It was during my gap year before university that I truly discovered my love for travel. Spending 3 months volunteering in Sri Lanka, living and working with local people, opened my eyes to the beauty of other cultures, from the food and traditional dress to the music and local customs. I had caught ‘the travel bug’.
Since then, I’ve been fortunate to travel to a real variety of countries across all continents, including South America where I made my way from the north of Colombia via the Galapagos Islands, to the south of Bolivia with little more than my broken Spanish and a friendly smile.
In the last year, I’ve been back to ‘my babies’, Canada, Borneo and Malaysia to remind myself why I love them so much…
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I travel for...
For me, it’s not all about reaching a destination. The journey to get there can itself be just as memorable. In particular, I love travelling overland, such as the 3-day train from Sydney to Perth in Australia where I traversed the inhospitable Nullarbor Plain. In Canada, the flexibility of driving on the open road allows you to stop whenever you see that passing bear or moose. Whilst in Borneo, my whole trip was about the journey; using nothing more than our feet to climb up the incredible Mount Kinabalu, before cycling and then using our own handmade rafts to get to the coast at Sandakan – an unforgettable experience!
Maps are obviously very useful, but sometimes there is nothing I love more than just getting lost! Taking the next left or right turn and seeing where it takes you can be a great way of discovering that wonderful view, those incredible smells or that gem of a bar. Away from the hustle and bustle of routine, what better way to relax than just seeing where your feet take you!? Where I can, I also love to do a city tour when I first arrive somewhere, I find this really helps to get my bearings, can be a great way to get tips from locals, meet fellow travellers and get a glimpse of places to go back to…
There is a very little food I dislike. I can give or take the fried scorpions on Khao San Road in Bangkok, but other than that I think food can be a great journey in itself and a fantastic insight into the traditions and way of life of a destination. Some of my favourite foods are the aromatic curries of Sri Lanka, the alpaca stir-fry of Peru and the delicious curry soup Khao Soi of Northern Thailand. I also love doing cookery courses where I can, so I can try and recreate these amazing dishes when I am back home!
It might be hard to believe that tourism can be a force for good, but here's a brief history of Batang Ai & Nanga Sumpa Rainforest Lodge showing it's possible.
7 min readRead More - Tourism as a force for good? Batang Ai & Nanga Sumpa Rainforest Lodge