It’s no secret that I love to travel. I have well and truly been bitten by the travel bug! Around the world, around Australia, around town – it really doesn’t matter. I love to explore new places and meet new people. But for many, myself included, the pinnacle is definitely travelling overseas.
Like a lot of people, in my early twenties I wistfully watched as friends took off overseas, especially London, and dreamed of the day when I could afford to join them. They talked of being bitten by the travel bug and tried to warn me that once you start you can never go back, which of course I scoffed at at the time.
For my first overseas trip, I opted for a short trip ‘across the ditch’ to New Zealand for a stereotypical self drive motorhome/ski trip with a childhood friend. We hadn’t done a lot of planning in the lead up to trip and it wasn’t until we got there that we discovered I was six months too young to drive the hire vehicle and so my mate was stuck with all of the driving. In retrospect not a bad thing, as she has the most awful sense of direction, and if I hadn’t been navigating I reckon we might have ended up in Antarctica!
We had an amazing two weeks bumbling around the south island with no real timetable except to spend a few days in Queenstown and then meet our flight home from Christchurch at the end of the two weeks. In this case the lack of planning allowed us to go with the flow and stay at places that took our fancy and we got to do some crazy things we would never have done at home. Luckily we were travelling in low season, so not only was everything relatively cheap, but we found it easy to just rock up at places and park our van. This style of travel was perfect for us as two single girls on our first overseas adventure, but not ideal when travelling in larger groups like families.
It would be another six years before I travelled overseas again and luckily my finances were a little healthier (but not much) and I could afford to meet up with friends travelling to Greece and Egypt. Even though I was older and hopefully wiser (having travelled a fair bit for work around outback Australia), it was my first long haul flight and undertaking it by myself was both nerve racking and exhilarating. I booked a 24 hour stop over in Dubai to break up the trip, not knowing what to expect.
As a young blonde solo traveller, visiting a middle eastern country was intimidating and I was super cautious everywhere I went. I covered myself from head to toe, despite the heat, tucking my long hair under a hat and journeyed around town visiting the zoo, museums and markets. I was mesmerised by the gold souks and blew about half of my savings on a gold belcher necklace and bracelet that I still wear regularly today. I wouldn’t recommend this as a spending strategy!
Greece and Egypt were amazing and from there the travel bug had well and truly bitten me. I then travelled overseas nearly every year for over a decade, spending nearly 30 weeks out of the country during this time. Thank goodness for long service leave!
Just as I decided to cut down my overseas jaunts and spend more time catching up with friends spread all over Australia, I met my now husband at at country race meet in the outback and with the arrival of our daughter soon after, our travel has been limited to more local destinations (which, when you live in Central Queensland, are still a good seven hour plus drive away to reach a bigger centre). We hope to spend six months travelling around the northern part of Australia in the next few years.
More recently I have begun a new chapter in my travel adventures – international travel with a young one and as a family. So far the three of us have been to Singapore to visit my husband’s sister and her young family. Little Miss’ first adventure overseas was a hit. She still ‘travels’ to Singapore regularly as part of her imaginative play, so I know she is already well and truly ‘infected’!
When did you first get bitten by the travel bug? Where did you go? Has your travel style changed much since then?
I hope you are inspired to travel more by yourself or with others. You might also like to find out my Top 10 reasons for why I love to travel.