It has been 2 years. But if I think about it for long enough it still makes me cry.
Why did I start travelling?
From my greatest troubles were born my greatest triumphs.
If you had told me on 22/12/13 at approximately 10:20 that in two years time I would be where I am now, I wouldn’t have believed you. Not one bit. To be honest.. I had no idea what I would be doing, I just assumed I’d be happy enough. Although, for very different Reasons. Without getting into too much detail I thought that that was me done with life three days before Christmas in 2013. .. And for 6 months or so I got out of bed everyday because I had to.. not because I wanted to. I cried everyday. No exaggeration. I completely lost my appetite, barely ate and in about 4 months I had lost 2 stone. I deleted all forms of social media. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget someone when they are not constantly appearing on your phone screen. I pretty much hid from the world—keeping in minimal contact with around 6 people. Yes, I had some better days but ultimately my days were consumed with an anxiety like no other and the never ending feeling like I was about to start the 50m breaststroke. I took a trip to NYC with my friend Jess in March 2014, and even though it was amazing, and we did have a great time. I was still consumed with all this crap in my head. I, quite frankly was not well.
Prior to NYC I had contacted my friend Katie. She had mentioned in the past that she was interested in doing a bit of travelling. I fancied going somewhere, taking a few photos and attempting to feel better about life. And so on Friday 13th June we flew to Hong Kong. Unlucky for some but not so much for me.. or so it would seem.
I have witnessed some of the most amazing views from Victoria Peek and been amazed by crowds that take to the streets on a daily basis, making their way to work in the smog. I have completely fallen in love with a country 10 thousand miles away and dream everyday until I can return to the land down under, where I whizzed through the Daintree Rainforest, explored the Great Barrier Reef, Met a cow named Sausage, experienced the best ever sunset at Fraser Island, kayaked with Dolphins at Byron Bay, ‘learn’t’ to surf at Cofts Harbour and climbed over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I have partied on a beach with more than 15000 people in Thailand, dined for less than £2 and navigated the through the crowds in Bangkok. I have survived an over night train (twice), woken up with a sea of dead mosquitos around me on a raft boat, walked the bridge over the River Quay . I somehow survived a four day trek in the Chiang Mai jungle, washed elephants and floated down a rather precarious river on a bamboo raft for 4 hours.
I have actually driven a Gondola and spent 5 days eating endless Pizza and drinking bottemless Prosecco in Venice.
I have been on a 14 hour flight on my own.
I have snorkelled with Turtles and Sharks in Belize, I have explored ancient mayan ruins at sunrise in Tikal, Guatemala at 3:00 am, Strolled the cobbled streets of Antigua and come to the conclusion that I really don’t like soft shell tacos. I have got back on a horse for the first time in 15 years to trek up a volcano (only to fall back down it) and been exposed to some of the most beautiful lakes and colours that Central America has to offer. I’ve spent a day in Mexico City, just by myself drinking Sangria.
I have cycled over the Golden Gate Bridge, eaten clam chowder out of a bread bowl, got a very intense work out on Telegraph Hill, explored in Muir woods- seeing some very tall tress and yes, I did leave my heart in San Francisco.
I spent half a day in Santa Monica eating Acai Smoothies and half a day trying to get back to Hollywood in an Uber. I have attending a ‘Vegas Wedding and got very merry with some champagne in a limo, helicoptered over The Grand Canyon and had wine from a box at sunset. I’ve coached down route 66 and had a Forrest Gump moment at Monument Valley. I have had one of the best- if not the best night out of my life in the town of Durango, Colorado ( hangover eradicated by early morning water rapids). I have bought a cowboy hat in Santa Fe and have hot air ballooned ( and crashed ) at sunrise, watched a steak challenge in Amarillo, ridden a mechanical bull in Dallas ( and had too much tequila).
I have been to Graceland in Memphis and had far too many hurricanes in New Orleans. I have won a pint lifting contest in Panama City Beach but failed miserably at wheel barrow race. I was a wizard for the day in Universal studios and been absolutely soaked on a speed boat in Miami, ( because naturally after knowing we’d get soaked there Leeza and I thought it was a good idea) experienced the joys of american cinema in Daytona. I’ve been to the Kennedy Space Center ( just putting that one out there), Eaten myself silly in Savannah …then the gnats ate me.. and laughed till i cried trying to escape rain puddles in Charleston. I’ve been to a baseball game in Washington D.C and had a photo with the White House, I’ve returned to NYC and ridden a terrifying looking Ferris Wheel with Liz, who has been more than a God send in my life
I’ve experience Turkey in the rain, and hidden in toilets to avoid Belly Dancing Participation..
December 2015 has brought a third trip to the Big Apple, although still yet to take a photo of the flat Iron Building, it was certainly a trip of firsts, I have just returned from Austria- or as it will historically be known as country 23.
and to think I wouldn’t have done any of this. The thought genuinely makes me shiver.
I have been incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to see the world. Sometimes I look at maps and have the sudden realisation of ‘Oh shit, I have actually been there, seen that, done that’. – The majority of which within a year. Looking back at everywhere I have been and the people I have met, does occasionally feel like a dream. It is almost like it never happened.
Whether it be from travelling or through various jobs I have met so many people that have changed my life. It seems more than crazy to think that I may have never met them. But I remember why. I will always be grateful for the way things worked out in the end but I will never forget the struggle. The feeling of not being good enough. For why I started travelling is bitter sweet. People always ask me why I have a broken infinity tattooed on my wrist, they ask ‘isn’t that a bit depressing?’ Well no, not if you have read all of the above. I have imprinted something that will remind me forever that nothing in this life is permanent- The good times will never last but the bad times won’t either. Things can always change because things will always change.
I’m not the best with words. so to summarise I’ll have to show you.
I can however say this, although I am not a bundle of joy everyday I am happy to wake up, Although I can still get extremely anxious about things I will never let it take over my life like it did before. I cannot wait for my next adventure and I would not change one single thing about the past. Not getting what I wanted was the biggest stroke of luck life ever was to gift me.
Perhaps travel won’t always be apart of my life, maybe one day I will wake up and it won’t be ‘good enough’ But until then.. The dream rolls on.