Nice to meet you, and thanks for checking out my blog 🙂
I’m Gemma, originally from the UK and currently living as an expat (I guess) in New Zealand, where I spend my days working in a lab, my evenings blogging and socialising, and the rest of the time dreaming about more travels (because Central America and New Zealand aren’t enough)
I’m a pretty ordinary girl, born in a village near Rugby, (where the famous sport comes from) where I grew up with my younger sister. At 18, I did what most of my peers did, and headed to University. I chose Sheffield, in the Friendly North because I didn’t seem as big and scary as some of the other Universities I visited. I studied Biochemistry, spent my weekends hiking with friends in the nearby Peak district, and started to drink real ale. (That’s ‘warm’ beer to any of non-Brits, and it’s good!) After graduating I got a job at the University, my awesome colleagues became new friends, and I settled down to a domestic life.
I was content, but slowly something that had been a dream since I was a child, growing on tales from my parents own backpacking trip, became more and more a desire. I wanted to go travelling. I talked about it with my boyfriend and friends, I read countless travel blogs and guidebooks and travel books. Somewhere along the way my dream had become my ambition, one I wanted to soon turn into a reality.
On 9 March 2014 I was hugging my parents in tears at Gatwick Airport as I said goodbye. My emotions were all over the place, I was anxious, excited, scared, happy, sad. I felt desperate, but I didn’t know why, or what for. It was heart wrenching to say goodbye to family and friends, not knowing when I would see them again, or how many would actually stay in touch. But there was no way I wasn’t going to board the plane. I knew I had to do something, my life was no longer content. I was single, my job was less secure, but really, my head was in the clouds. I needed an adventure. I didn’t want to plod through life like everything else, so I did the single most terrifying thing of my like, and the best. I got on a cheap one way flight to Cancun, Mexico and headed straight to Tulum. I had my savings, a backpack, and 2 nights accommodation booked. The rest was up to me.
I haven’t looked back since. Sure, I did things wrong, I got lost, I’ve been scared, homesick, and worried. I’ve had things stolen, I’ve been sick, I’ve had bad experiences and made mistakes.
But I’ve tried things I’ve never have before, like snorkelling, white water rafting, multi day hikes, overnight cruises, cave tubing, eating termites, climbing volcanoes, skydiving, glacier hiking, diving, blackwater rafting, learning Spanish, and hitch hiking.
I’ve met loads of people, friendly locals, leering locals, shy locals, but never aggressive locals. I’ve met travellers from Europe, America, Australasia and Asia, many of whom were awesome people who I’d love to know better, some who have become friends I keep in contact with.
I’ve seen things I couldn’t comprehend before, like wild crocodiles, ancient Mayan Temples, amazing scenery, completely different cultures, different lifestyles, seeing a turtle up close, being circled by a stingray, and creeping up on sharks. I felt like I was flying during a dive, I’ve swam amongst shoals of fish, and experienced a whole different world.
I’ve had experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life, be they good or bad, or sometimes a bit of both. I’ve learnt so much more about the world but the more I learn the less I realise I know. I have grown as a person, I am more confident, more self assured, more outgoing, more self reliant. But most importantly, I’ve learnt that I don’t want to stop. Travel is my addiction, and it’s one I have no intention of giving up. The best I’ve done in my life has been to follow my dreams…