By the time I reached nineteen, I’d been abroad exactly twice. Once to a standard Majorcan resort when I was six, and then again when I was thirteen: this time to Disneyland Paris. On the trip to Majorca I remember a lovely “Italian” restaurant (ferociously hunted down by my exasperated parents who were tearing their hair out at a daughter who refused to eat anything!); trampolineing at a beach-side funfair- not unlike something you’d find in Blackpool, and boogying along to Abba in the hotel’s social area.
The second time we stayed in the wonderful Wild West themed ‘Hotel Cheyenne’ and spent a magical Christmas twirling in teacups and posing with Goofy, Chip and Dale. Whilst we’d planned to spend our final day traversing the Parisian boulevards and seeing the sights, the bitterly cold winds of December, paired with the thought of a midnight flight meant that we didn’t wander too far from our hotel and the resort itself, meaning that although we’d essentially visited Paris (it is called Disneyland Paris after all), we hadn’t seen a single snail.
I suppose, what I’m trying to say is that- as a child- I wasn’t really exposed to other nations or cultures. My mum had been an army baby and, subsequently, had spent all of her young life moving around Britain so was happy to stay still for a while. My Granddad’s job, on the other hand, often required him to travel much further afield and he spent time living in both Australia and Oman.
Consequently, I seem to have developed equal parts home bird and adventurer: my nomadic gypsy blood regularly fighting my nesting instinct.
Cut to today. I’m 27 and- as I creep towards the big 3-0- I have a travelling bucket list as long as my arm, a peculiar passion for road-tripping (considering I can’t drive!) and, three years ago, married the love of my life in a little fishing village in the Dominican Republic. Yet I can’t help but put down roots too: we both have careers, a fur-baby and last year went through the turmoil of buying our own home, which we’ve been lovingly renovating ever since.
We’re always told that there is no perfect time to travel; that’s never been truer for me, and yet I find myself looking each day at more travel blogs and vlogs, buying more travel books and doing more googling of the phrase ‘how to make money whilst travelling’. All this, before my ‘sensible’ (read: ‘boring’) side talks me out of it with the infamous ‘we’ll do it by the time we’re x years old’ line.
Don’t feel sorry for me though! Like I said before, since meeting my husband when we were both nineteen, we have had short breaks in Portugal, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona; travelled to the Dominican Republic on several occasions; attended a music festival in Budapest; spent three weeks going up and down the Riviera Maya in Mexico; and last year enjoyed our most daring ‘feat’ yet: driving from Manchester, UK to Budapest, Hungary and back again via Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.
We’ll also be celebrating my husband’s fourth, and our friend’s first Marathon in Vienna in a few weeks’ time, before driving our way back through one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever experienced in drastically different season (with a couple of quick stops in Slovakia and Germany for good measure). We’ll also be celebrating my father-in-law’s wedding in Dumfries, Scotland this Summer (if that season actually exists in my husband’s homeland- I’m yet to be convinced) before road-tripping the highlands and islands and returning to Edinburgh for my ninth (?) Comedy Fringe Festival and a few months ago we started planning for an epic road-trip through Western America starting next July.
It’s safe to say I’ve caught the bug! With each trip slowly taking us a bit more our comfort zones we’re ready to take the plunge and do this for ‘real’. But first we need to get our ducks in a row… whatever that means! We need to get our house in a decent enough state so that we can rent it out whilst we’re away, I need to bow out of my teaching profession and we need to get some more money together!
This blog will document that journey, as well as tell the tale of our past trips, and hopefully a lot of future ones too!