The purpose of this blog is predominantly to keep friends and family updated with my travels in 2017, however as I am yet to put any kind of concrete plans in place for this trip I thought I would write about some of my past travel experiences; more for my own sanity than anything else! I am currently sat in my lounge on a rainy Sunday afternoon in my boyfriend’s tracksuit, becoming increasingly jealous that he is about to jet off to his house in Portugal for a family week away leaving me in the gloomy south west. The realisation that I will probably not be getting a holiday this summer for a number of logistical reasons has finally sunk in and it is THE most depressing thing. Thinking about past and future trips abroad therefore seems like the only way for me to lessen the wanderlust I am currently feeling.
Wanderlust is a feeling that I have harboured since my late teenage years, however when deciding to write this post I found it very difficult to pinpoint where this fascination for travel actually originated. After some serious pondering I finally decided that my eagerness to see world began when I was 17, on a family cruise which took us to Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Turkey. Up until this point I had only been to a couple of European countries and had never really experienced another culture, so this was a trip that filled me with excitement.
We cruised with the popular holiday company Thomson, booking excursions with them in order to explore our destinations. I remember sitting on a bus in Cairo, Egypt staring out at the organised chaos around me, totally mesmerised by the overcrowded mopeds and donkey-pulled carts that were participating in an intricate dance; dodging left and right seamlessly as if it had been rehearsed. Then looking up in awe at the towering stone Pyramids and wondering how an earth these beautiful structures had stood the test of time.
Later on in the trip Haifa, Israel surprised me with its elegance and sophistication, the breathtaking Bahai Gardens commanding my attention from the moment we arrived in the port to the moment we left.
But it was also the stark reality of these countries that remain firmly in my imagination. For example my shock when arriving at the Pyramids, only to find an urban expanse almost directly behind them. I had always thought they were situated in the middle of a desert, isolated from the modern world. Instead however the ‘golden arches’ of capitalism stood out in the corner of my eye. I felt this same sinking feeling whilst visiting the Dead Sea in Israel and hearing about how this wonder of the world was disappearing rapidly due to human error. Two sights that I had always wanted to see were tainted due to my own race of being and I think that really registered with me, giving me an urge to see as much of the world as possible before it disappears from view completely. While at the time I was too young to really understand my experiences (the above thoughts coming only with reflection), just being able to observe and become aware of cultures other than my own was the beginning of my want for more.