Ensuring a Lifetime of Adventure
These days, travelling feels like second nature to me, but it wasn’t always that way. I remember the first time I travelled overseas by myself. I’d been many times with my family, with friends, and as an exchange student to study abroad, but never completely alone – where every choice, every experience, every challenge was solely mine.
As the plane took off from Australia, I remember the tears spilling down behind my sunglasses – at the time I thought it was the sadness of leaving my family, but now I realise it was more about the fear of the unknown. It was the first time I’d left my home country indefinitely (something I’ve since become adept at) and I was jetting off to live in Barcelona with very few savings and no fixed address to call home.
When I arrived in Hong Kong on a stopover, and took a crowded shuttle bus from the airport to the centre of the city and my dingy hotel, the smells and sounds were so overwhelming. That first night, I was too timid and unsure of myself to leave my hotel to find something for dinner – so instead I ate a hearty meal of the chocolate-and-apricot muffins my mum had baked me for the plane trip. I remember how scared I was that night of everything that lay ahead of me. But little did I know, it was the beginning of an amazing adventure that changed my life forever and taught me that travel would always be an irrefutable part of my destiny.
When travelling becomes a normal part of your life, it’s very easy to keep going back to your favourite places. So for many years now, I’ve had a goal: to always have travelled to as many countries as years I’ve lived. My theory is that, this way, I’ll always be putting myself out of my comfort zone, experiencing cultures I’ve never even heard of and seeing the world through new eyes. At 33 years old, I’m currently ahead in my tally of countries visited, but given that there are 196 countries in the world, I hope that, by the end of my life, I’ll have experienced far more countries than years. And above all, I hope that I’ll still be finding plenty of adventure.
Can you remember the first time you travelled abroad by yourself?