I was 19 when the travel bug gripped me. I was working hard and playing hard when it hit me that I would have no stories to pass on to my children. Everyday was the same – I would attend lectures, spend time with my friends and go out drinking in the evening. I needed to grab hold of my own destiny and do something with my life. And so the lust for travel was born.
After graduation, I started work as a Legal Assistant on the minimum wage. I spent a year working as much overtime as I could and depriving myself of everything but the bare essentials to save enough money to book my dream round the world trip. I traveled to the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing over 3 1/2 of the best months of my life.
So what happened next?
I thought that would be it. I thought I had dealt with the travel itch and would now be able to focus on my “real life”. I went back to work and then threw myself into debt to go back to University to train to be a Solicitor.
I could not have been more wrong.
Since coming back from my dream trip, I have thought constantly about where to go and what to do next, and how to afford it. Since returning, I have travelled to Crete, Ibiza, South Africa, Amsterdam and Italy, as well as travelling within the UK. I have a huge and ever growing bucket list of travel adventures, and my spare time is spent planning and researching trips.
I am addicted to the sense of freedom and opportunity that travel brings. I love waking up in a new place with no agenda, and so much to explore. I love discovering beautiful sights, whether they are man made or natural. I like to escape completely from normal life and immerse myself in new places, even if only for a day.
Travel is more important to me now than ever before, but it is only one part of my life and I can’t afford to give up my career to travel long term. So I am a traveler with a day job. Thanks to my hefty student debt, I am also a traveller on a shoestring budget.
My aim is to visit and blog about 500 destinations. I may not currently be able to travel long term, but that doesn’t mean that I cannot see the world (including the UK) and maximise every opportunity that I have to travel. I want to share my stories and experiences to show that it is possible to achieve this whilst maintaining a full time job and managing a limited budget.
I truly believe that my home, the North East of England is a real hidden gem and a completely underrated travel destination. It is packed full of history and culture, it has spectacular rugged landscapes and pristine deserted beaches. My second aim is to give you 500 reasons why the North East should be on every traveller’s itinerary.