It’s a bug that has plagued traveller’s the world over since the beginning of time, it’s so easy to catch and almost impossible to get rid of. No, I’m not talking about traveller’s diarrhoea I mean the wanderlust bug, the type that has you itching to get away again and again.
I had been on family beach holidays around Europe all my life, and I am very grateful for those experiences, but as I grew older I wanted something more. I wanted to immerse myself in a new culture, I wanted to eat local street food, I wanted to ride in the back of a tuk tuk and take in views from on top of a tropical island, I wanted to explore buddhist temples, I wanted to be a traveller not a tourist. South East Asia was calling my name, and so, when I was 19 I booked a trip to Thailand with a friend. I packed my dad’s 70L mountaineering backpack full to the brim (this was a rookie error) and off I went on my flight to Bangkok.
We spent 3 amazing weeks touring the islands of Southern Thailand. I never knew a place could be so beautiful, it surpassed all my expectations and I loved every minute of that trip. When the 3 weeks were up, I reluctantly got on my plane back to London. At first when I got home, I felt really appreciative of my home comforts, things like a proper toilet that flushed, a decent pillow and duvet and not risking my life whenever I got in a vehicle. But, after being back a week I realised that while I was away I had changed but everything here at home had stayed exactly the same. It made me wonder why I ever bothered coming home, I found myself on my laptop staring longingly at sky scanner, already planning my next getaway. My little Scottish hometown now felt so insignificant, a minuscule dot in the huge vastness of the world. I had come to realise just how small my little corner of the world was. I knew then that I wanted to travel everywhere, to see as much of this big blue globe as I could in my lifetime.
It may only have been 3 weeks, but it was those 3 weeks that gave me the passion for travelling that I still have today almost 3 years on. For me nothing comes close to the feeling of stepping off a plane into a new adventure, and thats how I know I’ve got the travel bug.