Hi, I’m Sophie…
And welcome to Written in Wanderland. I’m sure that you’ve already caught on to my reference to Alice’s Wonderland, and if you have, perfect, because that’s exactly what I was going for. You see, for me travelling has been like falling out of the real world into another where nothing is quite as it seems and where everything has a story to tell. A world in which I float around dazzled, charmed, and enticed, hungry to discover more. But don’t get me wrong, this other world most definitely isn’t one big enchanted tea party. There have been times in which I’ve found myself on twenty four hour bus journeys sat next to the likes of the Mad Hatter, others where I’ve been totally lost in the giant mazes of unknown cities, and there have definitely been those times in which whatever it is that I’ve consumed has had some seriously dubious effects. It’s the closest I’ve come to being able to empathise with Alice’s ever-changing emotions. Any traveller will tell you that in the space of one day you can ride a train full of emotions; from pure ecstasy to utter despair. But that’s what I love, the unpredictability of it all. It’s what makes life an adventure right?
Through this blog, I want to take you on this journey with me, I want to share with you what I’ve learned, and I want you show you what life on the road is really about (because you can’t always trust the Facebook photos!)
A bit about me…
For some reason, lots of people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m Welsh. I don’t really know why – perhaps it has something to do with how much I hate hills or maybe it’s due to my tendency to stay firmly indoors when there’s a hint of cold weather or rain on the horizon. It’s true that you’re definitely more likely to find me relishing the sun on a Brazilian beach (trying to surf) than getting on my woolies ready for a trip to Scandinavia.
Saying this, I never say no to trying anything once, and I guess that’s how I’ve found myself jumping from 134m into thin air attached to nothing but a piece of string, or hiking for days into the Himalayan mountains in a pair of Dr. Marten’s that I bought for £2 in a charity shop. Right now, I find myself living in Mexico with two Venezuelan guys, an Argentinian dude and about five Mexicans – a situation I don’t think God himself could have predicted.
So how did I get here?
By living by Nike’s philosophy that we should ‘Just Do It’. When I graduated in English and French in 2011, I realised that having a good degree from a good uni didn’t necessarily grant me the right of passage to a ‘good’ job. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure that that’s what I wanted anyway. After having spent the last four years typing up essay after essay, the last thing I wanted to do was sit at another desk staring at another computer screen. Every day I’d see my housemates bedroom wall plastered with her travel photos and I remember sitting there thinking ‘wow – I have to see those places’.
Alongside family holidays to Europe, up until that point my travels consisted of a volunteering jaunt to Ghana in Africa and an inter-railing trip around Eastern Europe. There was so much more to discover. So when I finished my degree, I got some cash together by working for a few months in a bar job and off I went to South East Asia on ‘The Big One’.
That trip was supposed to last just six months… That was four and a half years ago. Since then I’ve worked and travelled my way around Australia, New Zealand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, most of South America and now here I am in Mariachi land, teaching and writing online – in an attempt to my make my work life as mobile as I am.
So how do I do it?
You guys are always asking me this, I’ve lost count of the times someone has said to me “but how do you afford it?” Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m no slave to my job but there have been times where I’ve worked around the clock all in the name of booking that next flight ticket. However, there’s only so much money you can make from a salary that pays minimum wage so the trick is in knowing how to travel cheaply.
My travels have been all about low budget hostels, the cheapest of cheap transport and digging in amongst the locals. I’ve definitely had to learn to rough it, which hasn’t been a bad thing because this has also taught me to appreciate the simple things in life and I’ve learned that these simple things are what make us smile.
How can I help you?
What I really want to say to you is that travel isn’t impossible. Please don’t let things like work or money get in the way of what you really want out of life. People always say to me “Oh – you’re so lucky”. I’m not. I’ve made all of this happen and I know you can too!
I’m here to show you that everything is possible even on the smallest budget. So whether you want a little bit of inspiration to travel, or you’re here looking for advice on a particular destination, maybe you’re a girl who needs a little shove to go solo, or you simply just want to indulge your day with a good adventure story. Whatever it is – Written in Wanderland is your place.
So please go ahead and enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy sharing it with you!
p.s. I’m new to this weird and wonderful blogging world, so please please please send me your thoughts and comments so that I can grow this space into something for you!