blog perfectly with:

I hate it
I want to go home
I like it
I love it
I don’t want to go home
I want to go back

That was pretty much it – the cycle of my trip! and I haven’t been able to shake the last part. Since May all I’ve wanted to do is go back. Anyway, I’ll sum it up by month.

January

I mostly spent January buying the necessary travel items I would need for my trip, and freaking out majorly about my decision. I didn’t need to do much planning as everything had already been booked, but I did need to do a lot of organising in terms of packing up my room, sorting out all my travel documents and packing (and re-packing several times) my backpack. Towards the end of the month I was so terrified about going alone that I had little excitement left and I actually started to regret my decision. I had a small leaving do and said my goodbyes towards the end of January, slowly becoming more and more scared as reality kicked in. I also began my blog on travelpod.

I also annoyingly started dating a guy I liked that I had met at christmas (I have a habit of meeting people at the wrong time) and saw him a couple of times before I was due to leave, which if I’m being honest made leaving that little bit harder. We parted ways with the agreement to keep in touch while I was away and see what would happen when I returned.

February

My journey began on February 2nd at Birmingham Airport. To say it wasn’t an easy start would be an understatement. After an emotional goodbye to my mum at the departure gate and nervous phone calls to pretty much everyone on my phone book, I psyched myself up to get on the plane only to have it be cancelled due to the snow (as far as I know it was the only day of the year where flights were cancelled due to weather – typical!). After retreating back to my old house in Birmingham I boarded the rescheduled flight the next day and landed in Dubai 8 hours later. I was unexpectedly stranded in Dubai for a day with none of my luggage as my next available connecting flight wasn’t until 20 hours later. This meant that I missed the start of my Stray Asia tour and had to find my way to Sukhothai alone – possibly more exhausted than I’ve ever been in my whole life after 3 nights of very little sleep and awful jet lag.

An intimidating, sleep deprived couple of hours in Dubai

An intimidating, sleep deprived couple of hours in Dubai

After a rocky start I spent the first week of my trip literally feeling sick with longing to be home and not to be alone. It wasn’t easy but eventually I overcame it and really started to enjoy myself. February saw me travel from Bangkok through Northern Thailand and then from the North to the South of Laos. During this time I rode an elephant, went tubing in Vang Vieng and took part in a traditional Laos success ritual amongst other things. It was an intense three weeks where I covered a lot of ground, got up at the crack of dawn almost every day and barely had time to stop. It was worth it though! I ended the month back in Bangkok with Amy, a friend from home who would spend the next two weeks with me.

Casually stroking an elephant

Casually stroking an elephant

March

I would definitely rate the first two weeks of March as two of the best of my life. Although I had overcome my homesickness quite a lot by this stage, it was still amazing to have someone I had known all my life with me. We spent a few days partying in Bangkok before travelling down to Southern Thailand. Our first stop was Koh Phangan where we stayed in a private bungalow at Sarikantang resort which we could only describe as paradise.

The sunset on our private beach in Koh Phangan

The sunset on our private beach in Koh Phangan

We went to a half moon party, drank some more, and then headed down to Koh Phi Phi (where we drank even more, I had my bag stolen and I spent a night at a Thai hospital). After a very intense three weeks I was happy to travel slowly and spend some time relaxing, but boy was I due a detox by the time Amy went home! She boarded a flight back to the UK mid-March while I flew to the next stop on my trip – Australia.

My journey up the East Coast of Australia began in Sydney where homesickness reared it’s ugly head again. I missed Amy and weirdly found myself pining for Thailand just as I had pined for home when I had landed in Bangkok. After living like a Queen for 5 weeks in South East Asia I also almost had a heart attack after realising a small snack and a can of coke came to around £5. Despite this, I managed to make the most of my few days in Sydney and really discovered the benefits of being alone sometimes during a beautiful coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi beach. I made a group of friends on the Oz Experience bus and continued up the coast to Byron Bay, Surfer’s Paradise, Brisbane and Noosa.

During this time I reluctantly learnt how to surf, ate one cookie too many on a day trip to Nimbin and took someone to the hospital for the second time due to a broken foot. I ended the month doing a 4×4 tag along tour on Fraser Island – one of the highlights of my time in Australia. By this time I had really started to get into the flow of being a full time solo traveller, and that’s when I was reunited with Rachel (a girl I had originally met in Koh Phi Phi) who I would spend the next 6 weeks travelling with.

