Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often though, they hurt. – Anthony Bourdain
I was encouraged to travel from an early age by my grandparents.
I used to sit at my Grandad’s feet for hours flicking through photo albums whilst listening to tales of historic figures from far off lands, his travels during the numerous wars and around England, his immigration across the seas from England to Australia on a ship with his family, and his numerous nomadic tours via caravan around Australia with Nan, their dog, and the occasional crocodile.
And then there was my Nan and my Mum who swore we had ‘gypsy blood in us’. This was the reason we were all so restless.
By the time I was 24 I had lived in over 18 houses and quite a few towns across Western Australia. We were always on the lookout for the next place to move to (at times because we had to), and, if we couldn’t move, well – can’t move house, why not move the furniture instead! I think we became addicted to moving, half of the time not bothering to unpack at all (or, at least, keeping the boxes in anticipation of the next move).
By the time I started University I’d suffered from itchy feet for years, lost in dreams of escaping to somewhere…anywhere, as long as it was far, far away.
Travel was IT baby. It was everything.
I like to believe that part of me was being drawn back to where I came from, or rather, where my family came from. I was entranced by dreams of England and of Europe. Of forests and castles and history and art and cooler climes and my prince who was waiting for me…I also wanted to see something else other than red dirt, bush and bogans. There had to be more.
Today, I’m proud to have fulfilled my travel dreams. I’ve worked hard, setting my sights on my dream, and through saving intensively have explored China, Hawaii, Vanuatu and Mauritius. I’ve lived and worked in the UK. I’ wandered around parts of Europe, including a six-week backpacking expedition through Italy, and even stopped over at Singapore 10 times! Through all of it, one place above any has captured my heart and my soul. Paris. That is the place I dream of returning to for our belated honeymoon… one day.
Travel changes you
Through travelling I’ve pushed myself further than I ever would have at home.
I’ve experienced highs and lows.
Been broke and lost.
I’ve met amazing people.
I’ve also encountered some truly horrible people, including a stalker who still manages to track me down on Facebook every now and then.
I’ve pined for a boyfriend back home whilst neglecting to fully experience the most breathtaking towns.
I’ve fallen in love.
I’ve had my heart broken.
I’ve seen some of the most breathtaking places, art and architecture
I’ve returned to my roots to explore my Nan’s home town where I met her relatives. This is a place that has now become my home away from home.
Through all of this, the little, shy, naive girl stemming from a country town entrenched in sexism and racism transformed into a confident, worldly woman. A woman who finally realised she was beautiful and that the world was made up of more than just steak and potatoes, red dirt and bush, christianity and atheism, black and white. She turned into someone who finally saw that she had something to offer the world – that she was someone.
For now I find comfort at home in Perth, Western Australia, something I never thought I would find! As the city and it’s people (slowly) change, I find that I am more and more at home here. I still have dreams of living somewhere else. Of chasing the sun. And of experiencing the world with my hubby D, who has me to thank for catching the travel bug.
It’s also the reason behind why we started a food and travel blog together. Capturing our love for food and travel, we’d planned to share our experiences, recipes, and more with the world on Two Hungry Nomads. I’d just forgotten how time-consuming it was to manage TWO blogs at the same time. I mean, sometimes it’s hard just to write for one! But we will get there. I am confident of that.
So the question that remains is this. Where to next?
To be continued… over on Two Hungry Nomads.