whoever you want to be…

The Travel Bug: Beware its bite…

Once you’ve been bitten there’s no escape; the Travel Bug will never leave your system. It may lie dormant for long periods of time (a bit like herpes only less unpleasant) but have no doubt it will return, and when it does it will do so with a vengeance.

It’s hard to forget my first travelling experience. I was eighteen, fresh-faced and enthusiastic, when my best friend and I decided a trip to Mexico during the university holidays would be just the ticket (literally). But when, five days into our four and a half week trip, we were robbed of almost all our earthly possessions after an opportunistic thief stole our hotel key and went back to clean it out as we were out dining with friends, things took a downward turn. When we subsequently left the replacement documents we’d spent several painstaking days travelling to pick up on a bus, however, I thought my travelling days might well be behind me (not least because my mother was swearing blue murder back in England after having to transfer hundreds of pounds into my account via BACs).

Fast forward seven years and the trauma had healed sufficiently to have another crack at globetrotting. This time I chose two stints volunteering in Tanzania and Kenya followed by a whistle stop tour of Vietnam and Cambodia. And to begin with I had a good deal of success. Until, that is, I fell out with a fellow volunteer in Tanzania and subsequently ended up in hospital in a remote part of Kenya with a vomiting bug so bad it nearly cleaned my system out the way the Mexican robbers had cleaned out my room all those years ago. To top it off my boyfriend of nine years decided to dump me at the end of the Asian leg of my travels and send me back to England alone, whilst he set up home in Kenya with the girl he’d been seeing behind my back for the past few months – wonderful.

If I’d chosen never to travel again I think I could have been forgiven. But the thing with the Travel Bug is, as I said before, that it’s a pesky little blighter and tends not to give up easily – which is how I found myself once again setting off for a seven month jaunt to Borneo, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia in January 2011. Fortunately this time was third time lucky, as I had the most amazing trip and met the most amazing man who is still by my side today.

And I’m afraid to say two years on the Travel Bug is biting me again. Next stop: Myanmar, and don’t spare the air miles…



About Belle365

Hi, I’m Belle. Thanks for stopping by. Here's a list of ten things about me: 1. I want to write, but rarely do it. This tortures me daily, and, unless I seek to remedy it by writing more often, will continue to torture me until my dying day. 2. I worry: about hate, about greed, about selfishness, about the state of the world my (God willing) children will inherit. I worry about what people think of me. I worry that this makes me shallow. I worry about things happening to my loved ones. I worry how I would cope. I worry that this makes me selfish. I worry that worrying will send me to an early grave. But I'm so good at worrying that I also wonder what I would do if I wasn't worrying. Probably more writing (see point 1)....Oh. 3. I see myself as two people (though, as far as I am aware, I am not technically schizophrenic): a) the fancy dress loving party girl, who loves nothing more than having fun with her friends, because she has seen through her own experiences that life is short, so why not enjoy the ride? b) the more serious and reflective person who wants to learn and to help people and to find her higher purpose (I suspect it is also she who really, really wants to write). Sometimes these sides are conflicting. Fortunately they are in total agreement when it comes to chocolate, red wine and travel. 4. I don't see myself as an ardent feminist, but the older I get the more frustrated I feel by the societal view of women and ageing. Having just hit the metabolically displeasing age of 35 (now officially past it according to the massive wankflap that is Donald Trump, as well as virtually every media outlet on the planet, whether they overtly state it or not) I hate the fact I am made (and have let myself be manipulated) to feel that my fertility is now teetering on the edge of a clifftop free fall, and that even if I do negotiate this rocky march towards infertility and manage a miracle procreation, my usefulness as a financially solvent career woman will be over, seeing as having a baby in your mid to late thirties is pretty much akin to career suicide. It's enough to make you want to drown yourself in a vat of wine (hence why I often don a wig and do just that - see point 3a). 5. The older I get, the more I realise that you are never too old to love drum and bass (whether you are ever too old to publicly dance to drum and bass is an issue I am currently grappling with). Ditto UK garage. I will never be ashamed of these two great loves. Never. 6. Speaking of great loves, I have two: my husband, who (sickening as it is) completes me, and Leonardo DiCaprio, whom I have loved since I first laid eyes on him as Romeo to Kate Winslet's Juliet, and will love until my dying day (likewise the husband, all being well). As much as I like Kate Winslet, I will never forgive her for leaving him on that door. There was definitely room for two. 7. I am riddled with self doubt, and have a serious case of imposter syndrome, particularly in relation to my fourteen year communications career. I have never understood how anyone could deem me capable of running their campaigns. The lack of complaints would suggest I haven't made a total balls up of it so far. But there's still time. 8. Infinity and death frighten me senseless. I can't even talk about the universe without breaking into a sweat. I need to believe in life after death because death CANNOT be the end. I should probably have some (more) counselling to address these issues. 9. If procrastination were an Olympic sport, I would win Gold, Silver and Bronze (to give an example, I sat down an hour ago to work on my new novel, and instead have been updating this bio. I refer you to point 1. Sigh). 10. I make more lists than Buzzfeed. When I die, besides having Oasis's Champagne Supernova played at my funeral (deep breaths - see point 8), I should probably have a To Do list inscribed on my headstone for when I reach the other side...
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