I love it when you meet a complete stranger and they say something to you…. A simple sentence that just falls from their lips like an old apple from a limp tree branch. But THAT sentence will stay with you forever. The stranger has no idea that their blaze alcohol fuelled babble with give you a piece of advice that will change your life forever.
I was sat in a bar one summers afternoon with a friend and we began chatting to a man who had flown back into the UK from Japan where he has been living for several years, teaching English. Due to our mutual love of exploring the other continents, the conversation drew in towards my favourite subject… ‘Travel’
At this point, I had never travelled alone before and was toying with the idea of booking a long haul solo trip to Asia and Australia for a few months. But! I was in a long term relationship. One that I thought was very happy at the time. I didn’t want to leave him for several months and I discussed this with the stranger.
What he said to me changed my life.
“In five years time, which will you regret more? Not going travelling or risking the relationship?”
Sure enough, five years have passed since that comment. I went travelling. The relationship didn’t last, and I can honestly look back with no regrets because I found my passion in life and I found myself.
Often I find it difficult to know what to expect when I book a hostel. I’ve stayed in some busy grot holes where there is not even an hour of peace day or night so you’re unlikely to get any peace or privacy.
Well, it seems there is now an excellent solution – The Pod!
Pods are exactly the same idea as a hostel in that you pay for a ‘bed’ rather than a room, but in a very futuristic style, you can climb into your very own pod and shut the door, with your own power supply, TV, mirror etc. If you’re feeling sociable, open the door and say hi to your neighbours.
I think this is genius! It is really closing the gap between hostels and hotels, all with the benefits of a hostel which include – cheaper prices – making friends! It’s win win!
With thanks to Met A Space Pod hostel in Singapore for this fab property and photos. Go and check it out guys!
Why you should never use travel to escape life’s troubles..
Yes it’s tempting to pack your essentials and clear off to a far away beach because life has become just a little bit too shit.
But, the reality is that whatever you are battling be it depression, anxiety, low self esteem or other medical problems, when your plane leaves the tarmac, it will come with you.
Too many of us try to put our problems in a box and lock it tight because we think we will be OK. But news flash – that box we are putting everything in is actually our mind and believe me if you don’t deal with it, it will stay there haunting you whether you are in your flat in London or a beach bar in Thailand.
I’ve wanted to book a long haul flight to ‘get away from it all’, however ‘it all’ will be the unwelcome luggage that travels with us.
Travel is an extraordinary thing which we are all priveledged to experience, so it shouldn’t be abused. Get help before you leave, talk to people, understand how you are feeling. Otherwise you will end up across the other side of the world, with all the same problems and alone.
It’s called (emotional) baggage for a reason. Unpack it before you travel.
This memory will always stay with me.
When I worked in travel, I spent some time tailoring an expensive, detailed holiday for this particular client named Dinah. We created a bond over the days, discussing her holiday in great depth and building rapport via email and telephone, as I did with most of my clients. But this one was different.
When it came to booking the flights she mentioned that she required special assistance. When I asked what her disability was, she told me she was registered totally blind.
I was slightly shocked. I felt awful for feeling this way, but why would she spend thousands on a holiday with a nice view and luxury setting if she couldn’t see it?! So, I decided to ask her. Her response changed the way I see things.
She told me that she could feel, smell and touch everything so much that she could appreciate her surroundings without seeing them.
This got me thinking. Losing my sight is my greatest fear, but she proved that travel can still be amazing without being able to use her eyes. I admire her.