When I first went proper travelling I was 23. It was a “book a one way flight and never return” kinda trip. I had had a pretty shitty year and all I wanted was to escape and switch off. At that moment I didn’t realise the impact travelling would have on me.
At the start of 2016 my life felt normal. I was engaged, we had just bought our first house and I was balls deep in a job I admired. In May I had a shitty health scare and it made me realise that life is far too short and there was so much of the world I hadn’t yet seen. At that moment I realised I was stuck in a bubble I desperately wanted to pop, I became aware I was regrettably conforming to society’s expectations and felt like I needed a dramatic change.
It took a few months to grow a pair of balls but I decided to be more powerful than my excuses and I eventually sold my half of the house, gave back my ring and quit my job and by November I had booked my flight to Thailand, leaving January 7th 2017.
Escaping and going travelling felt like it was something I needed to do for myself. It wasn’t just the break I craved, it was about learning something that wasn’t so “every day”. I wanted to break the routine whilst carrying a heavy backpack and teaching myself much needed lessons along the way. I wanted to delay adult life slightly, responsibility had gotton too much too fast and I genuinely wasn’t enjoying plodding along. I promised myself I would do as much as possible, take each day as they came and find comfort in the cultures and other travellers.
Leaving friends and family was difficult, although I knew I would be returning as a different person with a better outlook on life. I had a really positive attitude about the trip, despite being terrified of what to do once I got there. I think it was more the unknown that unnerved me.
After a lot of tears and cups of tea, I ditched the straighteners, hair dryer and makeup and caught my first ever long haul flight; destination Bangkok…