When I started this blog about independent travel, I had been on an extended trip around the world, travelling solo for the first time. I envisaged the blog being only for people interested in extended journeys. However, as time has passed, and as I have adapted to my ever-changing lifestyle, I have made it more inclusive, as it should be. Independent travel isn’t reserved for the few who choose and are fortunate enough to be able to travel for extended periods of time. Having said that, my dream life is to have the time and money to be able to travel the way I want, wherever and whenever I want. That is proving to be a real challenge, and while I continue to pursue it, I have to remember that “Life is a journey, not a destination.”, as Ralph Waldo Emerson wisely put it. I need to appreciate and enjoy the journey, which is something I am constantly reminding myself of.
During my time as an expat in Poland, when I had only one day off a week, I learned that you can do a lot in a short amount of time. I had to compromise and couldn’t go long distances, but I did stretch it, and travel further and further. It just meant, I didn’t have much time to relax, I had to be organised, and I had to get up very early or get back late at night to make sure I was back in time for work. Nonetheless, I saw a lot of Poland, especially Malopolska, while I was there.
Now, living in the UK once again, with two days off, a job that enables me to travel around part of the UK, living in the incredible city of Oxford, with money in my pocket, and a car to get around, I can continue to travel independently wherever I am – in the UK and abroad. I can now plan some of the trips I haven’t been able to afford.
My first holiday, over the Christmas period, is to Sri Lanka. I have never been, and I hadn’t even really thought about going there. You might be wondering how I ended up booking it. Well, to answer that question, I was in need of some inspiration, so I went to the Flight Centre near me. I wouldn’t have thought of doing that because I always search and book everything, myself, online.. It was my dad who suggested it, so I thought, ‘Why not?’. Sometimes it’s good to things differently so, the following day, I popped in.
I was initially thinking of going to the Caribbean, but, apart from the fact that it was ridiculously expensive at that time of year, I wasn’t sure if I would find accommodation because I don’t want to have to book accommodation in advance. I was thinking of other places when Stuart, the travel adviser I was speaking to, suggested Sri Lanka. After a couple of seconds, I thought, ‘Why not?’. It wasn’t high on my list of places to go, mainly because I know very little about it, but all the more reason to go and explore it. So, we started looking at that and I ended up booking a return flight to Sri Lanka. Although I had spent a ridiculous amount of money on the flight because of the time of year, I was happy knowing that I would be travelling around some far-flung country. I haven’t done that for years. In fact, this is going to be my first long-haul flight in six years – six years! Where has the time gone?
I still have a particular idea in my mind, which is to travel around part of the Caribbean. I won’t have long enough to do it in the way I have been thinking about for a couple of years, but I can do a pared down version. Having said that, I recently found out that soon the Northern Lights are going to be harder to see for the next 10 years. That got me thinking about heading to Northern Europe for a few days to try to catch a glimpse of the incredible, natural light show I have only seen on the internet and television. If I do that, I will have even less time for my dream travel experience in the Caribbean. I might have to hold off on that for a bit longer, but I’ll see how things go.
Whatever I decide to do, I will be writing about my travels when I have the time to do so, and I’ll continue using my social media accounts to post photos of my travels. I tend to post my photos live on Instagram and Facebook and, occasionally, Twitter. If you fancy it, you can follow my journey of discovery, wherever I am. It’d be great to share my journeys with you.