Returning to Cappadocia and getting to ride in another hot air balloon with Royal Balloon has been an emotional yet reflective experience for me. I’ve grown and changed so much both as a person and where this travel journey has taken me. Although I did plan my year of ‘escape from my 9-7 corporate life’ to begin in Turkey, I never thought it would come full circle and end here too. From my basket, I looked out over the rising sun in the rose valley, surrounded by colorful hot air balloons. I’ve realized that travel has indeed changed me (as much as I claimed it wouldn’t). I’ve learnt so much in the last 2 years. My whole outlook on life has changed, and I can’t wait to share everything that I’ve learnt about full-time travel and life on the road with you.
It is Summertime in Europe – and it is HOT. The days are long, sweaty and I question myself time and again how Europeans day drink those cold beers without getting tipsy or needing to pee every two seconds. Being on the road for a little while now and unapologetically Asian, I’ve seen many of the stereotypes time and again. I still laugh at them (partly because I can and partly because it looks so ridiculous at times) and even find myself being ‘that Asian girl’ but at the end of the day it is okay. Because summertime in Europe is really the best and we should each be able to enjoy it in our own different ways. I recently spent a good week hanging out in parks and people watching in the name of research. And while I’ve become a worldly chameleon of sorts, there are some instances where I just can’t escape being Asian and succumb to those stereotypes.
Feel free to add to the list or tell me you do some of these too (;
Traveling Africa will give you moments of downright exasperation and moments of inexplicable joy. From local buses that are packed to the rafters before they leave the station to that tied up chicken and goat as your seat buddies to the lack of toilets on the bus itself for overnight bus journey – I had to relearn everything I knew about travel. That is another reason why local travel is so intriguing and humbling. We have to do the journey once, but for the locals, this was their daily commute, their daily life. I’ve been on quite a few local buses both big and small in my 3 months in Africa. There are a few things that remain a constant throughout all these bus rides.
One – There will not be an empty seat next to you, the bus leaves when all seats are filled.
Two – You can pretty much buy anything from the window of your seat.
Three – If you want to observe the local hustle in Africa, just head to your nearest bus station.