Chasing Tales and Rainbows
Chasing Tales and Rainbows
Addicted to travel, perpetually itchy feet.
When you are traveling you get a strange perspective of the world. In a normal life you meet very few people who travel, sure your colleagues might be ecstatic about their 2 week "holiday" to turkey, but there is a crucial difference in this mentality such that they can hardly count. Whilst you travel though, you will constantly be surrounded by travelers from all over the world. Some will be out for a few weeks, others a few months, some will be taking a year-long sabatical, and still others will be one the infamous one-way trip.
The infamous one-way trip means that there are no plans to return, there is no time limit, and there is no end destination. Usually, when you meet one of these intrepid wanderers you find that they have been travelling for at least 5 months (possibly they missed their return flight home on purpose) and that they travel much more slowly than people out for a two month adventure. The reason for this, is that travel has simply become their life. They have taken the leap and let go of all the pressures that western society impinges upon us. Some have given up girlfriends, others their jobs, and some their mortgage. Long term travelers gain mixed reactions from people living the "normal life"... "Dossers not wanting to get a proper job", "Lazy hippie types" are a couple of the negative viewpoints. Yet I have come to believe that, on the whole, long term travellers such as myself, serve more often as a source of inspiration to those sitting in a call centre in dreary old England wondering what they are doing with their lives... If you can do it why wouldn't you? You can get back to your 40 year career later!
Long term travellers tend to coallesce to each other, it is almost as if there is some unspoken bond that gets us talking to each other and often traveling together. Because of this we are constantly surrounded by a plethora of great travel stories, secret spots to be discovered, and tricks that let you travel more cheaply and for longer. Above all, you are surrounded by inspiration to see more and go longer. We forget about the "normal life" and become completely absorbed in what normal people might call a 'deluded reality'. I think one of the main differences is that, as a traveler, you have ALLLL the time in the world and you are only limited by money. As someone living a normal life, you have no free time, very little opportunity for adventure, and responsibilities, but you have lots of money. Or wait... do you? Or do you spend the money you earn buying things
? That is the second main difference. As a traveler... you have nothing. If you buy something it has to go into your backpack. It is a life that is frugal and poor in terms of material items, but it is a life that is gluttonuosly rich in experiences
. It is a simpler life, where you live day to day and in the moment.
So I invite you to share with me some of these experience, take a glimpse into my deluded reality, and hopefully... get inspired.
I started traveling September 2007. My trip started at 5am at my flat in Brighton, U.K and has since carried me overland through Eastern Europe, Finland, Russia, Mongolia and into China. I got stuck in China. After travelling around northern China for about a month I found myself in Shanghai and worked there for five months. After my brief stint at a semi-normal life, I packed my bag again and returned to the road in August, 2008. I started writing this travel blog just before my one-year anniversary of travel.
At the time of last editing this profile, it was the 23rd of August, 2009 and I was back in Chengdu, China. I was broke and working to save up some money to STOP travelling (moving to a western country is expensive!). Although still living in China, an adventure in its own right, I ostentatiously stopped traveling on the 29th of March, 2009... 18 months after leaving the United Kingdom. On that day I got a job. For all intents and purposes I feel that the "big trip" has come to an end. I will travel my whole life, that is a fact, but those travels will belong to a different chapter of my life.
Countries Traveled/Visited on the "Big Trip": Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Finland, Russia, Mongolia, China, United States, Hong Kong, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
Countries passed through (in order) on the "Big Trip": England, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, FYOM, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Russia, Mongolia, China, United States, China, Hong Kong, China, Hong Kong, China, Hong Kong, China, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China.
Cities Visited in my time in China: Beijing, Datong, Pingyao, Xi'an, Chongqing, Shanghai, Wuxi, Suzhou, Hangzhou, (Hong Kong), Yangshuo, Guilin, Longsheng, Qianbei, Ping'an (Longji Rice Terraces), Sanjiang, Chengyang, Chengdu, Dujiangyan, Qingdao, Guiyang, Huangguoshu, Anshun, Zhijin, Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, Mengla, Hekou
Estimated Future Itinerary:
(Currently Based in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China)
April 27th to May 1st 2009: Hong Kong for a Visa Run
May 3rd to May 8th 2009: Shanghai for 1-week work for an old boss
May 29th to June 14th 2009: Guam (via Shanghai, Tokyo (narita)) for first trip home in 5 years
Top Ten Countries I would love to visit and haven´t yet: (in alphabetical order)