Polly and I on Fraser Island (complete with bad foot and crutches on the floor)

Polly and I on Fraser Island (complete with bad foot and crutches on the floor)

April

Our month began in Agnes Water with some noodles and some goon (the standard backpacker diet in Australia) and progressed to me spending a night with cowboys in Kroombit and then sailing around the Whitsunday Islands for 3 days. Whitehaven beach was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, and so despite the seasickness this was another highlight of my trip.

Joking around on Whitehaven beach (it was 6am and we'd had very little sleep!)

Rachel and I joking around on Whitehaven beach (it was 6am and we’d had very little sleep!)

When back on dry land in Airlie Beach I also somehow managed to gain an injury during a game of giant jenga which embarrassingly lead to me fainting in the middle of a bar! We stayed at a nature reserve on Magnetic Island where by night we were convinced a serial killer was circling our hut and by day we were cuddling cute koalas. We then travelled on up to Cairns where I partied, had my fortune told, went on an extremely cold and wet rainforest tour and then spent a few miserable days in bed with tonsillitis.

On April 14th I left Australia, which by that point I was quite happy about, and excitedly moved on to New Zealand. The next three weeks were more of the best in my life so far. I flew into Auckland and started my tour of the country with Kiwi Experience. We instantly made a group of friends who would be with us for the duration of our trip. We explored the North Island together – kayaking around Cathedral Cove, Black Water Rafting in Waitomo Caves and eventually partaking in the scariest and one of the best events of my life so far – sky diving in Taupo. After a lazy 5 weeks in Australia I was loving being so active and experiencing the highs of extreme sports. We had formed a close group of friends and I loved our little Kiwi Experience community. It really was an amazing time and for the first time in my life, in Wellington, I considered that I could work and live in a country other than the UK.

The Kiwi Experience bus

The Kiwi Experience bus

May

At the beginning of May I was really starting to worry about returning home. I feared I would never experience life where I was so happy and having so much fun again, and all I wanted to do was stay in New Zealand which was a country I had really grown to love. Our (very expensive) glacier hike had been cancelled in Franz Josef due to the weather and so I decided to blow some of the money I’d saved on alcohol.  I regretted this decision in the morning when we were faced with the option to do the hike there and then and I had a god awful hangover which prevented me from walking in a straight line, let alone climbing a mountain!

My last week in New Zealand was alcohol fuelled and emotional. I had never felt so devastated to leave a country as I did when I left Christchurch, and I actually cried on the bus leaving Queenstown. But before I did that I had a brilliant few days there (another of the most beautiful places I’ve seen) with the group where I topped what was then the most scary experience of my life – the sky dive – with a canyon swing (it’s basically a bungee jump). I’ve never been more terrified in my life but I’m glad I’ve ticked that one off the bucket list! I swam with dolphins in Kaikoura and then spent a sad day witnessing the effects of the earthquake in Christchurch, before vowing I would return to New Zealand one day and boarding a flight back to Australia.

A beautiful Queenstown harbour

A beautiful Queenstown harbour

The last leg of my trip was spent exploring Melbourne and it was there that I said a difficult goodbye to Rachel and my travels and boarded a plane back to the UK. Coming home was difficult and I missed travelling immensely, but before I knew it I was back at work (on May 14th – my 27th birthday – bad timing on my part!) and back into my old routine. I also started dating again – with the same guy I had left in February (who I had kept in touch with occasionally while I was gone) and felt surprisingly positive about the future – an attitude I had picked up on my travels.

A sunset in Melbourne

A sunset in Melbourne

June

I spent this month adapting back to daily life. Although I still craved travelling I had grown to accept that my life back in the UK was what I had to live with, and that it wasn’t all that bad. However, I couldn’t shake the desire that there was more of the world that I needed to see. I decorated my room with the scratch off map and several photos as a reminder of my trip.

July

My positive attitude continued but so did my obsession with travelling, and I found myself researching where I would go if I ever got the opportunity again (well aware that I was due some inheritance later in the year that might give me just that).

