Home or Away: Why I’ve succumbed to the travel bug
For too many years than I care to remember, I’ve holidayed abroad over the Christmas and New Year period with my partner in crime – Craig. Having worked very hard all year, we’ve both enjoyed this quality time together. In the past, we’d chosen long haul travel destinations in luxury holiday resorts such as Mexico, Thailand and Bali – but not anymore!
The relaxation that these pleasure palaces afford can’t really be questioned. From the aesthetically pleasing decor and exotic landscaped gardens; a myriad of magnificent swimming pools; indulgent spa treatments, first class service and extensive menu choices, one can’t fail to be impressed – or so you might think?
I realised that it doesn’t matter which brand of large multinational hotel provider you choose for your holiday resort, they’re all of a similar ilk. Yes, they’re relaxing and luxurious and so on… More importantly, having visited all these countries with their pristine beaches, bijou cabanas and trendy cocktail bars, I didn’t really know much about the actual place I’d visited and the people who lived there.
After traveling to Goa for the first time I experienced, in the flesh, a depth of life I’d previously been sheltered from when on holiday. The freedom of choice to produce my own itinerary, to stay when and where I wished, was empowering. This has meant no more package holidays since.
Post Goa, I’ve been travelling independently on three week jaunts to places a little further afield and staying in hostels, or small privately run accommodation in local communities. This has allowed me to meet travelers and gain a greater understanding of why people travel and how they engage with the local community. This has only whetted my appetite to travel around the world..
Maybe it’s genetic, in my blood. My great Grandfather is buried in Hong Kong. My dad was a chef on the great cruise liners of his day; having circumnavigated the world three times (allegedly) working on many cruise and passenger ships during the 1960s from the port of Liverpool. There doesn’t seem to be a place that he hasn’t got a story about, and maybe I just want to see some of these places too.
This is not an escape, I’m not running away. I’m blessed with great family and friends, who I’ll dearly miss, but with today’s technological innovations and gadgets I shouldn’t feel lonely or out of touch. I’m just fortunate enough to have this opportunity, and believe me I’m going to grasp it with both hands (the opportunity I mean). This for me is a journey of learning, understanding and hopefully growth, providing personal enlightenment and a greater sense of fulfilment – clichéd I know, but maybe you can improve on perfection 😉
So that’s why I’m a flashpacking!
Is this a midlife crisis? I don’t think so, and more to the point I don’t care. All I do know is that I’ve got a one way ticket to Australia departing on 9th December 2011 and I don’t know when I’ll return… exciting or what?