“The world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page…” St Augustine.
I read this quote when I was 18, just before I set off on my first solo adventure to Vietnam. It made instant sense to me, still does, and I’m hoping in the years since I’ve managed to turn a few pages. Chapters even.
Travel is not all about luxe hotels, room service, tourist hot spots and souvenirs. It’s about the fascinating cultures, history, colours and the people who live their lives so differently to our own and can teach us a lesson or two.
My dream had always been to become a travel writer, roam the world and send in stories from my escapades. What could be more amazing than that?
Well, when I was 21 this dream came true. A whole lot faster than I had planned. Lonely Planet took me under their wing after I sent in a piece for a competition about flying by the seat of your pants…literally. They flew me to Marrakech, Morocco and opened my eyes immediately to the big wide world of travel media. I went into it with the intention of becoming a travel writer, and left a week later with hundreds of photographs that they seemed to prefer over my writing.
That’s when I switched. Now I take photographs and am lucky enough to photograph not only landscapes but weddings in the most beautiful locations.
I’ve photographed in amazing places, been captured by a group of Yeti’s at the annual Santa Claus gathering in Switzerland, swum with the cutest most graceful cows underwater, the majestic dugong and ran with reindeers at the most Northern point in Europe.
I’m pretty sure this all happened because I caught that first plane, cried my eyes out when I said goodbye to my family and then opened my eyes to what’s around us, after the puffiness had calmed down of course! I also met my now French partner in a dodgy Irish apartment…who would have thought.
Travel is an amazing adventure wherever you go and it’s something I believe people need to experience even just once in their life. Get out there and see the world, it’s waiting…
A little bit of inspiration to make you pack your bags and wander this amazing world!