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British History Philosopher Arnold J.Toynbee provides a fascinating perspective:

“In my experience the solvent of traditional prejudice has been personal acquaintance. When one becomes personally acquainted with a fellow human being, of whatever religion, nationality, or race, one cannot fail to recognize that he is human like oneself.”

In a nutshell, this is why I travel.

To realise that every single person on this planet is, at the most basic level, just like me.

My Journey

As a 20 year old in 2010, a stint of unfulfilling jobs, ranging from retail to high-street banking, pushed me to venture into the world of backpacking. Like many travel-enthused millennial Brits starting out I figured Australia was the best (and easiest) place to start, so with the help of some kind staff at my local STA Travel branch, I planned my first 6-month solo trip and set off.

7 years and 26 countries later, the backpacker life has become the only life I truly feel at ease with. (Although now I don’t consider myself to be a backpacker – more of that later).

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Celebrating Dashain (or Durga Puja) with friends in Ambootia, Darjeeling

Why I Travel

I often find myself burdened with the question, ‘so, why do you travel?’ I say burdened because travelling, for me, involves me living my regular life, just in many different places. I still do the same things; eat, sleep, shit, workout, read, make friends.

So why not just stay in the same place then?

Right. Now that’s a better question, and one I’d much rather answer.

I travel to exchange interactions, engage with, and (ideally) make wonderful friendships with people from all over the world. This I cannot do if I just stay in the same place.

I really despise the ‘us and them’ (translation = good and evil) narrative that exists in the world today. I want to erase it, at least from within my own life to begin with. Until I figure out a way to achieve this on a larger scale, I’ll keep travelling and making friends with people that I meet along the way, because that what makes my life feel purposeful.

Me Laughing

Whichever country I find myself in, I try to live in it as an insider, as opposed to considering myself as an outsider trying to blend in. In this sense, I guess you could call me a experiential traveler; I seek to experience wherever I go through a connection with its people.

Where I’ve Been

2014 was a turning point for me a as person on the move. As a graduation present to myself, I planned a 6-week trip to visit 2 countries that I had dreamt of visiting since I was a child; Nepal and Japan.

Nepal, because I love mountains (and where better to see mountains then a country slap-bang in the middle of the Himalayas) and Japan, because growing up I was obsessed with Hello Kitty (and still am a little bit now).

So, towards the end of 2014 I fulfilled both of these dreams by trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal and visiting every Hello Kitty store and coffee shop available in Tokyo, Japan.

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A jump for joy at Everest Base Camp
Hello Kitty World Tokyo (2)
Fulfilling my inner 7-year-old’s dream at Sanrio World, Tokyo

I’ve visited many European countries, the USA, the Middle East, a fair bit of Asia and Oceania. I’ve barely set foot in Africa and I’m yet to touch South America. I do hope I get to one day.

I hope you enjoy seeing the world from how I love to experience it!