Up until about ten years ago I had never been further than France and Greece; a French exchange, a girls’ holiday in Kos.
I wouldn’t say that I was a homebird, rather adventures and far flung holidays had never been something that I’d really equated with being “me”. I just simply didn’t do them. They weren’t on my radar.
Growing up, our holidays, which I loved, were spent in the caravan exploring the UK in detail; the Cotswolds being by far and away my favourite.
I studied Law and Accounting at university and, whilst there, I applied for training contracts at various law firms in Newcastle (where I’m from) and in Leeds (where I’m not). None of the applications came to fruition. I wasn’t offered a training contract that year. As you tend to apply one or two years in advance, I was (primarily) distraught after years of hard work and (latterly) suddenly at a loose end for a year until I took up my place at Law School.
Spurred on by a friend’s adventures, I did something completely out of character and one lunchtime, taking a break from revision in the library, I went down to STA Travel and booked myself a ticket to Singapore. I’d be coming back three and a half months later via Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand (and, as it turns out, less one appendix). I packed my new backpack, bought a couple of Lonely Planet travel guides, donned my sturdy, newly-purchased silver Birkenstocks, and the rest, as they say, is history.
It was the making of me. My worst case scenario was, in fact and unbeknown to me at the time, my best case scenario.
I then came back, worked two jobs, and then packed my backpack once again and headed to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize for six weeks before heading to Law School, securing a training contract and then moving to London.
A decade later and I am lucky enough to have been to many more brilliant places and travel is one of my truly favourite things to do.
I’m always on the look out for a good recommendation, whether it’s an experience, a restaurant or a museum so I have filled these pages with my tips and I hope in these pages you find some ideas to help you with your next adventure.