August

After a delayed reaction, I began to realise how mundane my life was without travel, and so I booked a trip to Copenhagen in an attempt to calm my desires for a while. It didn’t work. All I could think about was going back to full time-travelling, worrying that I would never be satisfied if I didn’t travel as much as possible while I was still young and responsibility free. After a visit to V Festival my sister convinced me it was the right thing to do (not easy for the person who would miss me the most). It was also early in this month that things ended with the guy I mentioned (which in retrospect was a good thing considering he had no desire to see the world) which was just further motivation and the push I needed for me to give another trip some serious thought.

V Festival 2012 with my sister

V Festival 2012 with my sister

September

My mind was just about made up. I knew I wanted to travel again, and that this time I didn’t want a return date. After growing increasingly frustrated at my strict itinerary on my last trip I knew I wanted the flexibility to go wherever for however long I desired. This was beginning of two months of weighing up the pros and cons of quitting my job to make room for this plan – by no means an easy decision.

October

Over the past few months I had developed an obsession with reading and researching travel blogs which lead me to create a more professional looking blog of my own. Scratchoffthemap was born. I was also granted my inheritance money – another trip was becoming more of a reality by the day. I had saved up for years for my first trip and I knew that without this opportunity I’d probably never get the chance to go again.

November

My mind was set and I decided that if I didn’t travel again I would always regret it. I visited Copenhagen and on the flight home my decision was cemented – I wanted to do as much of this as possible. The count down began to when I would tell everyone at work and it killed me to have to keep it secret from my colleagues, but I was still terrified to actually go through with it. I did however, manage to book a TEFL course for the first weekend of January which was the first step to me making my dream a reality.

The top of the twisted tower in Copenhagen

The top of the twisted tower in Copenhagen

December

It took until mid-December for me to get the guts to set the wheels in motion. After weeks of stressing over my decision, wondering if it was the right thing and backing out several times when I told myself I would talk to my boss – I finally managed it. As suspected, he and everyone else I work with were great and I made this announcement. I’ve had many moments of sadness and potential regret (a brilliant work christmas party spent with my colleagues was one of them) but I’ve stood my ground and booked my flight and now it’s official – I am leaving the UK on February 19th. I decided to fly to Bangkok and then just take it from there, making this non-plan.

All in all, 2012 has been one of my best and most exciting years to date. I know I have a lot more excitement and massive changes to come in the months ahead and I hope that I will come to be completely happy with my decision. Only time will tell but if I were to write a book of my life then 2013 would definitely be the next chapter!

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My top 3 travel regrets

It’s time that I jumped on the ‘top 3 travel regrets’ band wagon. Carl from That Time in recently tagged me in a post with the same title and at the end of this I will pass the baton on to 3 more bloggers.

1. Not bringing what I know realise are essential items on my round the world trip

The night before I left for my 3 month trip earlier this year I enlisted the help of my friends to narrow down my packing. At the end of that I’d successfully binned around 4 items from my bag. One of these was hand sanitiser. Fast forward to my almost 2 weeks in Laos (one of the dirtiest places I’ve ever been) and I totally regretted that decision. That’s what makes packing so difficult – even the smallest items can be invaluable.

There were two other items that I really wished I had bought and will definitely be bringing on my next trip. One was an unlocked iPhone. I bought my rusty old unlocked HTC Wildfire with me and had to deal with iPhone envy the whole way. I can only take about 3 photos on it before I get an irritating error message and I’m unable to download any apps. I thought I would be fine going without a phone with a local sim card but as soon as I got to Australia I knew it was going to drive me mad. I ended up buying cheap phones in both Australia and New Zealand, both with very limited internet access. Occasionally I would use my HTC internet quickly to check facebook, use maps or post a blog – it couldn’t cost that much, surely? I returned home to a £250 phone bill. I’ve learnt my lesson and that’s why I have an unlocked iPhone 4 shaped present under the christmas tree this year.

The second item was a waterproof camera or camera case. As an avid photo taker I should have known it would frustrate me not being able to take photos wherever I went. There were so many times where I cursed myself for not having one – tubing in Vang Vieng, kayaking in Cathedral Cove and bathing in torrential rain on Fraser Island to name a few. I will definitely be bringing one when I leave in February.

2. Leaving my bag on the beach in Phi Phi, Thailand

After the consumption of many red bull buckets in Phi Phi it seemed perfectly logical to go swimming in the warm, inviting sea at 3am. Since I seem to have absolutely no concept of time when I’m intoxicated I may have been there for what seemed like 20 minutes but was more likely to be 2 hours. It did cross my mind a few times that I had left my bag (containing my phone, camera, purse and all my cash cards) on the shore, and that in the pitch black I wouldn’t even see someone walk up and steal it, but my friend’s advice that ‘you only live once’ won me over and I put my worries aside to stay in the lovely water that little bit longer.

