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I’m cooking half a tin of baked beans in a frying pan. Why? Now, I’m not adverse to enjoying the odd cheeky pasta and ketchup, but with all the wonderful things the ‘It’s just nice’ ladies put up on the blog, WHY would I choose to eat beans on toast and why cook it in a frying pan for god’s sake?! Well the answer is, I’ve caught the travelling bug. And I’ve been sick with it for a long time.
My parents have been to every continent that exists (yes, including Christmas in Antarctica…with work before you ask how much money they have), and, as my Mum is also a native Californian, they have brought me up on 12-hour flights to LAX. Not only that, I have been cursed with the belief that I am totally not suited to the wet climate that is sustained for 90% of the year (or feels like it) in my home town of Bristol. Now, don’t get me wrong, Bristol, and England in general, are my favourite places in the world when it’s sunny. It’s just that ‘when’ is anyone’s guess.
So, against all of my better judgment, I’ve booked a ticket around the world (or to some of the places I’ve dreamed of going all of my adult life) for 6 months. On. My. Todd. I’ve packed in my job. Moved back in with my parents. And am attempting to save as much money as a single girl living in Bristol and getting paid sweet FA can manage to, hence the baked beans in a frying pan scenario I find myself in.
Apart from the obvious, seeing the world, glorious tan, sun, sea and dare I say it…hopefully some sex, why am I going at the grand age of 25? Shouldn’t I have got all of that out of my system at 21 and be building myself a fabulous career in Media? Well yes, sensible me thinks I should, but ex-boyfriends and attempting to get on the career ladder itself prevented me from doing that and I’m not going to lie, 25 was a bit of shock to the system. I’m not saying quarter-life crisis but no time like the present and all that.
Having been single for nearly 2 years now, I feel like I’ve conquered the alone thing, to the point where I genuinely enjoy it. Not that I don’t have nights where my memory is nothing but a haze fueled by cider the next day, but I genuinely do just fancy drinking wine and watching a film sometimes. It’s just that the lack of ‘someone’ is hard to ignore, and even harder is the feeling that you’re waiting for them to show up. Well I’m tired of feeling like I should have a man, and truth be told, I’m tired of wanting one. Travelling isn’t running away, it’s taking myself by the scruff of my neck and shouting ‘You can do this on your own!’ It’s a challenge and one I can’t wait to figuratively (and very possibly literally) take by the balls.
When I tell people I’m going away on my own, most reply with ‘you’re so brave!’ I assume they’re referring to the ‘going alone’ part, but I’m beginning to think it’s more to do with the growing inner fear I have of coming back to no job, no home, no money and worst of all, no career. Now, that I can understand, and I’m getting closer and closer to screaming, ‘I’m not brave, I’ve been stupidly impulsive and I’m shitting it’ to the next person who mentions my courage! But it’s not going to stop me. I’ve gone too far now, I’m in the plane and I’m ready to jump. Show me what you’ve got.
So, the big question is, where is this insanely rash decision spurred on by the childhood illness of travelling taking me? First off I’m headed to Singapore, ‘City of….’ Well actually I’m not sure, and truth be told it’s an extended layover. But to hell with it! I’m looking forward to exploring a city, the likes of which I’ve never been to before, and I’ll have lots of fun facts to tell about it once I get there. Let’s call it starting from scratch?
Next on the list are the Philippines. A place which every time I try to write, can’t spell, to the point where my spell checker has no idea what I’m trying to say. Anyway, I know a few people there and have only heard good things about it…ok I was swayed by the over 7000 tropical islands it has! My plan was to sit on a beach, go surfing and explore the vast landscapes that it has to offer. But once Typhoon Haiyan hit, I headed back to the travel clinic and got myself some cholera. Not literally, well actually yes literally, but the vaccination kind. Now, I hope to see some of the beaches and beauty, as well as helping out affected areas where I can.
After the Philippines, it’s Hong Kong, Fiji, LA, all around South America and incredibly randomly, a week in Portugal (does it help if I say I didn’t want to arrive home just before my 26th birthday? No? I know. It’s weird). I won’t bore you with my thoughts about each place right away (save that for later) but let’s just say it’s going to be the trip of a lifetime. Part of travelling though is sharing. Sharing the ‘do you remember’ stories, sharing the cockroach-ridden hostels and sharing the atmosphere. So, even though I’ll end up with a ‘single travellers tan’ (as my flat mate so kindly reminded me) the wonderful ‘It’s just nice’ team, have invited me onto their blog to share with you the travel tips, the I’m sure, embarrassing stories, the hostel reviews, city guides and good god the glorious, glorious food I find along the way! Because really, what’s better than sitting at a beach side bar, caipirinha in hand and fresh seafood in your belly? No ideas? Me neither.