For childhood trips, I travelled in dribs and drabs through small family holidays to Cornwall, France and Thailand.
In September 2009, University represented independence and the ability to pursue my love for adventure. This transformed into a new form passion of travelling, seeing and experiencing the world, financed by my student loan.
University Year 1 – 2009/10
Aged 18, I travelled to Tunisia in April 2010 with ‘ISH Events’, a cheap student travel company.
The exposure to the culture, the people, the food, and the sights of Tunisia invoked my curiosity for travelling the world. I emailed Tiija, Director of Volunteer East, asking her about the voluntary work that was advertised on a corkboard at university.
Nepal was my first independent trip in June 2010. I volunteered in a orphanage and I travelled for a month. I visited the Durbar Squares and cycled around Pokhara lake. I sobbed when my bag (with my passport!) was stolen in Thamel Market. I returned home to a summer job in a chippy after catching the travel bug.
University Year 2 – 2010/11
For the beginning of Term 1, the opportunity arose to tour Sicily with ‘ISH Events‘ again. I learnt to embrace every chance for travelling and I visited Catania, Taormina and Siracusa in September 2010.
My second volunteer abroad trip was in the Easter Holiday of April 2011. After an interview and application form, I travelled with BUNAC to volunteer on a construction project in a rural village in Juaso, Ghana. After volunteering, we visited the beach, a national park, a gold mine and a waterfall.
University Year 3 – 2011/12
Undoubtedly the fastest 3 years of my life, 2011/2012 was my final year at university. In September 2011, I travelled with 2 college friends to Verona, Lake Garda, Bologna and Venice in Italy.
The Easter Holiday of April 2012 represented my first sisterly holiday to Malta. We had similar interests and our trip involved mountain biking, hiking and explored Gozo/Comino during the holiday.
In June 2012, I travelled independently to Uganda where I volunteered as a teacher in Bududa district with a small NGO in Eastern Uganda (Volunteer East).
Post Graduation – 2012/13
In the Christmas holidays of December 2012, I visited Paris for the first time. I stayed with a friend I met at SOAS and we celebrated the new year together.
In May half term, I hiked to the summit of Mount Toubkal (4,167M) in Morocco (Adventure Company). It was my first ‘big’ mountain climb. The experience fuelled my passion for the outdoors and left me wanting to take on more hikes and bigger mountains.
With my one year contract at City Year London drawing to a close, I volunteered as a English Teacher for Summer 2013, in South Korea. My placement was fully funded by ‘Global English Mission’.
New Job at Exodus – 2014
I’m 22 and it’s Christmas 2013. I job hunted avidly for three weeks before I luckily managed to land a support role at Exodus Travels (Adventure Travel Company). I was ridiculously happy that I got a job in a field that I genuinely love.
I spent my first Easter 4 day weekend away in Edinburgh. Two weeks after, I travelled up to Fort William in the Highlands to do a solo Ben Nevis hike for the May bank holiday weekend.
Exodus Year 1 – 2015
I’ve worked full-time since 7th January 2014 and I am genuinely happy that I have found a job I love. With a smaller holiday allowance vs being a student, I’ve learnt to embrace my time off work as much as I can. My first big trip for 2015 was in Feb/Mar 2015, where I (somehow) managed to summit Mt Kilimanjaro (5,895M) in Tanzania.
My second work trip was to Jordan in May 2015, where I had the opportunity to explore Petra and go desert trekking in Wadi Rum.
With the May bank holiday fast approaching, it was Exodus holiday take 2! I travelled to Ireland with my colleagues where we explored the Giants Causeway, spent 2 days in Dublin and embraced all things Irish.
Summer 2015 was a collection of mini weekend breaks!
- Canyoning in Scotland
- Coasteering in Dorset
- Beatles in Liverpool
- Apaca Trekking in Kent
My 3rd Educational was the Mont Blanc Highlights trip in August 2015. I spent a week trekking around the Alps, paragliding and glacier trekking. I managed to add on a bank holiday weekend break in Geneva at the end of my trip.
In November 2015, it was city break take 2 with my college buddy in crime, Sophia. We purchased £35.00 return flights to Copenhagen where we mistakenly ventured into a soft porn film, explored the Christmas Markets and embraced the concept of Hygge (Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people).
After 7 years, I finally visited my parents in Thailand (retired in Phuket!). It was a hot family Christmas with island hopping, kayaking and indulging in lots of Thai food for 3 weeks in December 2015.
Exodus Year 2 – 2016
7th January 2016 marks my 2 year work anniversary at Exodus Travels. It’s a January made up of weekends away with New Years in Lymington with Alex, Brighton with Sophia, Devon with Alex and a subsidized Winter Mountaineering Course in Scotland.
From 8th – 22nd February 2016, I decided to go on my first solo backpacking trip in Costa Rica. I managed to luckily secure last minute cheap flights through a work discount (return flights to Costa Rica for £275!).
It was a unplanned trip with a 6kg rucksack and a Lonely Planet for inspiration. It truly hammered home that freedom equates to pure happiness. “Paint the sky, make it yours”.
In March 2016, I visited Gothenburg, Sweden. Sophia and I enjoyed a city break and then visited the Archipelago Islands where we embraced the pure freedom of golf buggying on a car free island.
