A while ago I wrote a post about how my love for travel began which inspired me to ask some travel bloggers if they would like to share their travel stories. In particular, what sparked their passion for a life of wanderlust. The first instalment of this new travel series is brought to you by the lovely Sarah from Moon and Forest. I hope you enjoy reading about how Sarah’s love of travel began and don’t forget to head over to her wonderful blog to read about all her wonderful adventures.
I’ve been fascinated by the world since I was a small child. I remember receiving an encyclopaedia for Christmas one year and inside there was a five-page spread with pictures of the flags of the world, information about the population who lived there and the currency they use. I wish I still had it because the world has changed a lot since then.
I’d spend my time pin-pointing these countries on a map and wondering what it would be like to live there and how children growing up in different places would have experiences vastly different from mine. Other countries always seemed so distant to me in the pre-internet days, but my fascination didn’t waiver even when the likes of Google and social media brought the whole world much closer to me.
My love for actually travelling to all these places I’d read about came much later though. It happened all at once when I studied in Germany on my year abroad. Until then my cultural knowledge was very limited, my language skills were in huge need of improvement and I’d barely set foot outside the UK before. My year abroad changed me in so many ways and I am so grateful to have had that opportunity, but it will always be tinged with a little bit of regret that I didn’t use that time on the continent to travel a little more. I saw a lot of Germany and made it down to Italy too, but I never did make it across the border east into Poland, north into Denmark or south into Austria. Funnily enough I’ve still not made it to any of those countries but my year abroad showed me that there is so much beyond the UK and left me wanting even more.
Last month I returned from four months of travelling in South America. During that time I learned a new language from scratch, made lifelong friends, saw some of the most awe-inspiring places in the world and had the most terrifying experience of my life when a massive earthquake struck the beach resort we were staying at. It flipped my world view on its head yet again and without that year in Germany I doubt I’d have ever ended up travelling at all.
But despite the thrill of experiencing new time zones, cultures and climates the one thing travel has taught me is that no matter how far you go or how many borders you cross, all people are just the same. Everybody has an interesting story to tell and fascinating experiences to share, but everyone is just muddling their way through life, feeling exactly the same emotions as you are. Coming from quite a small and unworldly community travel has broadened my horizons and opened my eyes in ways that home never could.
I find travelling really good for the soul too. As a naturally anxious and stressed person I can almost feel my fears evaporate as I take that first step on to a plane, fasten my car seat belt, relax into my train seat or breathe in that first breath of fresh air on a hike. I love that through travel I can blend into my surroundings and feel completely anonymous. It makes me feel freer, it pumps life through my veins and it has boosted my confidence more than I could ever have imagined. Before I started travelling I could barely even catch a train by myself and now I’m planning my first solo adventure in November.
I stretch myself to the limit both physically and financially to see as much of the world as I can and though the area I’ve covered pales in comparison to most people I’m so proud of all the tales I have to tell and of all the tales I’ve had told to me along the way. Travel teaches you so much about yourself: your fears, your limits, your desires. It teaches you compassion and opening your mind to more than what’s laid down in front of you. It teaches you things that will blow your mind, it teaches you things you’ll wish you’d never found out and I hope that I’ll never stop learning.
A big thank you to Sarah for sharing all about her passion for travel. You can follow along with Sarah’s adventures here:
P.S. if you would like to share your travel stories please get in touch with me via email or Twitter!