Last night I was sharing drinks with a few friends, all I had met travelling, when I realised that it has been 6 months since I was queuing to check in for my flight for Vietnam flight, the start of an incredible adventure that has spanned 3 continents, 24 countries and countless hours spent on busses, trains and planes.
There is nothing quite like travelling – it is never the same experience twice.
I have seen things that I never could have imagined!
I have been to some of the most remarkable places in the world – the bioluminescent bay in Vieques, the amazing Dalmatian Coast in Croatia, Carcassonne in the South of France, Vietnam, the Scottish Highlands – the list goes on. There is so much to see and I have not even scratched the surface
There is such rich natural history in the world, more than that though – there is such a rich cultural history, and some of the cities I have visited are truly amazing. Budapest was an immeasurable highlight as a city, beautiful, stunning (wild as well). Paris will always have a special place in my heart, Spain, well Spain is Spain! You never know what is around the corner!
Friends make the travel experiences truly special
I have said this throughout my articles – I have seen some breathtaking sights, experienced incredible things but the best thing I have done on my trip is meet amazing people! Having someone to share crazy pub crawls, incredible parties, walking tours, natural sights or even getting banned from a flight at the airport gives you oh so many stories.
I have been so lucky to meet some of the best people in the world on this trip, travel with them and share experiences – there is a special kind of connection that you make when you meet people on the road. When you meet a fellow traveller something just clicks and it feels like you have known each other for years, so much shared experience in such a short time. I am not going to mention any of the cool people I have met, other than to say you all rock – and I haven’t visited you yet I won’t be far away!
There is never too much partying!
When I hit the 2 & 3 month points on my trip I was a little worried that perhaps I had been partying a little too much. I quickly realised though, I still had a great mix of sightseeing and the most important thing? I was having fun! I will never forget the 3 amazing nights I spent partying well past sunrise in Koh Phanang, or the times we would be walking home as the sun rose in Eastern Europe! Partying in Hvar was amazing, so was Miami and New Orleans. New York almost convinced me to move there instead of London (I still haven’t completely decided), it has been a very wild ride.
My key takeout from this though wasn’t just to keep partying but it was that everyone has their own style, some people want luxury resorts, some people want to live out of a van and drive around the world, some people love couch surfing and some people just want to stay in hostels cheaply, meeting people as they explore the world. The best thing about this is that there is no one right or wrong way to travel. Your style of travel is up to you – the only wrong way to travel is to not!
You make your own luck travelling
When I was back home I would often here stories about how many amazing adventures people have while on the road. So many of these stories sound so fantastical that they beggar belief – the right place at the right time. I have learned that your luck entirely is in your hands – saying Yes is a powerful thing when you travel. Do I want to travel to a new city with someone I have just met? Do I want to check out this cool lake? Do I want to do a cemetery tour? Do we want to do (yet another) pub crawl?
Taking the chance, going out to explore to take the chance and make your own luck create opportunities for your own experiences – while I am yet to meet actors or royalty like some of my friends back home I have had an unbelievable time, and met people, become friends with people that I just should not have, but I was in the right place at the right time (and perhaps the right amount of Irish accent). When you travel the choice is yours, you can do the quieter things or you can take a chance, roll the dice and see where your experience takes you.
I can honestly say in 6 months I have spent more time on busses than in my entire life! However, they are a cost effective way to travel, even if I would rather spend 10 times a bus ticket on a flight back home. Some interesting stories have come from buses, and gateways to new and exciting countries (or much smaller American cities). More generally flying and trains are also quite tedious, but they are all a necessary evil to get to the places that you want to go!
Blogging is not as easy as I thought!
As it turns out keeping my blog up to date is proving a little more difficult than I planned, and I haven’t even started to turn it into the ticket to travel the world endlessly. It can be a little disheartening when you don’t see many people reading but to those of you who are – thank you! While I do a lot of storytelling I hope you enjoy reading about my tales as much as I enjoy writing about them! (Fortunately working on the road has been a little easier so it makes it a little easier for me to travel for longer)
Travelling Solo is a great way to go
I have spent about 4 wonderful months travelling with some amazing friends, through Asia, Europe and here in the US as well but I have also spent 2 months exploring the world on my own. Travelling with friends is brilliant, but travelling solo can be just as much fun! You are never alone when you travel solo – in fact you are flung far out of your comfort zone and forced to meet people, find new friends who want to explore with you.
This is why I love hostels – you have to TRY to NOT meet people, you never know who will sit next to you at breakfast (if you wake up for it), be sleeping in your room or will join you for a walking tour or pub crawl! Travelling solo is a great way to learn more about yourself, and help you develop as a person. These sound like clichés but they hold water. It might not be for everyone, but at the same time, you might surprise yourself!
There is nothing else that I would rather be doing!
I have never had as much fun as I am doing what I am right now – I am seeing incredible things and meeting amazing people – this is something that I would recommend to everyone! I am not going to lie – not every day is peaches and cream, there are certainly a few bad days scattered amongst the amazing ones but that is all part of the experience.
I found a brilliant quote that sums my thoughts up perfectly – “Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman
Everyone should take the opportunity to travel around the world your mind is opened in ways you can not even begin to imagine, and you will experience things beyond your wildest dreams!
So, 6 months on looking back at everywhere I have been, everything I have seen and everyone I have met and I know – that there is nowhere I would rather be, and nothing that I would rather be doing!