Love and Wanderlust

Hmmmmm. So they say you should write what you know. Well, I’ve taken some inspiration (it’s most definitely not all real) and my new short story this summer will be about two backpackers who meet in Ibiza over the course of one week. Here are the main characters…more info to come soon!

Selina Bio

Alex Bio

Meeting fellow travellers #4: Kelly

So this edition (edition? Feels weird to call it that. Anywho) is a little bit different. I didn’t meet Kelly on my travels. We’ve known each other since we were teenagers, up in the land of Sheffield. Her house was directly behind mine and as I was mates with her sister, our paths crossed a lot. It just so happens that she’s got major wanderlust, so much so that she’s off to travel the world next year.

Say hello to Kelly….

hollywood

Who is Kelly?
I’m an accountant from Sheffield who loves to escape the place but always comes home to my family. I love travelling, trying new things, being wonderstruck by people and places all over the Earth and currently, trapeze. I get passionate about things for a while then when I’ve got so far I need something else to captivate me.

What was your ‘aha’ moment? (i.e. the moment you decided you wanted to hit the road)
I was 25 and I’d just bought a house with my long-term boyfriend. It was stunning, 4 beds, 4 loos, all the trimmings. I spent the first 4 months putting my stamp on it before I decided it wasn’t what I wanted. This probably harps back to my staying power with hobbies.

Heartbreakingly I left my seemingly “perfect” life and moved back home with my parents. Back in my box room I felt more free than I had in a long time. It was then I decided I wanted to feel even more freedom. So I booked a flight to Thailand, alone. My first solo trip ever.

Where’ve you been so far?
I started off in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. I enjoy going to places that will challenge and develop me both in terms of language barriers and cultural differences. I’ve since done Northern Italy (Milan, Verona, Lake Garda, Venice), Holland, Moscow and road-tripped across America (San Francisco to Miami via the Deep South).

What’s the single best thing about travelling?
Not having anywhere to be, just taking life as it comes.

And what’s the single worst thing about travelling?
Jet lag and general tiredness when you try to fit too much in to a small amount of time. It can make you grumpy and irrational and ruin the experience of being somewhere if you’re not careful.

Where are you planning to go next?
September 2015 I’m starting a 2 year around the world trip but still trying to decide where to start. At the minute I’m thinking St Petersburg, Russia, then take the Tran Siberian train across the country, stopping in Vladivostok then crossing over in to China.

What are your top 3 tips/advice for anyone considering backpacking?

  1. Enjoy every minute. Try to remain positive even when you lose your passport, miss your bus, get caught in a 1am thunderstorm with your backpack on and have to walk 3 miles to your hostel. It’s all part of the adventure and beats whatever monotonous activities your mates are getting up to back home HANDS DOWN.
  2. Talk to people. A lot of the time people are in the same boat, wanting meet new people too but are afraid to strike up conversation first. Just take a deep breath and go straight in there. If they’re cool, great, you’ve got a new friend to try out new places with. If they’re not, quite simply try another.
  3. Keep a diary – on paper, on a blog, a video diary, by whichever means. I started doing it because I have a terrible memory. But the more you see and do the more easy it is to forget the small things that were pretty mesmerizing at the time. It’s heartening to read through and remember how certain sights, smells and people made you feel. I also love my personal videos, they really capture the exhilaration I felt at the time.

Aw. Big thanks to Kelly. And I am not at all jealous about her world trip.

Not at all.

(Lies)

Meeting fellow travellers #2: Adoki

A while back, I did a post with the intention to get someone in the big, wide world inspired to go travel. I introduced Michael Margolies, an American travelling the world and sharing his adventures via a podcast, Walking The Earth. Well, it’s that time again.

This time, I’m introducing Adoki, a super cool guy I met, also in Chiang Mai. Right from the off, it was all about awesome coincidences. He’s also from London and it turned out I’d met a friend of his in Bundi, Rajahstan a week or so earlier, and to add to that, we also share the same birthday! So, I thought it’d be cool to get him on the blog for a Q & A.

Who is Adoki?

Who am I?
Maybe the most important and most difficult question. I’m currently in the process of becoming a philosophy teacher and am loving teaching extra large mind expanding concepts to little adults. I’m a believer of the Holy Trinity, Science-Spirituality-Philosophy, and feel within these holds a key to something beyond comprehension.
I love to see new things; to experience goose bumped infused moments that remind me about how finite and important life (I & U) is (are).

I have few passions but seek to fill my life with them as much as possible. Music. Food. Travelling ( being one of the reasons I fell into the education profession as it fills in two important criteria; meaning and holidays to find meaning). Once I was told that my totem animal was a bear. I like bears. Winnie The Pooh Is a Taoist Philosopher.

