Embracing 30 In My Top Travel Moments

At the beginning of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood, a voice breaks through the silence: “Time passes. Listen. Time passes”. Such a clever line, if acted properly, really does make time stand still.


At some point in my thirty years I must have stopped listening. Unlike that moment, the decades have hurried past in a blur of new faces, places, cultures and journeys. The fog is punctuated every now and then by intense, vivid moments that are ever ready to spring to the front of my mind; triggered by a familiar smell, a knowing smile or the well-worn chorus of an early nineties pop song.

July was a month of firsts: My first Wimbledon, my first Commonwealth Games and my first live glimpse of Le Tour de France speeding its way along London’s embankment. Despite all this sporting excitement, by far the most extraordinary and quite frankly, bizarre thing I did this July was to turn 30.

Despite being slightly bewildered by the event, I don’t feel panicked or depressed. Birthdays for me have always been a time to reflect on the year’s events and achievements so that I can start planning my next adventures, goals and destinations. My only bugbear is the pressure that society puts on me at this age to settle, to find a base camp and stay in one place for the rest of my life. This may happen in years to come, but travel will always remain a massive part of my existence.

So, for July’s Monthly Mission I’m gifting myself with a (slightly narcissistic!) trip down memory lane. I’m hoping that by reminiscing on my travels, I’ll be able to shine a light on my favourite destinations and experiences. My aim, as always: to inspire others to explore and immerse themselves in this fantastically diverse world we live in.

I’m journeying into the past through snapshots because, just like the years I’ve enjoyed so far, time really does fly if you’re having fun!

The Top 5 places I’ve lived

Campsite

Camping Les Cigales, France; My childhood home-from-home

Read more on Provence and my visits to my old French home here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Don Benito, Spain; A year of change in Spain’s most remote region

Gower

The Gower Peninsula, Wales, UK; A picturesque childhood playground

Read more about South Wales and the Brecon Beacons.

Canberra, Australia; A city for living, not just visiting

Canberra, Australia; A city for living, not just visiting

Want to know about life in Canberra? Read about its best hikes!

St Pauls

London, UK; Making the most of a year in this hectic capital

There’s unlimited things to see and do in London, from street art tours to the adventure of the daily commute!

The Top 5 Destinations

Machu Picchu, Peru; First-hand history at its best

Machu Picchu, Peru; First-hand history at its best

New York, USA; You will never sleep!

New York, USA; You will never sleep!

"Paisaje de España" by A volaaa (Wikimedia Commons)

Seville, Spain; Perfect for a weekend of history, culture & great food (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons – Paisaje de España” by A volaaa)

Tasmania, Australia; A rugged wilderness of walks & wineries

Tasmania, Australia; A rugged wilderness of walks & wineries

Tassie also features in my best beaches list

Luang Prabang, Laos; Hire a bike a spend days exploring the riverside & famous night market

Luang Prabang, Laos; Hire a bike a spend days exploring the riverside & famous night market

The Top 5 Journeys

Dover to Toulon, A great family road trip! This lookout is the first glimpse of the Cote D'Azur

Dover to Toulon, A great family road trip! This lookout is the first glimpse of the Cote D’Azur

Luang Prabang to Chiang Rai; By slow boat

Luang Prabang to Chiang Rai; By slow boat

Marrakech to Erg Chebi, Morocco; From camels to couscous

Marrakech to Erg Chebi, Morocco; From camels to couscous

Beijing to Moscow, Asia; A wintery wish-list, Mongolia is just one of the countries on the route

Beijing to Moscow, Asia; A wintery wish-list, Mongolia is just one of the countries on the route

This wonderful route takes you from the Great Wall and Beijing, through Mongolia into Eastern Siberia, via Lake Baikal, and on to Moscow.

Quito to Rio, South America; Iguazu Falls is one of the many stops on this epic adventure

Quito to Rio, South America; Iguazu Falls is one of the many stops on this epic adventure (photo courtesy of a member of my tour group)

The Top 5 Moments…because moments are what make up a lifetime!

Overnighting in the Sahara Desert, Morocco; Under the stars

Overnighting in the Sahara Desert, Morocco; Under the stars

Sunset at Punta Sal, Peru; Pitch your tent on the beach!

Sunset at Punta Sal, Peru; Pitch your tent on the beach & swim with phosphorescence!

The Monaco Grand Prix final lap, Principality of Monaco; The pinnacle of motor-sport

The Monaco Grand Prix final lap, Principality of Monaco; The pinnacle of motor-sport

My trip to the Monaco Grand Prix was an early 30th Birthday present to myself…and May’s Monthly Mission!

My first scuba dive, Krabi, Thailand; A cheaper alternative to complete a PADI course

My first scuba dive, Krabi, Thailand; A cheaper location to complete a PADI course

Read more about my scuba adventures here

Nighttime in the jungle, Ecuadorian Amazon; Deafening noise in the pitch dark

Staying in the jungle, Ecuadorian Amazon; A hut of my own!


Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all my readers, followers and the WordPress blogging community for taking the time to visit The Long Way Home this year. It’s still very much in its infancy, but I love sharing my travel stories, and reading about others journeys around the globe. There are many more stories to come…

Here’s to another thirty years of travel for all of us!

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Embracing 30 In My Top Travel Moments

  1. Beautiful photography of memorable places yo’ve lived in or traveled to. And all this packed into these 30 young years. Your insights are thoughtful, mature, and inspiring and and always take us the long way home. Best wishes for your next 30 years + of travel.

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    • Thank you very much for your kind words Lynne! It certainly feels like it’s been a very busy 30 years, and I always love taking a trip down memory lane. I also have a vague list of what I would like to see, do and experience in the next 30 – very much looking forward to the next adventure now! One day maybe I’ll find somewhere that I never want to leave, until then, I’m happy meandering 🙂

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  2. Amazing!!! You truly inspired me!! I travel a lot, too, but never shared my stories until this year starting from July. May you travel more!

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    • Thanks for stopping by! I’m thrilled you like my post – isn’t it satisfying to finally put your words out there? I’ve written privately about my trips for years but only ‘went public’ at the end of 2013 – so glad I did because I’ve found a whole blogging community of travel lovers! Good luck with the new blog 🙂

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  3. Excellent wrap up! A few excellent ‘tops’ that I would echo – tassie, Machu pichu, Luang Prabang, overnight in the Sahara from Marrakech (never seen so many shooting stars – a beautiful experience that everyone should get opportunity to see). You have inspired me to make my own list! Maybe the next blog should be ‘the next 30 places to visit’?

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    • Thank you! A Wish-list is definitely on the cards but probably pretty difficult to narrow down – you know what I’m like! I love making lists generally, but even more so about travel destinations and memories 🙂

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  4. Hi there, happy late birthday! I turned 30 in January of this year, and my gift to myself was to start my website 🙂 This is a great idea, quite the well traveled woman! I’m from the States but live in Santiago, Chile. Looks like you got close down here when you visited Machu Picchu! Here’s to many more, and good luck with your continued adventures!!! 🙂 Happy Bday, Feliz Cumpleañoss!!!! 🙂

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  5. Pingback: Destination: Irrelevant | The Long Way Home

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