I am pretty sure I have loved travel, holiday’s, the idea of escaping the UK for as long as I can remember. Growing up I would always love listening to my parent’s stories of their travels and living in Germany. Or how my dad helped build the first ever Buffalo enclosure in Alberta, Canada to re-introduce thousands of Buffalo to the wild. I even lived for 25 years of my life thinking I had once lived in Cyprus for a year as a young child (turns out I had just had a birthday whilst on holiday there, but when talking about how we went to Cyprus when I was 2 and came back when I was 3, I had assumed we spent a year living there!) You can only imagine my disappointment when in fact my parents cleared this up at a family BBQ 22 years later.
Early memories of holiday’s, the booking process, the excitement arriving to the airport with a book full of your airline vouchers, transfer and hotel vouchers (something you younger readers won’t have a clue about, i’m sure). Learning to swim in the ocean when one day my dad took my armbands off, let go of me and told me to tread water… (That also happened the year we “lived” in Cyprus…) It sounds like a harsh way to learn, but it obviously worked as I went on to swim for my country competitively. Being an August baby, I was also super lucky to have my birthday’s all over Europe as a child, as it fell in the two weeks that we would always end up going away. I remember being so gutted on my 14th birthday when my parents decided to move house over those two weeks, instead of going abroad. My first UK birthday in 14 years, I was not impressed.
Bringing it forward to when I was around 16/17 and everyone around me was deciding where to apply to University and what jobs they wanted to do. I would be sitting in the IT room a school, whilst everyone else was writing their personal statements and uploading their applications, I’d empty UCAS page open in one tab (in case the teachers came round) and be on another tab searching gap years to Australia, America and Asia. I also went through a quick faze of applying for Acting school in New York City, which quickly got shot straight back down to earth when I looked at accommodation prices in the city. It’s worth noting as well, at this point I had never been to the US, or taken a long haul flight.
After applying for university 4 different times, getting in to study a variety of courses from PE teaching to Acting, I decided education wasn’t for me and that I wanted to travel. I had my first flight to New York booked at the ripe old age of 19 back in 2011, where I had bagged myself a place teaching gymnastics and circus at a Summer Camp in New York state for 4 months, before being free to travel around the US for 3 months. I was living my absolute dream. I travelled down the whole of the East Coast of America, spending all the money I had saved whilst working three jobs back in England, and the money I got paid for working at Camp. I VERY nearly completed 6 months of travelling all self funded… until I crashed a Jet Ski in Panama City Beach and had to call my dad to transfer me $200 to cover the damages. I was so close.
From that moment on I well and truly had the travel bug. Taking as many holidays as I can every year and being so lucky to work in the travel industry and experience some incredible work trips (they are work, I promise you). This took me back to America more times thank I can count, having now ticked off 23 of the 50 states. Visiting countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Beyond. To this day I still haven’t stepped foot in Australia, but there is still plenty of time for that.
Alongside travel, I have also always had a love and passion for photography and recording my journey through film. I enjoy talking to people about my experiences and the world I have seen, and still need to discover. I hope this blog brings you as much enjoyment from reading about my trips and seeing my photography, as I have had creating it.
And if video is more your thing, I have a brand new YouTube channel (October 2020), where I will be documenting future trips, offering travel advice and giving you all of the inside knowledge from within the travel industry.