Travelling: the summer you’ll never forget
August 22, 2012
By: Lara Keay
Obviously when I say travelling I do not simply mean journeying from one place to another; the modern concept of travelling involves lots of such journeys, in close succession to each other, in a far away place, and over a short period of time. Put more simply, we go travelling to see lots of exotic places we haven’t seen before in the hope of being a bit worldlier in our knowledge and, with any luck, getting a tan in the process.
Being the English Rose that I am, I failed in terms of a tan, but this summer I did succeed in completing my first real experience of travelling. This July I spent a month in Kerala, South India, and without being one of those annoying people who doesn’t shut up about how incredible their ‘gap yah’ was – it was amazing.
Living with my well-travelled Dad and having just missed out on a school trip there, I had always wanted to go to India. I pictured Bollywood princesses in saris dancing outside temples with elephants casually walking down dusty streets. Well, I suppose I was half right.
Unfortunately travelling is never going to go how you think it will, but it will certainly never fail to disappoint. Although there will be times where there isn’t any toilet paper or you get stuck on a crowded train, some of the iconic things you see in films really can be a reality if you dare to take the plunge. For example just 48 hours after landing on Indian soil I found myself riding an elephant and being wrapped up in a sari just like the Indian princesses of my dreams!
Alas it can seem like there are a million and one obstacles standing between you and getting on that plane: finding someone to go with, not being able to get the time off work, quite honestly being a bit terrified and of course, money. It’s true, life-changing experiences don’t always come cheap. If you do choose to venture out into the wide world, travelling isn’t like an all-inclusive holiday – there is a lot to think about; the cost of your flights, accommodation, vaccinations and visas to name a few. But to every question there is an answer – so don’t lose faith!
If you are struggling to find a friend to go with you, there are plenty of gap year companies that will provide like-minded company during your summer of fun. Work can always be difficult to get around. Personally I chose not to work for money this summer and did a journalism internship whilst I was out there, so I could bulk up my CV and have the time of my life all in one go. And in terms of money, if you spend the whole year saving bit by bit you’re bound to have enough by the time summer comes around. What’s more, as long as you purchase a trusty Lonely Planet before you go, your plane ticket will be most of your expenses – as I managed to find hostels and homestays for just £2.50 a night.
There will always be a thousand reasons not go, but don’t be scared of missing out on nights out and not being able to call your boyfriend – just do it! Whether it is fruit picking in Australia, inter-railing around Europe or riding elephants in India, don’t carry on being jealous of the people bragging about their worldwide adventures on Facebook; if you can’t beat them, join them