Reflecting on 2014, 24 countries, 51 cities, 12 flights, 2 memory cards filled with over 10 000 images, it’s safe to say that 2014 was the best year of my life. Upon leaving the trusty shores of Australia, I had roughly 10 must do items on my bucket list. Thinking I would complete these and return to Australia a happy fulfilled traveller, somehow, somewhere during 2014, my bucket list managed to multiply.
Could you imagine travelling without meeting people? Without speaking to them, without in-depth conversations, swapping stories, exchanging smiles, sharing laughter, asking for directions or even listening to important announcements over loud speakers? Travelling and people go hand in hand. From my experience, meeting people is the most luring and important part. People inspire you. You learn from them, form relationships with them and you definitely communicate with them, even if they can’t speak the same language as you. The more people I met, the more conversations I had, the more I wanted to learn and ultimately the more my backlist managed to grow.
Talking to other people when travelling is the best way to find out about hidden holiday destinations. Out of the 24 countries I visited last year, never did I think I would have ventured to 5 of them: Bosnia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and South Korea. But it is through chatting to others, hearing their experiences and asking questions in which the seed to travel is planted deeper into one’s being.
Exploring places that once seemed non-appealing, totally off your personal travel radar or you didn’t even know existed can reveal the most interesting, fulfilling and beautiful destinations of all. These are the well kept secrets, the places that are yet to blossom and become well renowned. Whether they are inexpensive destinations or remote and tricker to travel to, the reward will undoubtedly be satisfying in itself. Think of how bountiful you will feel years on when you realise that you have travelled to a destination before it becomes a mecca for tourists.
Travelling is addictive. Whether it’s the people, the places, the food, the cultures, the landmarks or all of the above I remain unsure. One thing is for certain: it’s a myth to think that your bucket list will one day be completely non-existent; completed, filled with ticks, places crossed out or even scrapped altogether. In fact, it will probably double or triple, but at least, will never cease to exist.