So this edition (edition? Feels weird to call it that. Anywho) is a little bit different. I didn’t meet Kelly on my travels. We’ve known each other since we were teenagers, up in the land of Sheffield. Her house was directly behind mine and as I was mates with her sister, our paths crossed a lot. It just so happens that she’s got major wanderlust, so much so that she’s off to travel the world next year.
Say hello to Kelly….
Who is Kelly?
I’m an accountant from Sheffield who loves to escape the place but always comes home to my family. I love travelling, trying new things, being wonderstruck by people and places all over the Earth and currently, trapeze. I get passionate about things for a while then when I’ve got so far I need something else to captivate me.
What was your ‘aha’ moment? (i.e. the moment you decided you wanted to hit the road)
I was 25 and I’d just bought a house with my long-term boyfriend. It was stunning, 4 beds, 4 loos, all the trimmings. I spent the first 4 months putting my stamp on it before I decided it wasn’t what I wanted. This probably harps back to my staying power with hobbies.
Heartbreakingly I left my seemingly “perfect” life and moved back home with my parents. Back in my box room I felt more free than I had in a long time. It was then I decided I wanted to feel even more freedom. So I booked a flight to Thailand, alone. My first solo trip ever.
Where’ve you been so far?
I started off in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. I enjoy going to places that will challenge and develop me both in terms of language barriers and cultural differences. I’ve since done Northern Italy (Milan, Verona, Lake Garda, Venice), Holland, Moscow and road-tripped across America (San Francisco to Miami via the Deep South).
What’s the single best thing about travelling?
Not having anywhere to be, just taking life as it comes.
And what’s the single worst thing about travelling?
Jet lag and general tiredness when you try to fit too much in to a small amount of time. It can make you grumpy and irrational and ruin the experience of being somewhere if you’re not careful.
Where are you planning to go next?
September 2015 I’m starting a 2 year around the world trip but still trying to decide where to start. At the minute I’m thinking St Petersburg, Russia, then take the Tran Siberian train across the country, stopping in Vladivostok then crossing over in to China.
What are your top 3 tips/advice for anyone considering backpacking?
- Enjoy every minute. Try to remain positive even when you lose your passport, miss your bus, get caught in a 1am thunderstorm with your backpack on and have to walk 3 miles to your hostel. It’s all part of the adventure and beats whatever monotonous activities your mates are getting up to back home HANDS DOWN.
- Talk to people. A lot of the time people are in the same boat, wanting meet new people too but are afraid to strike up conversation first. Just take a deep breath and go straight in there. If they’re cool, great, you’ve got a new friend to try out new places with. If they’re not, quite simply try another.
- Keep a diary – on paper, on a blog, a video diary, by whichever means. I started doing it because I have a terrible memory. But the more you see and do the more easy it is to forget the small things that were pretty mesmerizing at the time. It’s heartening to read through and remember how certain sights, smells and people made you feel. I also love my personal videos, they really capture the exhilaration I felt at the time.
Aw. Big thanks to Kelly. And I am not at all jealous about her world trip.
Not at all.