My pop was an executive for a worldwide travel company and as such, he travelled a lot. He had to check out locations, hotels, the beaches and various tourist attractions and create new contracts.
When my dad came home, he would tell magnificent stories about where he has been and what he had been doing. Obviously, it was hard work, but it always sounded amazing.
He always had some adventure and met some lovely and interesting people along the way. Hearing his stories and how excited he got whilst telling them, made me wish I was travelling with him. As I was at school this was not possible but we always kept in touch when he was away and he always brought us back a thoughtful present.
When I was growing up, I knew I wanted to travel and because of this, I learnt 5 languages, saved all of my pocket money from my parents and various jobs, delivering papers and clearing neighbors gardens. I paid attention in geography class and planned out a trip for when I was old enough to go.
It was all mapped out. I would take year out from college and I would travel around the globe.
My parents supported me and my pop told me how to stay safe and gave me lots of tips on what to do and what not to do whilst travelling.
Eventually the day came. I was heading off to India. It was my pop’s favorite place and I wanted to go there first. I was packed and ready to go. There was the tearful goodbye at the airport with my parents, understandable, as I would be gone for the best part of a year.
When stepping off the plane in Mumbai, the first thing that hit me was the heat and humidity, 35 degrees but felt more like 40, it was crazily hot.
I saved enough money to stay in decent hotels for my whole year, but my dad said that if you wanted to sample the real culture of a place, you need to fully immerse yourself with the locals so not to stay in the tourist areas (which is where he usually stayed for his job). So this is what I did.
His advice was invaluable. Everyone was so friendly and the food was so tasty. I went to a bangra karaoke bar, yes there is such a thing! I danced and sang and it was one of the best nights of my life.
The beaches there are amazing. I am fair skinned, so lots of sun tan lotion for me. The sand was golden and the sea was pure lapis blue.
I also met a lot of back packers my age, who were also taking a year out of college and we started travelling around together.
The great thing about travelling with other backpackers, is they also know the hidden gems and you can learn from each other’s mistakes and get hints and tips from each other.
I met a great girl on my travels throughout India called Jen, who has since become a very good friend of mine. I was moaning about my hair and not being able to keep it straight because of the humidity. I remember her laughing and saying it is impossible to keep your hair straight here, so why don’t I buy some curling irons and just go curly instead. I told her I didn’t know the first thing about curling my hair as I always (until my India trip) wore my hair straight. Jen said have a look at Angela’s information website, there is information on there about curling irons and which ones are best and user reviews. I bought some online, got them shipped to my parent’s address and they couriered them to me in India, along with my usual care package.
The world was my oyster and I did it in style with my new curly hair.
It is a year since I went around the world and I am planning my next trip, where I plan to spend most of my time in Africa. I cannot wait! I may move abroad one day. I need to get university out of the way and then away I go.