The scene of the crime

The scene of the crime

Not surprisingly, my purse was taken. I considered myself pretty lucky as they had kindly left the bag with my phone (hidden in the lining) still in it. I was also lucky to be travelling with a friend from home at the time who could lend me money until I got my spare card sorted (thank God I had the sense to stash an extra one in my bag) and later picked up my cards in Australia after getting my mum to send them. I did, however, have a very scary few days in Australia with around $10 to my name when there was a problem with my money transfer onto that card. I’ve learnt my lesson to not only be more careful with my belongings, but to not bring out all of my cards/important/expensive items when I’m planning on getting very drunk!

3. Taking the most ungrateful person I have ever met to the hospital in Phi Phi (yes, Phi Phi was an unlucky time!)

When I found someone who I had vaguely met a few days before lying in agony on a bench in Phi Phi, clutching at his foot, I didn’t even question helping him (even though it was due to his own stupidity – jumping off a tall pole at a club). So my last night in one of my favourite places in the world was spent in a hospital, lying on the edge of this guys bed, wide awake and hoping the 3 patients around me would survive the night.

First I tried to find his brother, who I had also met, with no luck. Then I wandered aimlessly around the island searching for someone with medical training who I hoped would tell me he was being drunk and over dramatic and would be fine. He didn’t. He felt his foot and informed me I needed to get him to a hospital as soon as possible. That’s how I somehow I ended up taking sole responsibility for someone I had known a whole ten minutes.

There are no taxis in Phi Phi, which meant I had to stupidly over pay someone to wheel him in a luggage trolley to the hospital across the island. I then had to sign some forms and take responsibility for him legally and financially in order for him to get the medical treatment he needed. Being the compassionate person that I am paired with the fact he was now screaming in pain, I didn’t hesitate to sign them. They gave him an injection in his back with the biggest needle I’ve ever seen and handed me a few pills with the instruction for him to swallow them. I had no idea what they were and I told him he was taking them at his own risk. He took them and immediately passed out, but not before having a go at me for taking him to hospital, telling me he didn’t have the money to pay for the care and that he was going to leave through the back door. We ended up bickering like an old married couple before he finally agreed that walking out of the door really wasn’t an option in the state he was in.

After he passed out it occured to me that I had no idea what he was taken, or if that was a normal reaction. No one checked on him and my imagination ran wild, thinking that he might be dead and it’d be all my fault (yes, I was a little paranoid about the Thai medical care!). Not only did I have to deal with that worry but also about the two other patients in the room. One was an American guy who looked absolutely awful and was hooked up to a drip, apparently he had extreme food poisoning, and the second he told me was a girl who had been found in a bush having had her drink spiked. At one stage the guy stumbled to the toilet and I heard him calling for help ten minutes later. The nurses station was on the other side of the building and they were clearly paying no attention so I went to see what was wrong. I found him in a pool of blood that seemed to be coming from his wrists. That image has stayed with me ever since and it wasn’t nice! I ran across the hospital and banged on the nurses door only to be met with an angry Thai woman shouting at me to leave her alone (I had woken her up). I had to practically drag her over to the bathroom with me to help him out (even after gesturing that there was blood coming from his wrists she seemed more concerned with going back to sleep). I think his IV had come out so it wasn’t as dramatic as I first thought, but it was still pretty horrific.

I lay awake all night terrified that one of them would need help and there would be no one around to hear them, then in the morning I was met with a big bill for his medical expenses. He had no money on him, no phone and no idea where he was staying for me to find his brother. I had no money either (due to number 2) so at 8am I found myself trekking across the island, stupidly hungover and dehydrated, to get some money off my friend in the guesthouse. I could have easily left him there (the guy with the food poisoning had heard everything and told me he thought he was an idiot and I should just leave him) but my conscience kicked in and I went back. They handed me some rickety crutches and a bag full of pills and sent us on our way. He was staying on the other side of the island and was in agony. I had to chaperone him while his eyes watered with the pain as he hobbled across the island. It took over an hour and I had no sun cream which resulted in pretty bad burning on my back. When I finally reunited him with his brother he offered me a half-arsed ‘thanks for that’ while his brother refunded me the money. I returned back to the guesthouse at around 10am, exhausted, slightly traumatised, dehydrated, sunburnt and angry that I had gone through that much effort for someone who clearly didn’t appreciate it, and that I had wasted my last night in a Thai hospital.

