Welcome back to the second instalment of my series where I get wonderful travel bloggers to share how their love of travel began. This time I have the lovely Clare who writes a wonderful blog called I Live 4 Travel. So, go and grab your self a cuppa and enjoy reading all about how Clare’s love of travel started!
(In Bagan, Myanmar)
Hi I am Clare and I am Wakefield, a city in the North of England. My love of travelling did not really develop until I was in my 20’s. I flew for the first time when I was 21 to Majorca a Spanish island.
I then started doing the typical British holiday to Spain, but I would always rent a car and go and explore the area. I always loved finding out about the history of the area.
I would say that my love of travel began when I did my first solo trip. None of my friends had the holidays or money to go away and I really needed a break. One of my friends suggested joining a tour and so I flew to the US to do a tour from San Francisco to LA via Las Vegas. Despite it being November and a camping trip (we camped 1 night as the snow was that bad and no one on the tour had a sleeping bag warmer than 1 season!!) I loved it and after that I did between 1 and 2 group tours a year. I loved them as you can fit so much in to such a short amount of time.
(At the Grand Canyon on my first group tour)
One trip that stands out to me and made me decide I had to go travelling full time, was my trip to Cambodia. I had added it on to my Vietnam trip but it is a country I have fallen in love with. People here are very poor and you get a lot of children skipping school to try and earn money from tourists but I found the people so friendly and happy, they always had a smile on their face and they really appreciate everything they have, whereas in the western world, it’s very materialistic. This was when I realised that there is more to life than a career and a house and I wanted to change the way that I lived my life. I would rather be poor and happy than rich and miserable!!
(Angkor Wat Cambodia)
In 2012 I finally sold my house (it’s not an easy process in England) and left to go see the world. I had never solo travelled before, I had done a few days before and after group trips but never a whole trip. A few people said to me “but what if you don’t like it” and my reply was “if I don’t I can always come back get another job and another house, but at least I won’t be sat here thinking what if”, I don’t want to look back on my life and have any regrets. It’s a hard decision to make, getting out of your comfort zone and it might not be for everyone but for me it was something I had to do. I was scared at first but so excited and I have never regretted a second. It’s changed me from the person I was before, I am much more laid back and relaxed about life, I don’t get stressed at everything like before, thing’s just work themselves out. I now appreciate the little things and love that my life fits in a backpack and the freedom that gives you.
My favourite country is still a country I visited before I left to travel and that is Peru. I actually started my solo travel there as I had dreamt of going back, I enrolled in Spanish school in Arequipa to brush up on my Spanish but I did get a little stuck as it’s such a beautiful place. I love travelling around Peru it’s very easy and cheap to get around and the people and food are great. It’s a place that has captured my heart and to me it feels like home.
(View of Machu Picchu from Wayna Picchu)
This year I visited my 54th country, in the past 4 years I have visited 36 countries and 26 of those I hadn’t visited before. It has been the best experience of my life, I am having an amazing time and I can’t imagine a life where I am doing anything other than exploring the world. I have made so many friends on the road, though it can sometimes be lonely, but for me it’s my life and I love this life and can’t wait to see what adventures the future brings.
Thanks so much to Clare for sharing her story on how her passion for travel began, I am so jealous of all the countries she has visited! You can follow along with Clare’s adventures here: Facebook || Twitter || Instagram
If you would like to be part of this series and share where your love for travel started then drop me an email or tweet me!