The effects of social isolation feel challenging and uncomfortable for many. As we adjust to this new way of life from the safety and familiarity of home, I have been feeling nostalgic and reflecting on my favourite travel memories.
When cabin fever strikes, nostalgia allows me to dream of the great outdoors. I love to reminisce and although I have never taken the freedom to travel for granted, I now appreciate the experience of my worldwide adventures more than ever!
Whilst waiting patiently until we can safely explore the world once more, I turn to my collection of travel photographs, which bring happiness and comfort during enforced quarantine.
The ridiculous luxuries of making last minute travel plans, flying on a plane and roaming carefree in new and exotic lands seem surreal to even consider during Covid-19. The thought of eating street food or dining out in a restaurant, sinking happy hour pints, touching door handles, shaking hands and the warm embrace of a hug (I’m big on hugs and social interaction) are all activities the human race once took for granted and will never be considered in that way again!
It is pretty crazy to think that no one can travel right now. In just a matter of weeks, so much has changed globally and in our everyday lives. Aside from key workers, as the majority of the population remain safely indoors at a complete and utter standstill, I can’t help but wonder what long term impact this will have on the travel industry?
There is no shortage of time to sit and reflect on the adventures that we have all experienced, near and far. So in celebration of my love for backpacking and the reason behind this little business of mine, I plan to share the highlights of my past experiences with you over the coming weeks as lockdown is extended.
I am obsessed with storytelling and revisiting my favourite travel memories. Each and everyone of us has a story to share that has shaped our lives and experience of the world around us. I love nothing more than meeting fellow explorers and hearing their tales of adventures across the globe!
Throughout my travels I have met the most wonderful range of people navigating their way through life! People who have travelled to all seven continents, driven around the entire circumference of Australia, hitchhiked from Scotland to Afghanistan and beyond. A group of friends who lived in a cave on a Cambodian Island, a guy who was robbed and shot at point blank range in Brazil. A girl who took her beloved dog backpacking across Europe and another who moved to a country where she could not speak a word of English yet 6 months later she was completely fluent. Students on spiritual journeys, fresh out of college wanting to live a little before deciding on their next step. Young couples in love and high on life, single parents and entire families. Solo travellers in their 50’s and 60’s who don’t want to spend retirement living in one place and many who have been on the road for 5 plus years and more - Musicians, dancers, chefs, nurses, teachers, engineers, hairdressers, labourers, bartenders… You name it, people from all walks of life.
As a result I believe it’s who you meet along the way that makes travel worthwhile. It’s not just the culture and cuisine of foreign lands but the people I have encountered who make me love a destination all the more.
When I realised this, my perspective on travel shifted! Travel isn’t always pretty; it can be lonely and may not always go to plan. It often encourages you to question your sense of self and for certain, it takes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to grow - Similar to the current lockdown! Travel is a crash course in making fierce friendships and surviving bad decisions, making and breaking the rules, together. The friendships you never knew you wanted or needed, connecting and caring for each other in new and distant land, like you would a family member.
We travel to escape and leave all notions of routine and responsibility behind. To discover not only new destinations but who we are and who we hope to become! Travel and those you meet along the way shape and define you; inspiring you to make the most of each and every day and become the best version of yourself. It is quite difficult to put into words the profound impact it can have on your perspective. It makes you thoughtful and thankful and I believe it is something you have to experience firsthand to truly understand.
Travel, similar to social isolation encourages a change that never leaves you, a change that goes on, deep and permanent within your soul!
As a result I am head over heels in love with our incredible planet, the diversity of its people and landscapes. Once restrictions have been lifted I can’t wait to explore once more (this time with a baby in tow), but until then I’ll just keep reliving my adventures through the snapshots I have captured of soaring cities and shorelines, summits and sunsets, faraway friends and the freedom of the open road.