What I should have been doing with my last night in Phi Phi

What I should have been doing with my last night in Phi Phi

I later added him on facebook to find out if he was okay (he had shattered several bones in his heel and broken a bone in his back apparently). I expected some kind of thank you and I never got it. I later ended up taking a friend to hospital in Australia with a broken toe (apparently I am a curse on feet!) who was very grateful, and reminded me that not all good deeds go unnoticed. So in retrospect I probably should have just sent him on his way and let him deal with it on his own, he clearly didn’t deserve any more! But hey – it does make a long, but very good story, and it means I’m well overdue some good karma!

I’m now going to pass the baton on to three more travel bloggers I have discovered recently, in the hope that I can learn from their mistakes!

Alex at Alex in Wanderland
Scott at Travelling Scott
Gina at Live for Travel

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My biggest fan

(my mum sold our family home earlier in the year)

(my mum sold our family home earlier in the year)

It can’t be easy for my mum to support a decision which means I could potentially end up on the other side of the world, but somehow she still manages it :).

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How to motivate yourself to travel long term

When you’re on the verge of booking your own round-the-world trip the decision making can be pretty difficult. Sometimes you just need that extra push. My own choice was not a quick or easy one and I spent months debating the pros and cons. Eventually it was a combination of methods that pushed me to quit my job and book my flights, and I would recommend every one of them to keep yourself motivated.

I’m writing this one mainly for myself when I’m having phases where I doubt my decision. Unfortunately they’re a frequent occurrence at the moment, leading to sleepless nights and an over analysis of the year ahead. I realise that it would be unnatural to enforce any big change in life without doubting it, but at the moment I really need to remind myself of my reasons for the decision in the first place.

1. Remind yourself that there must be more to life.

I think that feeling is something that most people have felt. Of course it’s rare that anyone is 100% happy with their life and the majority will always be looking for something that little bit better than what they already have. It’s when that feeling starts to become an obsession that it’s really worth doing something about. That something doesn’t always have to be as dramatic as my solution. Some people find meaning and satisfaction out of their lives in other ways – maybe with their career, a hobby, relationships or children. There are plenty of other ways to enrich your life that have nothing to do with travelling. But for me, I know it’s right. Since my 3-month trip earlier in the year my mind has been consumed with thoughts of travel, so I know that at this point in my life it’s all about seeing as much of the world as possible. If you feel the same and you think it will help you shake that feeling then you really have to make it happen.

2. If you’ve been given an opportunity, make the most out of it.

For me, that opportunity was financial. I was given some inheritance money at a time in my life where I was giving serious thought to working abroad. I believe that things in life happen for a reason and I struggle to see that as just a coincidence. Your opportunity might not come in the same form. Maybe you’ve just been made redundant, a relationship has ended or a good friend (our partner) is looking for a travel buddy – if you think that you want to travel and you’re given the freedom to do it for whatever reason then take it as a sign and go for it. You might not ever have the chance again.

3. Remember that you won’t always be commitment free.

At some point in my life I would like to have kids and I also expect my close friends and family to have them. I realise that when that happens I won’t have the freedom that I do now and I will have other people to think about. There will also be pivotal moments in my life that I won’t want to miss out on. I’m 27 soon those things, such as weddings and babies, will start to become a regular occurrence. I need to do this now before I have any commitments. I’m also single, which gives me the freedom to think about what I want and what I want only. Admittedly there are plenty of couples that travel together and many of them wouldn’t have gone if it wasn’t for their support for each other, but when I tell people they could do this too the number one reason for them not doing it is because their partner. So I’m not saying being in a relationship necessarily holds you back, but just that if you are single, take advantage of the fact you don’t have to consider anyone else in your decisions.

4. Fantasize

I wake up every morning in the winter dreading the moment where I have to step outside the comfort of my duvet into the cold. As I’m scraping the ice off the outside of my windscreen (and inside – my car is OLD) and layering up with 3 pairs of socks, I picture myself on a beach in Thailand, sipping on a cocktail and soaking up the sun. Okay so I won’t always fly to warm places and I realise that travelling comes with both highs and lows, but there’s no harm in fantasizing about the days that could be perfect.

