Howdy my travelling and (lest I forget) stay-at-home amigos, the wanderlust kid is back one again with the second part of his wise impartations, fresh from having only recently fulfilled 26 years on this earth.
I got a bit of slack from the last part – especially about my New York subway antics, but you know what? I’m not going to hold back any further this time around! Yep, my world wearing travels still have plenty of juice left in them as far as learned lessons go.
So without any more deliberating – and with a newly purchased ticket to this weekends Cadiz carnival in my hand, let’s continue onward shall we?
14. Long Distance Relationships Can Work
Judging by how unsuccessful I’ve seen other people act in this area, I always doubted the ability of maintaining a long distance relationship while travelling the world. Having now done this myself though, despite my crazy wanderlust, I know that if the two parties involved meet each other on the same page then it can indeed work. Besides, my stay-at-home chica rocks like no other Spanish bit of rough ever could!
15. Never Accept Gifts from Kenyan Locals
It was on a holiday resort in Mombasa, Kenya, when a rather foolhardy friend and a 14-year-old me learnt this lesson. Wandering the beach one day my friend decided to accept the carving of his name on a key ring from a friendly local with particular aplomb. How did we spend the rest of the holiday? Holed up inside the resort walls, while an army of said Kenyan’s friends demanded payment.
16. I Don’t Care What You Say, My Sister is Definitely Worth Two Cows
It was on the same trip that I learned the prime function of economics and the downfalls of sibling rivalry. Walking through the Kenyan countryside a farmer came out of nowhere and offered the exchange of my sister for two cows. With my mum freaking out, I learned a valuable lesson. Always haggle for three.
17. I Can Sleep Like a Baby Wherever You Put Me
Since I was a few months old and had been put on flights to Tenerife and god knows elsewhere I have always been able to sleep in any travelling situation. My favourite place was on what resembled a park-bench on a 30-hour train ride from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi while a Vietnamese woman with gnarled toenails politely rested her feet on my stirring loins.
18. I Have a Penchant for Cross-Dressing
A year abroad in Miami and a certain Halloween on the streets of Coconut Grove and another lesson learned from aching wanderlust. Dressing up as French Maid, complete with fishnet stockings, is one of the best costumes period. So enjoyable in fact I repeat the ritual every Saturday night. Doesn’t go down well in Granada.
19. People Aren’t Always Going to Like What You Write
My mum doesn’t enjoy the swearing on My Spanish Adventure, travel bloggers don’t enjoy the theme of my other site TravelSexLife. You can’t please all the people, all the time. I’ll keep writing and creating. You keep on with the hating. I’ve now learned to deal with it and use it as rocket fuel.
20. Never Listen to the Reverberations of the Tangerine Tsar
It was New Years eve 2009 when I met the Tangerine Tsar, a Russian sailor dressed head-to-toe in Orange, on the streets of the Vietnamese beach resort Vung Tau. Scaring the hell out of me with his prophecy that America was going to be crushed in 2012, we’re well into the year and I don’t see any truth in his reverberations yet. Maybe it was the Saigon beers talking. Oh maybe those dirty Russians have some secrets that will only come to light later this year.
21. Think Twice Before Signing Up To Work in a Summer Camp in Russia
Coming off the back of my study abroad year in Miami, wanderlust struck again as I decided to head abroad in the summer before my last year of University and began looking for opportunities. Coming across a placement in Russia I snapped it up and found myself in St. Petersburg, Russia, a few days later. Used as my school organisers “British pimp”, I was a bit confused as he dragged my sleep-deprived self from bar to bar using me as an opening to chat up various Russian girls. Needless to say he didn’t get very far.
22. Listen to What People Tell You About Kuta
I was told Kuta was a bit horrible, yet I didn’t listen. Winding up there at the end of my Java to Bali jaunt, the endless vomit, crappy music and scantily clad youths confirmed what I’d ignored. The place is a shit hole.
23. Studying for the CELTA is One of the Hardest Thing You’ll Do
When my post-university wanderlust brought me to Vietnam, seeking out the life of an English teacher, only one obstacle remained. Getting the CELTA, the prerequisite teach-English certification. Cue an extremely tough 4-weeks in the madness of Saigon and it’s no wonder my breaking point came three and half-weeks into the course. Yes I walked out. But only for half an hour.
24. You Can’t Make it from Sentosa Island to Singapore Airport in One Hour
The one and only time I’ve missed a flight? Asia Air in Singapore, after being told Sentosa Island was a twenty-minute metro ride away. Bloody liars! Oh wait, my mistake, I read it wrong.
25. Living in a High-Rise Apartment in the Centre of Saigon at the Age of 22 is One of the Coolest Experiences Ever
Enough said really. I lived like a king throughout my year and a bit living in Vietnam, with this sort of luxury part of everyday living. When wanderlust brought me back to London? I hit the ground with one hell of a boom.
26. The Travelling and the Adventures Continue
My twenty-sixth lesson taken from all my years spent on this earth? I’m not done yet. The stories and the wonder my travels have brought me thus far are just the beginning. I’ll be back in another twenty-six years to fill you in on all the rest!
In the meantime I’m interested to know: what curious lessons has your wanderlust taught you?