Ok, so it’s probably about time I come clean about this anyway. I love writing, I love writing about travel, but, and this is a big BUT, I have never actually been ‘travelling’. I’m just another one of those armchair travellers. Yes I’ve been away on family holidays, but for not longer than three weeks at a time. I’ve never even been off travelling on my own. I’ve never been interrailing around Europe, drunk ‘til dawn at a Full Moon Party in Thailand, or earned my pennies fruit-picking in Australia. I don’t even have my own blog. Even my sister, two years my junior, has jetted off to America for a month on her own at the tender age of 16. Depressing, I know!
In fact my last trip abroad was a disastrous venture with the netball team to a sports festival in Salou, Spain. Memorable for all the wrong reasons and severely lacking in any worthwhile, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Instead, I travel through others. I read, a lot. Probably too much. It is, quite possibly, the best way to procrastinate.
My love of travel books has actually become ridiculous. My new bookcase is already overflowing; I just can’t help myself. I get lost in someone else’s world and that is simply addictive. I’ve already spent the £100 Amazon gift card I received after trading old books in. Just don’t let my mum know as I know she had earmarked some of that money! Even my friends lose patience when I visit them in London. Of all the things to see in the Big Smoke, I always end up in Stanford’s or Daunt Books, and I’m regularly abandoned in there.
There’s nothing better than receiving your favourite magazine through the post, except when you get three! These I often read instead of doing uni essays; probably not the best idea but certainly more interesting. All these accounts of people’s travels enable me to travel the world with them and I often find myself daydreaming in lectures or at my desk at work.
My friends know to bring something back from their travels, even if it’s just a newspaper or some of the currency. It doesn’t sound too exciting, but it means the world to me to see something from another part of the world.
Now, this hobby of mine ensures I get a few jibes from my sister. I’ve joined postcrossing.com so I can connect with people from across the world. She laughs that I get excited when a postcard lands on my doorstep, but I get to learn about people’s lives and cultures, and I get to tell them about mine in return.
The saddest part of all this is I am always picking up travel brochures, planning dream trips and wishing I’ll be able to fulfil them one day. The agents in STA Travel have just learnt to let me go about my thing when I just ‘drop in’ to check out their latest publications.
As I said, I’ve only ever been on family holidays, but my mum always made me keep a journal, even if we only went to the coast for a few days. They’re packed full of pictures, tickets, leaflets, even flowers. I loved making them, and I love re-reading them.
But now, I want to travel somewhere for real. Dreaming has dominated my travels for far too long. A couple of friends have recently quit their jobs and flown off to Australia and I’ve realised I need to get out more! I want to visit somewhere new and exciting, not just typical family resorts, and write all about it for someone, who, like me, travels through others. I want to take them on the journey through the Cook Islands with me, so they can share my experiences through my stories and enjoy discovering the unknown.