Just over a year ago I set off to travel the world. I wrote about why in this post here; I’m Off To Explore.
The 12 months flew bye, and were easily the most exciting of my life so far. I explored 11 countries and wrote a blog post about each one;
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
There are countless things I saw and got up to last year, way, way too many to mention, but the few that stick out are;
- Getting My PADI – Scuba diving is probably the best thing I’ve ever learned to do. Being weightless under water is a feeling I now crave. It’s unlike anything you’ll ever experience (unless you go into space).
- Ha Long Bay – Spending 2 days sailing round the beautiful Ha Long Bay was the perfect end to my first 3 months in South East Asia.
- Ordering Noodles In Japan – The culture of this far eastern land couldn’t be more different. And that’s exactly what I was looking for during my travels. I remember sitting in a small local restaurant, trying not to embarrass myself, while ordering dinner with points to the menu and chicken impressions. All as the locals watched on, smiling every time I made eye contact with them. Japan is the friendliest country I’ve ever visited.
- Island Hopping El Nido – Sitting in a boat being ferried from island to island, and lagoon to lagoon, only getting out of the boat to snorkel or have some Filipino food on a deserted beach is what I call a good day of travel.
- A Week On Malapascua – The week I spent on this tiny island – which was during the offseason – was the most peacful and relaxing of my life. My day consisted of laying on the beach or scuba diving. And that’s pretty much it. Perfect.
- Driving New Zealand – Being from England means being about as far away from New Zealand as it is possible to be. Growing up it always seemed to be an exotic place that I would never see. So, to actually be there, driving the length of both islands was amazing and surreal at the same time.
- The East Coast Of Australia – Driving and camping all the way from Portland to Port Douglas was an adventure of a lifetime. We had 10 hour long drives, busy capital cities, ice cold nights in a tent, unbearable heat, massive mosquitos, torrential rain, leeches attacks and tropical cyclones, but I’d do it all again without question. Because spending 2 months in a car with Jules is easily the most fun I had during my travels.
The main thing I learned from the many different countries that I was lucky enough to explore, is that most human beings, no matter what their nationality, religion, race or language, are good. 99.99% of the world’s population are friendly people that just want the same things in life. They have the same hopes and the same fears. The same aspirations and the same hobbies. Ultimately, everyone just wants to be happy. And the world’s differences should be celebrated, not feared.
Lastly, the one thing I will never forget about my year of travel, is how unbelievabley lucky I am to have been born in the developed part of the world. The fact that I’m capable of traveling Earth, is simply because I’m from the part of it we call the United Kingdom. A lot of the places I visited were populated by people living on less than the equivalent of £5 a day, and in all likelihood will spend their whole life never having left their small town. And that’s what travel does. It gains you perspective. It leaves you with total respect for the whole of humanity. Humbled. And grateful for your simple existence.
Although my travel year has come to an end, my travels are definitely not finished. There are still 175 countries I’ve not yet explored.
Time to get planning for the next trip…