The first time I went travelling, I booked it as a form of escapism. I’d recently dropped out of studying Biochemistry at a top university, was working full time stacking shelves and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Days were dark and I shed my fair share of tears, feeling hopeless any endeavours I considered pursuing.
At the time, 2 of my best friends were half way through their Gap Year travelling around South East Asia. After a few brief conversations, it was confirmed – I’d be solo flying out to Australia to meet them before travelling down the East Coast, from Cairns to Melbourne, in a camper van.
As a newly-19 year old, I was scared. I’d never flown alone, let alone done any notable travelling. I couldn’t even work out if I even wanted to travel, but it seemed to be the only potential light for me at the time – I was ready for a change.
We camped in tents with strangers on Fraser Island, drank enough goon (look it up…) to make us sick in and around dodgy Sydney hostels, and visited the Whitsundays in the pouring rain (would recommend checking the seasons before you fly).
Travelling let me escape, but more than just escape, it opened my mind to different cultures, fostered my patience and forced me to leave my comfort zone. However, most importantly, travelling instilled a confidence in me to pursue my gut instincts, remaining true to myself always.
Not only has this confidence led me to successfully complete a degree I am genuinely interested in, but it has enabled me to build and maintain irreplaceable friendships and relationships with people whom I share a genuine connection. I have the courage to say yes to opportunities as they arise, and a growing list of countries that I can’t wait to explore.