My number 1 passion is travelling the world. I've carried a 20kg backpack and travelled solo around the world, with a years worth of clothing inside. I've climbed volcano's, eaten more insects than I'd like to admit, scuba dived through caves & water visibility of 30 metres. I've been slammed up against rocks, by crushing waves, I've cruised down the Mekong River in its famous "slow boat", I've drank out of countless Thai buckets, taken part in Balinese spiritual ceremonies. That has been my life. Accompanied by countless long haul destination holidays & work & play overseas in 3 different countries. Can you tell I love to travel?
I took the very "normal" route of going to University after A’levels to study a degree in Business Management, then on finishing that, I decided to stay in my university town of Bournemouth & get a temping job in an office. Here were where my eyes were opened to the possibility of travel & wonder. My Manager at the time had previously worked out on location in the Maldives for one of the biggest travel companies around, Kuoni Travel. Knowing my passion & desire to discover the world, (not to mention the fact that I’m a huge water baby, & the Maldives is all ocean), she set me up with an interview. And the rest they say is history.
My island paradise for 6 months in the Maldives
I worked on location for Kuoni Travel, for 6 months, an experience that I am so incredibly grateful for. A truly unforgettable time, and one that would open my eyes to the mind blowing beauty of this world. I set sail before the times of social media – in fact I think msn and hotmail had just come onto the scene, so that was the only way I could communicate with my friends & family. At 22 it was tough being so far away without the social media world at my finger tips - that said it was easily one of the best experiences of my life!
Following the Maldives, I came home and slotted back into life in London, got a full time job in a bank as a Corporate Relationship Manager, bought a flat - basically did all the things I was expected to do as a 20 something girl. My 20's were a lot of fun, including countless trips to LA, Miami, New York, Ibiza, Cyprus, Malta, Europe - but these were holidays, and my appetite to travel longer term, never went away. So with that, I acted on my gut feeling and took a year sabbatical to travel the world, as a solo female backpacker.
Armed with a 15kg backpack I boarded my flight from London Heathrow to the States, and made my way overland from East to South to West, including Hawaii. From there I went via Auckland to Australia, where I lived for months, working and travelling. Next stop was Indonesia, followed by Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
I returned to the UK in May 2014, back into the same role that I'd left behind & the same salary. My sabbatical had ended & for various different reasons when I returned into my previous job, I wasn't happy. I rided this journey out for 9 months, and then had the courage to leave my job after 9 years of being in my comfort zone - to take up an internship & teaching opportunity in Bangkok, Thailand. I wasn't being paid, I was simply supporting a TEFL company with their marketing & social media, and at the same time studying for one month in Krabi, Southern Thailand to gain my "Teaching English as a Foreign Language" qualification. It was an incredible experience! I met so many amazing people, learnt SO much about myself as a person, and overcame some serious fears - one being that I hated public speaking, but for one month I had to get up in front of a class of adults (pretending they were children), and teach them English. By the end of the course I was almost a pro, rather than a nervous wreck.
The TEFL gang in Krabi
My Thailand experience teaching was such an amazing experience & I'd recommend anybody to get their TEFL qualification & travel. In under developed continents like South East Asia, it really made me feel so humbled, and that I was giving something back, making a difference to the children that I taught.
Think my smile says it all....
My Thai teaching experiences involved the craziness of Bangkok and the chill out Thai island of Koh Tao. Two complete opposites, but the perfect balance for getting the most out of my new experience as language teacher. Soon though I started to get itchy feet, and decided after 6 months that I would fulfill my dream of travelling parts of western Europe. When I originally went on my solo backpacking trip, I wanted Europe to be my first continent, moving East across the globe, to ease myself in, still be in western countries and close to home, but after discovering how expensive Europe was, I decided to skip it until a later time. And that time was now.
I ventured through Spain, visiting my favourite European city, Barcelona ( I hope to live there one day) as well as Madrid, Valencia, Granada, Seville & Malaga. Following a flying visit back to London for my nephews 1st birthday, I then hopped over to Verona, Italy & explored Lake Garda, Florence, Rome, Ellas Island, Naples, Sorento & the Amalfi Coast.
Greece was next, my homeland! I'm half Greek, half English so can get by speaking a little basic Greek, and know all the different foods (my Mum spoilt me as a kid with her amazing cooking skills). I LOVE everything about Greece, the history, Greek mythology, the food, the people, just everything. I island hopped around the Cyclades Islands, from Mykonos, to Santorini to Ios, and then went down to Crete. I finished my Greek adventure in Athens, Delphi (Spiritual wow) & Poros (a little island just off the coast of Athens).
My European adventure came to an end in October 2015, and I made my way back to London for my Mums 60th Birthday party (which I was never going to miss). I settled again back into London life quite quickly, catching up with my loved ones & friends. Exploring London & the new pop ups, restaurants & bars that I missed whilst I'd been away. That was when I met my "one", my boyfriend of over a year now and I couldn't be happier. He's also travelled and backpacked the world, and every opportunity that we get we book a flight somewhere, even if its just for a long weekend. In 2016 alone, we did 12 holidays together, including Mexico, Thailand, Italy and Morocco.
So here we are, the present day and the decision I've made to go it alone and build my travel business. After years and years of looking after small and medium size businesses in the UK, I made the decision (finally) to start up on my own, and follow my true passions, which are helping others, travelling and writing. 2017 will hold many more adventures I'm sure. I'm planning to travel the Greek Islands, South Africa, India, the far East & Indonesia, finally settling in Bali, indefinitely, building my business along the way and providing you guys with some great content & video footage!
I want to make sure the resourcing side of the business is strong, and use my knowledge and experience to help others find the courage to truly live their lives & seek out worldwide travel adventures. The realisation that capturing dreams, living in the present moment & mapping out adventures across the globe for others is what I want to achieve. I would love to be a "tiny" reason behind why you decided to travel, became enlightened by your experiences, fell in love, and many many more. That would make me smile always knowing that I given something back & helped create adventures.
Thanks for following me on my own adventure so far!