There are quite a lot of us blogging about travel on the internet and one thing I notice is, that we don’t seem to mention how thankful we are often enough.
That’s not to say travel bloggers aren’t grateful or thankful, I can almost guarantee most of us are but we very rarely post our thanks. Now, I’m not paid to write these posts, obviously if I were I’d probably be a bit more together and on time, but looking back over the last year I’ve really noticed how much I was able to travel and how far I’ve been. And wow am I one lucky girl!
From August 2013 to August 2014 I managed to visit 5 new countries, 18 news cities (unless I’ve forgotten or miss-categorized any) and 1 new continent. And I couldn’t have got there without a LOT of help! Although my travel is largely self-funded, there’s some things you just can’t do alone. I’ve got a small honours list of people who’ve helped me get there…get everywhere;
My wonderful parents. Without them I wouldn’t even have got to Turkey, since they paid for that, just as they’ve paid for every holiday I’ve been on with them throughout the years. They also paid for my paragliding, which was incredible. It’s not just the money either; as anyone who’s ever been on holiday, even in their home country, knows, the organisation takes a lot of time. From the airport parking, to the accommodation, to reading up on Trip Advisor, buying a holiday guide book, arranging kennels for the dog, driving me to the airport. My parents usually drive me to the airport even when they’re not coming away with me. I am exceptionally thankful for the amount they support me in all of my ventures and adventures. And for the cocktails they bought me in Turkey…
My lovely boyfriend, who’s only been around for the last year and a bit of my Travel-life but has increased my lust for travel tenfold. Not only does he make it a little bit competitive, which makes me just a little more fired-up to go and a little more likely to push myself the extra mile, but he helps me build my dreams, encourages me to carry them out and inspires me, with his dreams, to travel more. He’s also much more financially savvy than I am… so he keeps me realistic.
Of all my friends, the biggest thanks over the last year go to Srivalli. My gorgeous bestie, who I’m not going to be able to see for quite some time since she’s back in India for the foreseeable future. Without Srivalli I wouldn’t have even been able to consider going to India – she made it not only affordable for me but also safer, possible to go alone and know I had someone when I got there, she stopped me getting ripped-off my tourist ‘deals’, she helped breach the language barrier and knew where not to go, which is sometimes half the battle. Also lots of love and respect to her Ama, Amama, Father, Sister, cousins and the rest of the family and friends who fed me, let me live in their houses for free, answered my endless questions, drove me around for free and let me into their lives; it was a magical experience made possible only by every one of them.
Paddling in the Blue Lagoon
Then the rest of my friends, mostly for putting up with me running off all the time and supporting me in my dreams; mostly for still being there, as though no time has passed, when I return. What are friends for if not that? Especially Ellen, who’s been around for more years than I’ll say, who always has and always will inspire me to travel with her insatiable desire to travel too. I took my first trip sans-parents with Ellen, she’s always incredibly brave, unflappable and an extremely organised travel companion.
It’s been an amazing year and I’m so excited for this one for so many reasons! Thank you so much to everyone who supports my dreams, in all their shapes and sizes, and allows me to be crazy, disorganised and repeatedly absent. And thank you life … because without certain opportunities, which have allowed me to get jobs, I would never have had the money to travel like this.
Everyone here is paragliding
Morning over the Lake
A very traditional Mass