Through rose tinted sunglasses, I'm living in a realm of vivid colour, the horizon bisects sheets of fire - the beautiful kind. (Morning, sunrise).
I'm flat on a boat, taking intervals from reaching for the pineapple shake to napping peacefully like a fluffy koala, only moving my arms when absolutely necessary. It's the only time in my life where my current experience is quite literally a magical romantic novel - with me in love with the earth.
I know, I might as well of handed you a plate of the finest M&S cheese there, but it's very spot on to how I felt at the time, in paradise.
8 month ago, I decided to quit my job to travel the world. This is my Blog post on real Wanderlust.
It's quite a personal post, but I'm happy to share my experiences and to remind myself of why I did it for when I'm a little old lady re-reading my Blog.
So, why did I just pack up my bags and leave home? Here are eight reasons:
I was a grumpy cat and very unhappy in my current situation to make such a drastic change in my life; quitting and leaving is a big risk. Things just kept happening and they pushed me to the point where I just had to do something about it. I have always believed in signs. If you aren’t living life as you should, the universe will make it clear somehow. If there’s an opportunity, you’ll find out.
I hadn't done the one thing I wanted to do before my next Birthday. Everyday, I asked myself, whilst poking my tropical desktop computer screen whilst doing my best Gollum from The Lord of the Rings impression, if the world ended tomorrow (my precious), would I of been happy that I have done all the things I wanted to do? The answer was no. Always, always, chase your dreams.
I'm very adventurous. I chase adrenaline. I've always loved water & theme parks. As a kid, I ran around a lot and apparently (according to Mummy Wong) I always wanted to be doing something. I was naughty because I'd scribble on the wallpaper with my favourite crayons and I'd insert sweets into the video player and fish tank to create my own slot machine. Let's say I was "creative". I always had a "bright" idea for a new activity. Travelling allows you to channel your creative outlet and enables you to do amazing things, all the time and every day. This world is filled with activities that if you take the plunge to do, you'll remember forever. My bucket list was to see temples, visit an orphanage, cuddle a koala bear, skydive, jump into the ocean and visit a world heritage site, I've now done all of those things and loved every second.
Travelling makes you see that there is a beautiful world out there, and there is just so much more than what you're used to. Learning about other cultures changes the way you think and without trying to preach brothers and sisters, it opens your mind. You'll learn diversity is the spice of life. Travelling at least once for a good amount of time will change the way you look at things forever.
There are endless flavours of food in the world. Oh, you know that feeling when you eat something new and you fall in love with it? I'm still salivating (apologies) over deliciously fragrant broths in Asia. I, shamelessly 'Foodstagram' everything I eat because when I look back, I remember how I felt at that time. And yes, that hashtag above will link you to my food porn Foodgasms.
I wanted to see real poverty. We're very lucky, but sheltered in the Western world. We see the media behind a glass. I saw struggles that you wouldn't think were possible and I saw the locals working so unbelievably hard. Being present, physically in a Third World country - is a real eye opener.
I wanted to visit where my parents were raised. If you're Ethnic Minority living in a multi-cultural society, go and visit where your parents are from, you will learn so much about yourself.
You'll appreciate your friends and family a lot more, if you're a clumsy case like me and need some assistance with life on a daily basis, you'll appreciate the comfort you never knew you had.
Lastly, it (hopefully) helps you figure out what you want out of life. Once you've seen what's available in the world, it makes decision-making so much easier. You can decide whether you want to relocate abroad, continue travelling, volunteer or go home.
Am I suggesting that everyone should travel? Well no, it's not for everyone. If an all-inclusive package holidays to Shagaluf is your thing, then go for it, but it won't be life-changing. Travelling is physically demanding and will throw you out of your comfort zone. If you're not willing to engage in another culture, then travelling will not work for you.
Yes, of course I asked myself, "what if I get kidnapped, or raped, like in that film, Taken?", but when you actually get there, everyone else is in the same boat as you, (usually literally) it's safe, providing that you don't put yourself in a dangerous situation.
Everyone has different dreams and aspirations: you may love your job, you may want to start your own business, you may want to buy a house, you may want to start a family - all of these things are wonderful experiences that people do in their own time. And remember, we don't need (self-righteous pants) people telling us what we should do because our life plans aren't the 'norm'. Do what you want to do (that's within the law Obvs'). It's never too late to follow your dreams.
If you are going travelling, have a wonderful time and take lots of pictures. You may be homesick at first, but it wears off, I swear.
Everyday is different, exciting and you'll want to live it with intensity. You'll meet so many people from all over the world from different backgrounds and cultures who will have many stories to tell you. It all happens so fast. It's so exciting!
I learnt so much and I'll remember my experiences forever.
Have so much fun and remember to Skype your parents from time to time.
There's a lovely quote by author J.R.R. Tolkien that pops up a lot, "Not all those who wander are lost".
I travelled with G Adventures on the Indochina Discovery and LOVED it. Dare to book your dream adventure?
Ps. If you’ve already headed off and think you have a little nugget of wisdom to share, please leave it in the comment section below. I would also love to hear your adventures whether in planning stage or you've just landed home.