5. Listen to the right music

Music is a big part of what motivates me – be it for when I just want to feel sorry for myself or for when I want to get in the mood to dance, there is a song for every occasion. Choose your favourite, most relevant songs, pay attention to the lyrics and use them to push you to travel. I have been playing Frank Turner’s ‘Photosynthesis‘ constantly since I returned to the UK in May. It’s about reaching the stage in life where everyone starts to get mortgages and debating why growing up means that life has to become mediocre. The lyrics pretty much sum up exactly how I’ve been feeling the past few months and I listen to it to remind myself of that. I also listened to Ben Howard’s ‘Keep Your Head Up‘ constantly in the first week of my last trip when I was finding it difficult to be away from home. Never underestimate the power of music therapy.

6. Surround yourself with inspiration

Every morning I wake up to my scratch off map and this artwork:

A print I designed myself. I love looking at this every morning, it helps me out even when I wake up in the worst mood.

A print I designed myself. I love looking at this every morning, it helps me out even when I wake up in the worst mood. It sits next to the map and reminds me that travelling can bring me ‘the best’.

A painting of Khao San road I picked up in Bangkok

A painting of Khao San road I picked up in Bangkok

I also have a lonely planet guide book by my bed and the backgrounds of both my macbook and my work iMac are a rotation of my favourite travelling photos. Surrounding yourself with reminders of happy times, or times that could be, are a brilliant way to keep the idea of travelling constantly in your mind.

7. Predict your life for the next few years if you don’t make any changes – do you like what you see?

For the past few years I have become stuck in the same sleep/work/gym/drink at the weekend routine. It’s not a bad life and I’m not unhappy, but I feel that it has become very predictable. There are certain areas in my life where I almost feel like I’m going round in circles and to change that I think I need to break out of that routine, if only for a short time. I don’t think anyone should see travelling as a solution to all their problems or use it to run away from them, but if you’re like me and don’t like the idea of living the next 5 years exactly as you’ve lived the last, and then reaching that stage and wondering where your life has disappeared to, then act sooner rather than later to make a change. I know it’s a cliche but time goes faster the older you get and life is just way too short.

8. Try and find one person who has done any long term travel and regretted it.

I’ve asked around and I’ve searched google excessively but I have yet to find anyone who looks back on their trip with regret. I know that you can have bad days when you’re travelling, just like you do at home, but despite those days I can’t find anyone who doesn’t see travelling as a positive experience. What isn’t difficult to find are people who regret never going. If you try it and you don’t like it, at least you will know that it’s not for you instead of always wondering ‘what if?’.

9. Research, plan and read travel blogs.

There’s no better way to get yourself excited about travelling than to read about other people’s positive experiences. By reading travel blogs you will learn about where you want to go and where you don’t, and you’ll pick up on ideas and places you’d never even thought about before. Whenever I’m doubting my decision I always spend a few hours reading over blogs for inspiration – if anything you’ll feel so jealous of the authors that you’ll just have to book the next flight out! Planning and researching your destination will also make you feel more ready for your potential trip and make the whole thing seem a lot less intimidating. Think about your dream trip and then work your way towards something that’s realistic for your situation. After all, you never know when an unexpected opportunity might arise and you can make the dream a reality (I’m still waiting on that lottery win!).

10. Write about it.

When I started my blog earlier in the year it began a month before my flight. I started it as a way of recording my experiences so I would have something to look over and remember when I returned. I never thought that it would become so therapeutic or that I would enjoy writing so much. I also never expected anyone else to read it! It became an outlet for my worries and fears, and I found that by just typing them out I felt better. I also got so much positive feedback that I was motivated to plan another trip and write another blog, and that’s part of what bought me to this point. So even if you have no training and you’re not the best writer in the world (I know I’m not), start writing for yourself and see how it makes you feel. I know that I already feel a lot better at the end of writing this than I did at the beginning!

If you’re reading and you haven’t got in touch then please do, I would be interested to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below or follow me on twitter.

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What if money didn’t matter

A friend sent me this video. I love it. It’s a bit of inspiration for anyone who’s thinking of doing the same thing as me, or for myself when I’m having those inevitable doubts.

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