My Travel History

Before age 18, I had only 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.

Age 19, I spontaneously booked a plane ticket to Kathmandu in order to set aside my doubts/fears that is often associated with the ‘unknown’ of travelling.

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.

At the end of Term 1 (December 2010), I travelled to India with King’s College London for Development Geography Fieldwork (Micro-Finance Project). We interviewed local people, explored the Keralan Backwaters and witnessed primary production such as farming, fishing and rope making.

My second volunteer abroad trip was in the Easter Holiday of April 2011. After a 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.

With the second year of uni drawing to a close, I looked into summer volunteer projects which involved animals (I LOVE animals!). In June 2011, I volunteered for a monkey conservation project with International Primate Rescue in South Africa, near Pretoria. All my related blog posts are here.
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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).

I also squeezed in bungee jumping, a safari, white water rafting after the volunteering.

I graduated University in Summer 2012 (BA Geography and South East Asian Studies from SOAS and King’s College London). I will not let the end of my student years mark the end of what I love to do. I pledge to always be true to my passion and my desire to see the world. What does the future hold? Who knows! Let us always make the most of the present.

Leaving full time education into ‘the real world’

Post Graduation – 2012/13

With university done and dusted, I volunteered full time as a Secondary School Mentor for City Year London, a global charity that supports schools in deprived areas. Alongside volunteering full-time, I held x2 jobs as a waitress and a private tutor. I spent the extra money I earned on trips that I took in the school holidays.
For my first half term in October 2012, Emerson, Matt and I went on a European road-trip for a week. We visited France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.
 
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.
For the Easter Holiday in April 2013, I went trekking in the Lake District (in snow!). Nathan and I stayed near Patterdale and we walked around the Helvellyn mountain range.
For the second week of the Easter holiday break, my sister and I visited Algarve in Portugal (sisterly holiday, take 2!). We downhill cycled, kayaked and explored beach-side towns.

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.

Summit of Mt Toubkal – 28th May 2013

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’.

From Sept to Dec 2013, I volunteered in Nicaragua with ICS (Raleigh International) working on projects such as extending the water system, constructing eco ovens and facilitating Community Action Days. You can read more about my 2.5 month voluntary placement here
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Overall, I feel I’ve spent four wonderful years pursuing what I genuinely love alongside studying and volunteering. 2014 will involve delving into job hunting. I feel travelling resonates on a deeper level, more so then just the sight of a pretty beach or a new city. The experiences have kept me grounded as an individual and to never forget the bottom line: that we are here to be happy. Life is just a collection of experiences one after another and I hope to find my forte in a career that I will be true to.

Full Time Work and Travel – 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.

In June 2014, it was Sisterly Holiday take #3 in Side, Turkey!
After a busy summer at work, I travelled with our sister company, Intrepid Travel, for a one week multi-activity Adventure holiday in Andorra in September 2014. A wonderful perk for working with a Travel Company is discounted trips!
My first ‘official’ Exodus work trip was in October 2014 where I spent a week Walking in Mallorca, in Spain. 
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In November 2014, I travelled to Bratislava, Slovakia and Budapest, Hungary for an extended weekend break. I’ve used the ‘go away for 4 days and knock 2 days off work’ technique in order to squeeze out every little pocket of time possible with full time work.

Ryanair = £50 + Coach between Budapest and Bratislava £8 = A Euro adventure!

Full Time Work and Travel – 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.

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My Kilimanjaro Summit Day – 6th March 2015 @ 7:30am

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.

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Jordan trip, 2nd – 9th May.

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.

Ireland: 22nd - 25th May 2015

Ireland: 22nd – 25th May 2015

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Dorset Summer 2015

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.

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Mont Blanc Aug 2015

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).

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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.

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Full Time Work and Travel – 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.

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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!).

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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.

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300km bike ride – 15th to 24th May 2016

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.

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9th to 12th June 2016 – Madeira Sales Weekend

From 9th – 18th July 2016, I went on my 4th Educational with Exodus, a week of climbing craggy mountains with Via Ferrata in the Dolomites!

The summer of 2016 was x2 trekking Educationals with work. For my 5th Educational, I went on the trip Summits and Ridges of the Queryas in August 2016.

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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.

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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.

Full Time Work and Travel – 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.

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In April 2017, Alex and I embarked on a route notes checking trip with work, cycling approximately 250km from the mountains to sea. It felt like a real project amending write ups, taking photos and editing the Route Notes for Exodus!

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