In developed countries, busy commuting to college or work, it’s easy to think this is normality for the entire world. We all moan about our governments and healthcare systems etc etc, but we hardly ever stop to appreciate the fact that we have them.
When travelling to the outback, farthest depths of developing countries, it’s only then when it hits you, hard, that there are people, families, children, who are ‘unknown’. They are not a statistic, they do not have a passport, they do not have a bank account. They live in the same clothes day in, day out, perhaps in a tent in the desert with nothing around for miles but their family.
I was fortunate enough to sit with such a family and drink tea with them in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan some years back. There was not a trace of electricity or television. They had simple cushions and blankets under a basic tent to provide shelter from the punishing heat. Two young boys played up in the rocks while their parents sat with us and talked. They were generous and offered what they could and more importantly, they seemed happy. Imagine a life where education and employment doesn’t exist. Only skills for survival..
The youngest of the two boys was coughing, a lot. I work in healthcare so I could tell he had a pretty bad lower airway infection. This family, with their simple means of survival, had no easy access to antibiotics. Even a shower.
In the developed world we lose our minds because our network provider ‘crashes’ for an hour, disabling access to making phone calls. But this family, they had never seen an iPad before.
This is the first website to target younger backpackers who are looking for a long term working holiday experience and save them money in the process.
Every one of us who adores travel have attempted to find work abroad when daydreaming about our next adventure and found it difficult or expensive. This website specialises in providing work worldwide in agriculture, hospitality, TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language), admin/clerical, skiing, volunteering and loads more. To make things even better, they also help provide work in the UK for foreign visitors.
I love this website! It’s a fantastic idea and really easy to use.
After several weeks of nothing but horrific, gut wrenching nightmares while I sleep… Last night I dreamt that I quit my job and walked the entire length of the Great Wall of China. I had no idea I even wanted to do that!
Dreams are funny things that really influence your mood and decisions. I had best start researching flights to Ulaanbataar!
How do you like the sound of going to a 513 thousand square kilometre water party? You can do just that, annually in Thailand.
Songkran is an annual festival that marks the Thai New Year. The entire country stops for a few days to throw water and clay over each other. It signifies a bathing ritual to Buddha and is a LOT of fun!
It originally dates back to rituals where people would splash water on their relatives to promote health and happiness. Today…. It is something else!
I have personally had the Priveledge of celebrating a Thai New Year several years ago, purely by accident. A friend and myself spent a couple of nights in Bangkok en route the Phuket and due to jet lag and exhaustion, decided to spend the night in our hotel room eating chocolate. We were aware of some kind of festival taking place, but didn’t know much about it or have the energy to attend. There was a 7/11 over the road so we thought we would skip through the crowds, pick up some choccies and head back to the room. That didn’t happen. Within seconds of leaving our hotel, we were grabbed by locals and literally hosed down. We were carted off into the crowds and had strangers actually rubbing clay into our faces. I wasn’t going down without a fight so I ‘sourced’ myself a water pistol and started giving some back. At one point we were standing on the roof of an SUV dancing with the Thai’s and had the most incredibly fun evening. There was something so wonderful about the whole country – locals and tourists, joining together in one giant party and touching each other faces whilst laughing and ruining your make up!
The festival lasts anything from 1 day to 1 week, depending on where you are in Thailand. I could still see the after affects all over the place when I arrived in Phuket 3 days later.
Songkran 2016 starts on 13th April and I highly recommend it! Just don’t wear see through white shorts like I did!!!
Speaking broadly, we humans (as a race) don’t like change.
‘I don’t fly because it’s scary’
‘I won’t travel by myself because something bad might happen!’
‘I simply cannot quit my job and uphaul my entire life to travel!’
‘I will do it one day.’
Well one day is slipping further away. We avoid change because we are afraid. Afraid that our lives will change to such an extent that we don’t know how to control or manage it anymore. In reality, we are actually stopping ourselves from being happy.
In the grand scheme of things, none of these worries even matter. We all will die one day, very soon. It is our job, solely, to fill up the short and precious time we have on this planet with the most exciting and educational experiences we can.
It’s time we stop fear from holding us back and start really living.
I’m going to share with you a story from one of my travels.
The first friend I made in any of my solo travels was a girl called Mandy. We clicked instantly. She was beautiful and fun. She was also a great help to get me out of my shell and make friends with other travellers.
We spent a lot of time together over the weeks and I realised she was everything I wanted to be. We all have an ideal ‘blueprint of ourselves’, I wish I was more active or motivated. She would wake early every morning and go running barefoot along the beach and would sit outside her room at night and paint. I really admired her. Mandy didn’t get too drunk, she was confident and goal driven.
She also gave me great advice about current relationship problems I was having as she had been in a similar long distance relationship and could share her experiences and tips.
She was unique, she didn’t have Facebook or other social media accounts. She preferred people to write to her if they wanted to contact her.
I felt that we grew very close and in another circumstance could have been life long friends.
When we came to say goodbye, true to form, she gave me her email address so I could write to her. The really strange bit was, the email address didn’t work and her phone number was a local sim so didn’t work back in her home country and I never spoke to her again. I’m fairly certain she didn’t give me a fake email. It got me wondering, did I just imagine her the whole time we travelled together?! Or, was she a secret celebrity back in her country? Perhaps, I will never know.