Travelling: My Experiences So Far

Me on a roller-coaster at Porthcawl around 2009
To say I hadn't travelled much before this summer would not be true at all but I wouldn't say I was a particularly well travelled person either. The first time I went abroad I was about 9 and me and my family went to Crete at the height of summer. I am a very pale redhead and this unfortunately was not the climate for me! We went sightseeing and exploring and there was some beach lounging but generally I was tied to the shade, covered head to toe in SPF 50+ sun cream. As a family we did go to Crete a second time when I was about 11, this time in the Easter holidays and that was much more enjoyable for me but other than that me and my family didn't go abroad for holidays, we mainly did stay-cations and weekend trips to cities across Britain. London was a particular favourite and I think I could say with confidence that by the age of 16 I had seen pretty much explored every nook and cranny that the British capital had to offer and I wasn't half bad at navigating the tube system either.

Barry beach Summer 2009
      For me there is nothing more relaxing that long car journeys with the family, watching the world whizzing by as you chatter and argue over the radio, occasionally pulling over for emergency stops in service stations for toilet breaks or much needed refuelling. We ventured to older cities such as Winchester, the Saxon capital of England and other cities rather closer to home like Bristol and Bath. But at the same time, it's not quite the same as going abroad. I did later go on a couple of school trips abroad to Paris and Rome/ The Amalfi Coast which were hugely enjoyable but rather constraining as of course you are part of an extremely large group of children under the care of relatively small group of teachers in a foreign country- you're not exactly free to do as you please. So, up until this summer my experiences of travelling, especially abroad were somewhat limited and I'd decided I wanted this to change.

Little fishing boat from my second trip to Crete around 2011
     So armed with this very very vague idea of "travelling" in the very millennial sense of the word I asked my friend Molly if she wanted to join me and she immediately said yes! I wanted to go travelling because I'd not seen much of the world and I thought my horizons could do with some broadening but also because the cities I'd wanted to visit were ones I'd heard of before, either because of family or friends visiting them, or through books and films and I suppose to me, they held a sort of magical quality. Another reason I chose to travel where I did was that I think it felt foreign enough to be thrilling and adventurous but not so unfamiliar that I'd be too scared or out of my comfort zone the first time away travelling without parents.
     I chose to travel with a friend because, as any guide or advice worth its salt will tell you, female solo travels are an extremely vulnerable travelling demographic and I didn't like the idea of recreating 'Taken' my first time out, something my mum was rather nervous about. So I suppose that's the background story of why wanted to travel, next stop the planning...

Me and my family exploring an abandoned village, Crete 2011
     Lots of people are very lucky and get to travel all over the place from quite a young age. Some of my friends are real jet-setters and are always on a city break but others didn't venture abroad until high school. Sometimes I think there's a real pressure in the summer holidays to get the perfect Instagram and go and "find yourself" but the truth of the matter is it really comes down to what kind of thing you like and what your finances can stretch to. It's important to remember that social media is a heavily edited view of life and people put a lot of work into projecting a very specific image. As much as you try, FOMO (the fear of missing out) can strike and the green eyed monster can slither out, but try not to feel downhearted if you think your missing out or that your holiday is not as good as some one else's. The key thing to remember is that the most fun you can have is doing something you enjoy with people you love. Everything else is just white noise and should be ignored because the chances are that that Instagram influencer isn't having quite as much fun  as they're pretending to.


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