I was about 14 when I watched a programme with my Mum that documented the “top 50 things to before you die” or whatever. I remember eagerly jotting down trips and destinations that looked interesting. I’m not normally a big fan of lists like that and I don’t think travel should be about ticking boxes but I was quite young and hadn’t heard of many places. I’ve always thought travel is an incredibly important part of growing and being a rounded person, and you don’t really get a sense for a place if you’re just waltzing between hotels and tour guides. Not in my book anyway!
So, although I’ve done quite a lot of the classic “things everyone should do” from seeing the Northern Lights, walking over Golden Gates Bridge, swim in an Icelandic pool, gondola in Venice etc, I thought I’d share some my more personal travel highlights. I’m kind of a risk-taking, up-for-anything sorta girl anyway, but there’s something about travelling which makes it easier to just push everything a step further than normal… 1. Last year in New York, asking a boy I met on a plane to marry me to try and avoid going home.
2. Aged 14, staying in a provincial french village for a music course we ended up spending an entire day in a local primary school and playing our instruments for the children.
3. The first time I stayed up all night in New York.. I was 18, it was my second trip there and I snuck out of the hotel with a few friends (we were on a school trip) where we tried unsuccessfully to blag our way into a jazz club – instead ending up sat around the back until the sun rose up.
4. Last year, crying actual tears in one of the best exhibitions I’ve ever seen – Metamorphosis last year at MACBA in Barcelona.
5. Aged 16, being taken out by the locals for a night on the town in Turkey and every single person assuming I was Turkish. Then being taken to the club all the hotel reps go to after hours – it was basically the Kurdish version of Dirty Dancing.
6. Aged 15, seeing the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia and feeling completely overwhelmed knowing this was where so much of the best art from the last century had been created.
7. Aged 20, the weirdest night of my life in Paris which involved champagne and a show at the Moulin Rouge, multiple “Earthquakes” at Toulouse Lautrec’s favourite bar, then multiple Guinesses at an Irish bar before descending into blurry chaos and a few more weird encounters which I can’t really share. But they were good.
8. Staying up for my last 36 hours in San Francisco and consequently having the best sleep of my life on the 28 hour journey back.
9. Aged 5, one of my earliest memories: falling asleep on a camel in Kenya and then waking up with the camel licking me. Another early memory from the same trip is swapping a piece of a cake with a monkey.
10. Aged 19, befriending an old Italian man in Rome; our only mutual language was French so we spoke entirely in French for an hour. He showed me a tiny local church, the outside was shuttered and covered over and inside of was entirely tiled with little gold mirrors.
What are some of your favourite travel memories? It feels like ages since I’ve been away and I’m itching to get to Helsinki, Australia and possibly back to my beloved New York before the year is out. Looks like I’ll be headed back to the homeland as well. I’d like to ask if any of you have a Pinterest board of places you’d like to visit? Let me know if so – I’d love to see and hear about your travel experiences.This is my entry for this weeks #WeBlogSummer – I am shockingly late because for some reason scheduling the post didn’t work. Lovely Sophia’s post is here and she has links to the rest of the gals involved.