I mathematically believe in the high probability of alien life form and my favorite food is Plantain (cooking banana). (√∞=♥)

Tell me a bit about your music and what inspires you
I love many genres and all inspire. Jazz, dub, minimal tech, classical. But, I feel my inspiration comes from electronic music and sounds in general (unorganised sounds). Just thinking about it, I feel this could stem from the dichotomy, or illusion of separation, of the two. Sounds are spontaneous, uncoordinated; one minute you hear a bird chirp, the next a plate crash. They could be said to harbour a life of their own. Adding to that, I feel if we disassociate from the cause of some sounds and hear it as an abstract entity floating on its own, it takes on another meaning (try listening to the sound the tyres of a moving car make of the road – very relaxing). On the flip side of that, there’s electronic music. Synths, pads, drum loops, midi key boards; all of these not only incorporate the fact that humans are able to evolve technologically at an amazing rate, but for me encapsulates that thing, that ‘je ne sais quoi‘, that soul. Search and listen to ∆ZTEK – Feelin.

What was your ‘aha’ moment? (i.e. the moment you decided you wanted to hit the road)
Working in a Cuban bar at the age of 20 and meeting and working with people from all over the globe. Seeing them see London from a point of view I had become accustomed to was so refreshing. Not only did it make me want to enjoy the city of my birth more, but it also made me realise that there was a whole world waiting and wanting to be seen.

Where’ve you been so far?
Australia (Melbourne, Perth), Holland (Amsterdam), Mexico (Mexico city, Tulum, Guadalajara), USA ( Los Angeles), Spain (Melila, Madrid, Valencia, Almeria, Granada), Morroco, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Italy (Rome and Sorrento).

What’s the single best thing about travelling?
Fear. Awkwardness.  Being alone yet with so many others. The food, sound, smells, textures, unfamiliarity. A deep inexpiable connection with humanity/reality. To see a manifestation of the divine that has never been described in any Holy Book. 

And what’s the single worst thing about travelling?
The actual traveling part can be tedious. Living out of a bag and knowing the futility of unpacking because soon you will be on the road again. I hate that shit.

Where are you planning to go next?
I feel I need to reconnect to the Mother Land. As being from African decent, I feel it definitely needs to be explored at greater depth. So much negativity is heard in the media I feel I want to see all aspects of Africa, not just what’s fed to me on the news and adverts for aid.

What are your top 3 tips/advice for anyone considering backpacking?

  1. Be brave. Let your fear and anxiety be the catalyst, metamorphosing you to the true you.
  2. Be water. Flow, don’t be solid. Adapt.
  3. Be vigilant. All kinds of people exist in the world. Learn to filter the negatives.

Big thanks to Adoki for featuring on the blog. Adoki, I have your water canteen. I’ll bring it to you soon!

You can connect with Adoki and check out his music here:

Facebook – Adoki The Anomaly | YouTube |  SoundCloud | Bandcamp

Why travel should be mandatory

If I were president of the world, there are three things I’d do:

1. Every single person on the planet would have access to safe drinking water. Non-negotiable

2. Every single person would be taught how to read and write. Non-negotiable.

3. Travel would be mandatory.

Think about it. You get to meet a whole heap of people, you get to see different cultures, you LEARN. I’ve never met anyone who’s ever said travelling abroad or even in their home country was the biggest mistake they ever made. Sure, it might not always be easy, but it’s such a positive thing. Much more so than, say, national service.

I re-watched a beautiful documentary film at the weekend – this should also be mandatory viewing. After the first time I watched it, I went straight to Wikipedia and looked up the list of filming locations. It inspires me to want to see more of the world and opened my eyes to a lot of things that I never think about. It cleverly shows the parallel between rich and poor, the ‘West’ and the rest, the insane amount of food we consume, the irony of living in boxes and dying in them, as opposed to living in, say, the open country. Both films are definitely the type to make you think and re-evaluate, and I watch them when I need a reality check, as well as injecting with the urge to book a flight somewhere.

There are no words, just beautiful images from around the world, accompanied by music. It won’t be for everyone, but both Baraka and the sequel Samsara are just to beautiful not to share.

Hola and Bonjour!

So, after my frankly depressing post last week, things have taken a slight turn. I’ve just booked a series of tickets for 8 days away in a little over a week’s time and I’m beyond excited. I can already feel my itchy feet returning. Here’s the plan:

Leg One

Fly to Murcia to visit my BFF who moved out there in April. I haven’t seen her since she joined me in Goa for her birthday in February, so it’ll be awesome to catch up. There’s also a week long fiesta happening in her village, so it’ll be time to partay!

Leg Two

Grab a train and head north to Madrid. There, I’ll be meeting up with a friend I met in Chiang Mai. He’s off to Indonesia in early September and then making his way to Thailand again, and since I’d been toying with the idea of seeing Bali, I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to get some inspiration. There’s nothing like being with someone who’s about to head off backpacking to plant ideas in your head!

Leg Three

Fly to Marseille, grab a train to Nimes and then a bus to Uzes, my favourite little French haven. I’ll spend a few days there with Sylvie, the fab host I stayed with a year ago. I’m hoping being there will give me time to rest a bit and re-evaluate things. I’ll also be meeting up with the musicians who inspired me to backpack in the first place and one of them is off to Mali soon.

Leg Four

Fly home and book a ticket somewhere else (I hope).

I’m so, so excited, and the grand total of all those flights and trains? Approximately £140 – how cheap is that? It’s a great, sunny day here today and I’m feeling massively optimistic. I can feel my shoulders asking for the load of a backpack……