‘Travel Groove’ was almost going to be the name of my blog/Instagram. I still might use it so don’t take it from me lol. But I’m very attached to ‘Tripping Over Travel’ so I’m sticking with it for the moment.
Travel has become part of my identity. Many of my friends ask me for tips and advice, which I’m always happy to give. They also like to hear my stories, look at my photos, ask me how I can afford it, tell me their plans, ask me if they’re “doing it right” (i.e. are they travel planning correctly) and a whole bunch of other things. It also seems that this year is the year that my friends are travelling, which is ironic because 2017 is the year I’ve decided to re-prioritise and set new life goals that don’t specifically involve travelling (I am actually going overseas later in the year but I’ll reveal the details of that another day). But still, I love that my friends come to me to talk travel, and in some cases, my adventures have inspired them to see the world, especially if they are a female going solo. It truly makes me feel like the happiest girl in the world knowing that in some small way, I’ve contributed to another person’s travel dreams.
There are a lot of articles and stuff out there that suggest that backpacking is the best way to gain the ultimate experience. I’ve never travelled this way. I’ve always had luggage on wheels and I pack way to many clothes and toiletries (I’m very particular with the products I use for my hair and skin). So I guess I want to say is, travel however the hell you want. As you go on more trips, you’ll start to develop your ‘travel groove’ and realise what works for you. For me, I’m definitely a comfort traveller and I’m not afraid to admit that. I don’t have a lot of upper body strength. I have a petite build. So I choose to have a wheely bag instead, and a smaller backpack for my essentials. I’m not saying girls my size can’t backpack. I’ve seen plenty of kick-ass females in all shapes and sizes opt for the backpacker style. It’s simply not me.
I don’t think I’ve missed out on experiences because I’m a comfort traveller. When I land in a new destination, I usually take a taxi from the airport to my accommodation. But once I’m checked-in, throughout my time in whichever new city I’m in, I will always use their public transport and walk everywhere. I guess it goes back to my ridiculously heavy luggage. Not only do I not want to carry it around public transport, I’m sure I’m doing everyone a favour by not taking up more space than I should. I also doubt that all locals use public transport to and from the airport. It’s likely they have someone to drop them off or pick them up! That’s a luxury I don’t have in foreign cities. Of course, there are cities where using public transport to and from the airport is the better option, such as London. Other than public transport, I do my best to eat local food, I people-watch to get an understanding of the way of life, and if the opportunity comes up, I’ll speak to the locals. I must admit I’m not good at initiating this but I am always open to it and I always enjoy it. The point is, I still try to immerse myself in the culture while maintaining a certain level of comfort. It’s all about balance!
There is also this perception that when you travel, you have to do everything! You have to be adventurous, spontaneous, daring and have FOMO. I have a bit of these characteristics in me but they’re not extreme. In fact, people might think I’m a boring traveller. But I get fulfillment out of things that others might find is not their cup of tea. I’m always travelling on a low budget too, which limits the amount of things I can do but it makes me wise with my time and money. I can spend a whole day just wandering, eating and taking photos, and I’ll go to sleep happy. I love walking into a café and trying to order something in their local language. I laugh at myself all the time when I stuff up but it’s fun for me and based on my experience, the shopkeepers appreciate my effort. A lot of the time, I find my way around a city by getting lost. I always have an old school map with me just in case and very rarely use Google maps.
A typical day for me while on a solo trip is waking up, eating a big breakfast (and scabbing food to eat later haha) and then off I go on my wandering adventures. But I never leave without my beloved Olympus OMD. Yes, my camera! I’m not in a lot of my travel photos because I’m behind the lens. I do own a selfie stick but I’m too embarrassed to use it lol. When I have pulled it out though, I’ve taken some pretty good photos with amazing backdrops. Either way, whether it’s my camera or my phone, I always have something to take photos with. Life is short and to get a chance to revisit a foreign city is rare. I always have the mindset that I might never come back. Photos are a tangible memory – the physical form that reminds you where you left a piece of yourself. When you look at that photo, you’re taken back to that moment. It’s almost another form of travel in itself. So as long as I’m well fed, have a comfy pair of shoes, and my camera by my side, it’s all gravy!
I’m approaching 1,000 words so if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! I guess I just wanted to give you guys an idea of what I’m like when I travel. I’m pretty simple. I found my travel groove and I like it!