About Me

Hiya,

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)

Celebrating my 28th Birthday at Mason Bay on a hiking trip

Celebrating my 28th Birthday at Mason Bay on a hiking trip

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.

A Hilarious photo of me doing something I was terrified about, skydiving at Fox Glacier!

A Hilarious photo of me doing something I was terrified about, skydiving at Fox Glacier!

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.

Visiting Tikal Mayan Ruins, Guatemala

Visiting Tikal Mayan Ruins, Guatemala

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.

Exploring the beaches of Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Exploring the beaches of Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

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 cruisescave 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.

Relaxing at Laguna Bacala, Mexico, 5 days after leaving the UK

Relaxing at Laguna Bacalar, Mexico, 5 days after leaving the UK

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…

Pondering the vastness of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Pondering the vastness of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

 

12 thoughts on “About Me

  1. A very good description of what traveling does to you as a person! Thank you for the follow – I admire you who dared taking that step I never dared to – alone. I seldom travel alone and doing it as a young woman like you was really out of the question. Today I still love traveling but I had a down period for about ten years when I thought I’d had enough of it – I had seen everything I wanted to see. But things change, and I guess the urge to travel will never totally leave you. Good luck in the future as well! I will try to follow your path!

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    • Thanks for your inspiring comment! Believe me I was scared about flying into the unknown alone, but I knew I had to do it, and I met so many people who were also traveling alone that it made it much easier. I do love traveling alone, it’s so freeing, but I think traveling with the right people is sometimes better, some things are easier when there’s more of you. My parents are actually the inspiration behind me wanting to travel, even though my childhood holidays were all in the UK, and the first time I was abroad with them was when they came to New Zealand in January! I grew up hearing tales of them backpacking around the world, since I was a child I’ve wanted to have stories of my own, and now I’ve found it gets addictive, but downtime is also essential to appreciate traveling. Enjoy your future travels!

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      • My children were inspired by their parents too and travel a great deal. In fact my daughter volunteer worked in New Zealand, alone, (that was hard for me – but I knew it would do her good) and we visited her there. you have great things ahead too!

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      • That sounds amazing, although I understand it would be hard when your children are away from you. I remember a conversation with my mum, I was in Central America travelling solo, and about to head to New Zealand to travel with a friend for 6 weeks. I told her she wouldn’t have to worry because New Zealand is a very safe country and I wouldn’t be on my own. Her repy? ‘I’ll still worry about you’ They are very understanding and supportive though, as I’m sure you are too, and it makes traveling easier knowing you have support back home from your nearest and dearest!

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