May 2016 marks my 30th country (Austria!). I cycled 300km from Passau (Germany) to Vienna (Austria) along the Danube River with Alex. We took in the sights of evergreen Austrian forests, the spectacular watercourse of the river and abbeys, castles and palaces.
In June 2016, it was my very first sales weekend to Madeira, Portugal. It was a short break away with lots of Portuguese Food, cliff side walks and a toboggan ride.
From 9th – 18th July 2016, I went on my 4th Educational with Exodus, a week of climbing craggy mountains in Italy with Via Ferrata in the Dolomites!
The summer of 2016 was x2 trekking Educationals with work. For my 5th Educational, I went to France on the trip Summits and Ridges of the Queryas in August 2016.
In September 2016, I went to Iceland with my partner in crime, Alex. We backpacked the 55km Laugavegur Trail together, described as one of the most beautiful walking trails in the world. I’ve wanted to do this trek for years and it was an experience of a lifetime!
From 5th October – 9th October 2016, it was Round 3 with my work buddies to Macedonia! We explored Lake Orhid, took a bus to Skopje and motor-biked through the mountains.
2016 was an incredible year for travel and marked a lot of firsts. My first dedicated cycling trip, first solo backpacking trip, first experience of Via Ferrata and the first time I found someone I’d genuinely love to share every travel venture with.
Exodus Year 3 – 2017
A new year and a new job role! I’ve changed from the Operations Department to Sales. In January 2017, I travelled to Poland & Slovakia on a Winter Activity Week with dog-sledding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and thermal pools – A great introduction into winter sports with my little sister.
From 4th to 11th March 2017, Alex and I travelled to Tenerife! It was a extremely cheap break away (£275pp with flights and half board in a 3* hotel). Together we went kayaking with dolphins, trekking, visited a water park and hired a car for island exploration.
In April 2017, we also embarked on a ‘route notes checking’ trip to Portugal with work, cycling 250km from the mountains to sea. We were chased by dogs, surrounded by vineyards and stayed at every kind of hotel, from old manor houses to eco-friendly design properties. An article I wrote is here
In May 2017, with a crazy sprinkle of luck, I won a trip to Malaysia and Thailand through Travel Weekly! I had completely forgotten that I entered the competition and I dismissed the initial email notification as spam. My trip consisted of revolving luxury restaurants, hotel inspections, island hopping and a spontaneous chance to visit my dad.
For June 2017, it was Bothy Weekend take II! We took an overnight sleeper train to the Highlands, trekked from Bothy to Bothy, dodged midges, and ascended the highest Southerly Munro in Scotland, Ben Lomond!
I hadn’t won trips before and suddenly like buses, I won two travel prizes (both from Travel Weekly) within two months of each other. In July 2017, I went away on a long weekend to Andorra. We went zip-lining, Via Ferrata and trekking.
In August 2017, it was city break round 4 with my one of my oldest best friends, Sophy! We flew to Luxembourg and devoured pizza, stayed in a prison hostel and paid £20 return with Ryanair.
In September 2017, I backpacked and camped 155km of Scotland’s West Highland Way. Often described as one of the most beautiful treks in the world, the trek was a wonderful reminder of the kindness of strangers, the stripped down simplicity of an end goal, and stunning Autumnal scenery. My blog post is here.
October 2017 marked my 5th Educational with Exodus (but my first tailor-made Educational in the sales team!). We tagged on 3 days of pure luxury in the Maldives before our 2 weeks in Sri Lanka. It was paradise island with herds of elephants, luscious hill country, golden sand beaches and ancient temples.
My best moments of 2017 were a 155km solo trek, my first route notes checking trip, the most luxurious hotel I ever stayed in (Vilamendhoo Island Resort and Spa ) and crazy, crazy pot luck to win 2 trips in one year!
Exodus Year 4 – 2018
2018 is my second year as part of the Tailor-made Team at Exodus. Alex and I travel on our first trip to Sardinia in March 2018, a cycling holiday with beaches, wetlands, delicious food and ‘chlorine poisoning’ from a shower.
April 2018 marked two wonderful city breaks. One with Alex’s family to Madrid in celebration of Alex’s dads’ 70th Birthday and another as a sisterly holiday to Prague, where we discovered a fine love for chimney cake.
In June 2018, I travelled to Japan for 2 weeks via Paris. The flights were £248 return with Jacks Flight Club (I cannot recommend this website enough, the flights are normally £650+!). With a cheekily cheap airfare, we inter-railed Japan from Tokyo to Hiroshima. Japan is one of my all-time favourite destinations with a delicious food, futuristic cities, castles and the breathtaking Japanese Alps.
The warm summer of 2018 was made up of walking weekends to Lake District and Bothy Weekend III! We reached the furthest NW point of the UK after a 45km trek and ascended Helvellyn via striding edge.
In September 2018, I travelled to Slovenia with my wife, Alice! For our trip, we went wild swimming, canyoning, mountain biking, white water rafting, kayaking, zip-lining, got ‘married’, thrown in jail, did some hitchhiking and ate some of the most delicious meals ever. The trip was based on an Exodus trip via this link.
3 days after Slovenia, I went away for my second sales weekend to the Prosecco Hills in Italy! It was a long weekend of beautiful walks, bright green rolling hills and lots of prosecco. An article I wrote is available here