The warm wind blew my hair into a bedraggled birds nest, resembling those in the leafy trees above, as we bumbled down a dusty dirt track.
Encompassed by luscious green foliage and shrubs, which were only disturbed by the occasional cluster of acacia trees, a group of bounding gazelles soaring through the air like flying fish, a vibrant Fischer’s lovebird floating across the milky horizon or a herd of nonchalant elephants in search of their next pit stop, I was in a peaceful paradise in, you got it… Africa.
It was whilst I was on this safari in Tanzania, heading towards the tranquil plains of the Serengeti National Park, that along with a lot of mosquito bites, I was also bitten by that famous ol’ travel bug we always hear so much about.
As this trip was my first experience of travel outside of Europe, I immersed myself into the colourful African culture like a duck or, to stick with the African theme, a hippo to water.
I found myself intrigued by how other people live.
After meeting a group of men from the Masai Mara tribe who had only a spear and each other by their sides, it left me… dumbfounded.
People still live in tribes? People still catch their food using a spear? Do they not have a Tesco Express around the corner? Okay, that last question was a joke, but you catch my drift. I was 15 and, oh so naive.
At that point, I felt desperate to learn, learn, learn. I wanted to understand their religion, their beliefs, their culture, their lifestyle and not just in Africa but everywhere.
I decided that as soon as I finished school I would take a Gap Yahhh and travel the world.
After studying hard for my exams to secure myself a place at University and working in a call centre to save enough money for my trip, I was off.
I backpacked through Australia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China and India and very quickly realised that I never wanted the journey to end.
After 6 months away, I reluctantly waved goodbye to one of my favourite countries of all – India – and boarded my flight home. Although I was overjoyed to catch up with my friends and family, it wasn’t long before I was once again planning my next adventure…
Africa sucked me into the world of travel (excuse the pun) and now I couldn’t be any more excited to be setting off on my next solo trip in December (stay tuned).
This is where my wanderlust stemmed and flourished… where did yours?
Please comment, Facebook or Tweet me to let me know :).