I’m beyond excited to move into this next phase of travel blogging (anyone else notice a change around here?) but wanted to take a little moment to look back at some of the lessons I learned over the last 4 years of travelling, eating and meeting cool people in 40 different countries.
1) Vietnamese cyclo drivers will invariably charge more than they originally quoted. I learnt this on my first trip to Vietnam, then promptly forgot it on the second.
2) Long sleeve shirts in the Amazon are a seriously good idea – not just an unnecessary precaution.
3) Don’t lie to doorman at the Paris Ritz. Ever.
4) The inside of a pyramid is not hollow. Who knew?
5) Coconut water tastes better on a beach. Always.
6) Eating all the food in Italy will make you podgy. (As do press trips in general. Especially the ones in Italy.)
7) French supermarkets are joyous. Like temples to the gods of bread, wine and cheese.
8) Taiwanese 7-11’s are the king of convenience stores – you’ve got internet, post, laundry, coffee, toiletries, ramen and more available around the clock. Some state they are open for 25 hours – they are that magic!
9) It’s not rude to spit in China. Even in temples. (Was a little taken aback by this.)
10) Cows like to sunbathe on beaches in Goa. (This can cause nasty bug carrying sandflies to bite your bum – just ask my poor friend S.)
11) People who live in ‘slums’ are not all rogues. Far from it.
12) “Street food” is not something you peel off the pavement.
13) Chicken feet are a really knobbly snack.
14) Meals in the States are generally larger than your head.
15) There is a man in San Francisco who pretends he is a bush.
16) Visiting Cuba is the closest I’ve ever come to time travel.
17) Greek salad always taste better in Greece.
18) Uluru (Ayres Rock) is more than just a rock, just getting there feels like a pilgrimage. One definitely worth doing.
19) Bunny Chow is a South African genius dish – curry served in a bread bowl.
20) Chinese Medicine Doctors in Hong Kong ask intimate questions and charge a lot of money for their remedies. (Don’t ask!)
21) German cycle paths are often on the pavement. Watch out!
22) There is a toilet themed restaurant in Taipei where poo-coloured meals are served in potties and you sit on a toilet and eat at a bath table.
23) Drinking coffee is a ‘culture’.
24) Kindness can come from unexpected sources and feels all the more precious when dolled out by a complete stranger.
25) When you’re sick you want your Mum. No matter where you are and at what age.
26) Travel makes the heart grow wider.
27) Children are charming (cheeky) creatures, the world over.
28) Travel is one of life’s greatest privileges.
29) Travel makes or breaks many a relationship.
30) Solo travel is empowering but shared experiences are everlasting.
Thank you to each and every one of you who came, joined or met me on these adventures over the last 4.5 years. It wouldn’t have been the same without you.
Thanks to those who made many of these travels possible and to all of you out there who came to read about them.
Wishing you all safe and happy travels wherever you will go.