The best thing about travelling is that there’s always like-minded people doing the exact same thing you’re doing
The first trip
“I actually started travelling later in my life compared to my friends. I remember being at school and listening to friends talk about their overseas holidays and flying on airplanes and always wished I could do the same. I didn’t even step foot on an airplane until I was 20. That was my first flight on an airplane and took me halfway around the world to visit my sister. We went to many different countries in Europe and I was fascinated with the different cultures, different languages, the different ways people lived their lives, and from then I was hooked.
Every couple of years since I’ve saved so I can go on another trip – sometimes with friends and sometimes solo. I’ve been to more than half of the countries in Europe; I’ve been to Japan, Thailand and Indonesia; I’ve been to the United States; I’ve been to South America.
I have fond memories of every country I’ve ever been to and have met some amazing people! It’s impossible to single out one particular country as being the most amazing. Each place you visit holds a special memory for different reasons.
If I was to talk about one of my most vivid memories though it would have to be in Istanbul, sitting at a small outdoor cafe on the banks of the Bosphorous, sipping tea and watching the sun slowly disappear behind the mosques, with the call to prayer echoing around the city. There was something romantic and so special about that place which are the culture, the chaos, the history, the architecture, the people, and the peace. An absolute must see!
Tips for solo-travelling
The one thing I’ve found most important when travelling solo is to maintain human contact by meeting new people. The best thing about travelling is that there’s always like-minded people doing the exact same thing you’re doing who’re just as happy as you are to share their stories and their company. From my experience there’s always locals as well who are just as fascinated by you and your story as you are by visiting them. This is where I find hostels very useful. They’re a great place to meet travellers, to meet locals and are usually staffed by friendly, helpful people who are more than happy to give you advice and directions or even to accompany you on an outing! I always remember staying at Yim and asking at reception about the local area and where to buy food. I was given an abundance of advice on where to go and what to eat. No sooner was I out the door and just a few hundred metres up the road when the girl who has just given me directions asked me if I’d mind if she could accompany me and show me around. We walked around the amazing night markets, had a local dinner and a great chat. Throughout my stay we hung out more and are still keep in contact today. I was so surprised by this gesture of kindness and to this day I tell this story to friends and family! I feel very privileged and lucky to have travelled so much and to have seen so many amazing places. And the best thing? There are still so many more countries to visit, cultures to experience and people to meet!”