As I travelled through Asia, I scribbled down various thoughts and feelings and collated them into a set of reflections on my last 5 months of travel in this post.
Some on travelling generally, photography, life, volunteering, my old day-to-day life, blogging, love and country specifics.
On travelling generallyâ€¦.
I don’t miss the luxury of space a private room gives you but I do miss having a whole wardrobe to choose from.
I much prefer outdoor sightseeing. Natural landscape wonders, outdoor activities, epic views and atmospheres.
With a fast schedule, I was able to see many more places, but I gave up a handful of things at the same time – time to exercise, time to get to know other people better (not just flying in and out of a hostel),
I have massive respect for the set of hardcore budget travellers who do everything to the penny (or cent). It takes more energy to do it and for most, they do it because it’s the only way to stay on the road. I salute you.
You can’t worry about diet too much as you travel. Eat to live as you travel, don’t live to eat.
Mobile sims rock, life is much easier when you have a local sim card in your phone. It’s well worth the hassle setting up.
When you travel with others there’s the strange comfort that, it doesn’t matter the situation you’re in, somehow you’ll get through together.
I don’t enjoy big cities as much as small towns. There’s something unique about small towns that always creates a good memory.
On average, people think I look 5 years younger than I really am.
I enjoy road trips more than I realised. I need to do more of them.
The internet, when used in the right way, can make travelling so much more fulfilling. The ability to stay in touch with home, meet up with fellow travellers and share your experiences in real time are undervalued.
Sadly, your experience of a place can be weather dependant, but on average, you’ll probably see more places in good weather than bad.
Leading a very simple life for a period of time has massive benefits. The dust settles in your mind and much becomes clear.
Meditation and emptying your mind of thoughts is a difficult skill to acquire. It takes regular practice and I understand the benefits of it now.
In the west, we take for granted our social mobility. A lot of people don’t have half the opportunities we do.
I didn’t expect to take to the volunteer scheme as much as I did. Volunteering as you travel is so underrated – everyone should consider it during their travels. Either it was just a fantastic scheme or I enjoy helping others more than I realised. I need to do more volunteering, but with good schemes.
I was chuffed to have connected with more so many people during my one week volunteering than any other week during my travels. There were so many likeminded people, yet everyone was from different parts of the world and unique in their own way.
It’s much easier to tell people where you are through photos than writing a blog or email.
Without having to carry around an SLR camera, I was very happy with my choice of camera.
My photography skills improved with time. New Zealand and Japan were my best shots (and both countries were at the end of my trip). Maybe I should take up a photography course.
On my old day-to-day life…
I love sports and I used it to relax more than I realised
London is a cool city and I didn’t realise how well I knew it. I think when I’m back I’ll see it from a different perspective.
I look forward to going home, but not because I miss it.
You need to put some dedicated time aside when travelling to keep up a regular blog.
Blogging is more fulfilling personally than I thought it would be. It’s a great way to record your thoughts, consolidate them and move forward.
Blogs are one of the best resources in the modern era for travellers.
A day travelling with someone is the equivalent of several dates. You learn so much more about them and visa versa.
There are less tiers of social status when you travel and so, the possibilities of meeting more people increase.
I think travelling together can quickly make or break a relationship. If you can travel together, you can most probably live together too.
We spend too much on weddings in the west. There are so many simple yet beautiful places to get married out there in the world.
On specific countriesâ€¦.
China – A very untravelled and massive country. If you can get over the culture shock and cope with the language barrier, there’s a whole new world to visit.
Hong Kong – An expats playground. You get anything you want there, but it will cost you.
Thailand – Deeper and more beautiful than I expected. I’m sure to return at some point in the future.
Laos – Underrated and ready to grow in tourism. I’m glad I saw it when I did, because it’ll probably be very different in the years to come.
Vietnam – You either love Vietnam or hate Vietnam. From what I saw, I didn’t like it, but I know I didn’t give the country enough time. I only really scratched the surface.
Cambodia – Still feels like the country’s recovering from the genocide of the 1980s. A little rough around the edges, but home to some phenomenal history.
Indonesia – The real Indonesian culture is somewhere amongst the islands outside of Bali. If I go back, I’d island hop.
Australia – Uluru and the rest of the formations around the Ayers Rock area are well worth the effort getting to and from. You can learn a lot from the aboriginal culture, but only if you visit the place in person.
New Zealand – The landscape scenery blew me away. So much better than I expected. Perfect place for a road trip and adventure junkies.
Japan – Such a different culture to the West, but still the most polite and welcoming I’ve ever come across. Travelling in Japan was easier than any other non-english speaking country – and that was without being fluent with the language. Everything you take a photo of makes a great picture.