Tag: travel

Growing Up In A Micro Life

I was doing an interview about The Mongol Rally the other day and was asked what I wanted to be when I “grew up.” I got sort of angry at the question for a multitude of reasons. Did they thing because I had driven from London to Mongolia this summer instead of working that I wasn’t an adult? The fact that I prefer to travel with my money than save for a down payment on a place shouldn’t indicate my maturity. I just choose to use my money in a different way. After thinking about the question for awhile and getting over my initial annoyance at it, I came to a realization.

On the road in Siberia during The Mongol Rally. Photo by Scott Joseph, Travelstache
Photo by Scott Joseph, Travelstache

This notion of “growing up” is a bit behind the times I feel. With so many different career paths and lifestyle choices now, what is perceived as being “grown up?” Having a 9-5 job I hate in a cubicle with a house, a mortgage, and 2.5 kids?

That sounds awful.

I thought I wanted that, and maybe I will one day (lord i had a dream about being pregnant last night!). This is not me shaming anyone who has that life. If it’s what you want and enjoy, then all the power to you. I’m happy for you. The idea of being stuck somewhere is horrifying to me. I wrote about my inability to stay still almost a year ago, and it seems it’s that time again to reevaluate my life. Ironically, it was also around a month after returning from abroad that I felt this same itch. I guess it’s going to be a yearly tradition.

My first lesson at an English Camp in Shizuoka
My first lesson at an English Camp in Shizuoka

I read an article a few years ago about micro-lives and how there’s many people who live certain lives for a year or two at a time and then move on. That’s me. I lived and taught English in Japan for a year. Then I moved to England to try and do the “grown up” thing and do my MA at a prestigious school, but I hated it. So I moved to New York City and was a live-in nanny in an apartment overlooking Central Park for a year. Then I moved back to London to do an MA, but this time in a field that I was already succeeding in on my own with my podcast. I’m looking at possibly moving to New Zealand next year on their Working Holiday Visa scheme.

Producing in London
Producing in London

Why not?

I get restless if I am in a place onto long. There’s too much of the world to see. I am getting serious about my freelance writing and audio work so I can move around more easily. Ideally I’d love to live in different places around the world while working on things I enjoy.

It’s not the typical “grown up” life style, but it’s the one I want, and why shouldn’t I have it?

I’m not naive enough to think it’ll happen easily or even soon, but it’s a goal. And it’s vital to have those. As long as you have something to reach for, be it owning your own car or moving to a foreign country or marrying Tom Hiddleston, you’re making progress in your life. Even if they’re just baby steps, they’re steps, and that’s better than staying still.

How Budapest Surprised Me on Your Friend Elle

Screenshot 2015-02-10 14.24.38

I’ve got another post up on Your Friend Elle, and this time it’s a two parter! Back when I was studying in London I got a mad case of wanderlust (ok, this is a fairly regular occurrence), and I randomly picked a city on the map and headed off. Budapest surprised me in multiple ways. It’s a beautiful city with rich history and the best hostel I’ve ever been to.

In this first part I let you know some of the things you just can’t miss on both sides of the river. Make sure you stay tuned for what to eat, where to stay, and what to see outside of the city in Part 2!

Read this and more at Your Friend Elle.

I’m driving to Russia… wait what?!

Nerdventurists

So remember when I wrote about my inability to stay still? Well, travel has won out, but not in the way you may think. No, I’m not going Korea. Instead I’m driving to Russia. It’s not until July, but it’s one hell of an adventure and one I’ve wanted to do for years. It’s called The Mongol Rally and it’s a 10,000 mile drive from London to Ulan Ude for charity. Yes, 10,000 miles. That’s a lot of time to spend in a car, but it’s for a great cause and it’ll be something to remember.

My team is called The Nerdventurists and I’ll be travelling along with my fellow Baker Street Babe Sora and tea blender and comic artist extraordinaire, Cara McGee. You can learn more about them at the Nerdventurist website. Basically we’re waving our nerd banner high as well as our lady banner. Not a lot of women take on the Mongol Rally challenge and even less Americans. We’re a unique team, but we’re all about the opportunity it’s going to grant us and hopefully we’ll raise tons of money in the process!

TheRoute
Click to enlarge

While we are given a starting point, a check in point, and a finish line… we are not given an exact route to get to Ulan Ude. It’s called the un-route, and so we have to decide exactly how to get there. There’s multiple options: we could go towards the arctic circle and swoop down, we could go south into Iran and Turkmenistan, or we could go via Australia… if we really wanted to.

In the end we decided to go something akin to the “central route” by past Ralliers. If we go this route we’ll end up passing through: England, France, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia… at minimum. We may decide to swing by Slovakia or Greece or Serbia. Least to say, it’ll be quite the collection of passport stamps!

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On My Inability To Stay Still

I am 27 and I have traveled to 29 countries. I’ve lived abroad in three. I’ve traveled by car, by bus, by rickety airplane, by ferry, and by foot. I’ve been places I loved and yearn for every day and places that I have no interest in going to again. Since I graduated college in 2009, I haven’t lived in a single place for more than a year.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

It’s been a very exciting and fulfilling few years. I’ve seen so much and have had some of the most amazing experiences. But I’ve had to deal with a lot, and I’ve had a lot of setbacks. All in all, it’s been truly amazing and I feel very lucky that I’ve been able to see so much in a relatively short period of time, but it has also been exhausting. Picking up your life into suitcases and boxes and shipping them all over the world, finding a flat, getting a job. It wears away at you. But really, I wouldn’t trade it for the world because the pros so outweighed the cons at the end of the day.

Part of why I loved London so much was that I could run off to Europe for a weekend. I was my own travel agent, my own boss, and I was independent and curious. The US isn’t a great jumping off point for travel. It’s expensive to get anywhere by plane and takes about five thousand years if you want to drive.

Having lost my battle with trying to get a job in London, I came back to the United States telling myself it was time to settle down. I’m 27, that’s what I should do, right? I should be a proper adult. I needed to be grounded, to start a career, put down some roots finally. And the whole time I told myself this, a part of my heart ached, really ached, at the loss of being able to jump around the world.

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A Venetian Adventure on Your Friend Elle

Hey everyone! Sorry it’s been so long since a post. I finished my MA in Radio at Goldsmiths and moved back to the USA from London. It’s been a bit of a time and as I job search in the states, I am constantly reminded (& yearn for) my travels around the globe.

So, when the fabulous Elle of Your Friend Elle was looking for travel writers, I lept at the chance. And look, my first post is up!

YFE_VeniceClick the screenshot above or follow this link to read my tips for traveling the canals of Venezia. Unsurprisingly, Assassin’s Creed makes an appearance.

I hope you all enjoy and I hope I’ll be able to write more for Elle, it was super fun (& she was super patient as I moved across the pond!)