Over the last 20+ years I’ve enjoyed using my spare time to travel the world, occasionally to places that are slightly ‘off the beaten track’.
My first real foray abroad was with my partner at the tender age of 21, and it was a total shock to the system. That first trip, a kind of gap year after university, took me to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and India.
I was totally out of my depth and did not cope very well mentally or physically. When I got home I couldn’t stay overnight somewhere I didn’t know without getting anxious, and didn’t travel again for about six years.
I gradually learned to deal with my anxiety and, prompted by an invitation to a friend’s wedding in South Africa, I got back on a plane. Following this trip we started travelling regularly, some highlights include exploring rain forests and volcanoes in central America and the Caribbean, cruising down the Nile and seeing the pyramids in Egypt and riding the bullet train in Japan.
On becoming single in 2011 I was determined to continue exploring, and getting on the train to the airport on that first solo trip (to Vietnam) took a lot of courage and determination.
Since then I’ve grown in confidence and pushed myself to do things I never dreamed possible; such as trekking to Everest Base Camp, salsa dancing in Cuba, visiting the equator in Ecuador, writing articles for a newspaper in Ethiopia and sleeping on the crater of a live volcano.
I’m currently writing a book about my experiences, to help others – in particular single women – who may think that exploring the world is out of their reach. It is also for people who find it hard to push their boundaries due to their anxieties, and show that it is amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to it!