In life, travel kind of crept up on me.
I wasn’t brought up with any great adventures in my childhood, as Holidays were a rarity in my household and any thought of heading on an overseas adventure simply a pipedream. They never happened.
It often makes me wonder, how did a grown adult with no history of travelling as a kid or further into early adult life, get so addicted to travel?
Well even I need to ask myself the same question sometimes, because it even confuses me. The only conclusion I can come to in the end is that once travel became a part of my life, I was instantly hit with that little disease people like to call the travel bug, and once bitten, it changed everything forever.
As previously mentioned, travel was non-existent in my childhood, except for the odd trip from Melbourne to Sydney, where we would enjoy a holiday along the famous tourist strip of Manly Beach.
Even then those memories are vague, because those trips to Sydney stopped by the time I was eleven, and from that point on travel had come to a complete halt right through until I became a father myself.
The story on how I caught the travel bug
The very first time I ventured to an overseas destination was at the age of twenty-one in 2002. It came about due to my military deployment to East Timor for peacekeeping purposes, and for that trip, I didn’t even require a passport to enter the country as the Australian Defence Force had that covered.
East Timor was an unbelievable experience, naturally getting out and about with the locals was not an option, as we were in our own little bubble and on constant guard 24/7. However, it still gave me an eye opener to a third-world country that still trying to find its own feet, while watching from a distance how the locals lived their everyday life.
After East Timor, travel came to a halt again, even if you can call Timor a travel experience, it was not until the year 2005 when I went on my second overseas trip, this time with a valid passport, on this occasion I followed my Korean girlfriend (now wife) to her home country, South Korea, for a short trip and had my first glance at an East Asian country.
Korea was interesting to say the least and while I had a few embarrassing moments that left me with a mega hangover during my adventures in Seoul, it was a memorable getaway to explore a new country with a proud culture, wonderful history and a modern touch, all in one.
I am not sure if I could the travel bug at this point, but I sure had a nibble.
After my first South Korean trip (I have been back a few times since), I knew travel was for me, there was just one problem, I was completely broke and starting a family and with those responsibilities my choice was to have meaningful employment.
Unfortunately, travel took a complete hiatus, too long, eight years to be exact.
During those eight years, I had gone on a few trips within Australia, a honeymoon on the Gold Coast, a Melbourne trip or two and some local adventures in Western Australia, where I would visit the Pilbara region in the North and the gorgeous South West Region that is known for its wineries, fabulous beaches and tall trees.
Yet, it was an overseas adventure I really yearned for. I often talked about it, but I could never afford it and that depressed me greatly, because all I wanted to do was explore new destinations and learn new cultures in a foreign land.
It was in 2013 when I left Australian shores again, this time for the pacific islands and this time I got a chance to fall in love with Fiji. It was paradise at its best in Fiji, amazing 5-star resorts, stunning white beaches, day tours to smaller islands and cocktails by the pool. It was pure bliss and everything you need for a luxury escape.
The best part about Fiji were the locals. To this day, the Fijians are my favourite locals, happy people, who have a laidback style to life (very laidback), but they are always smiling and always singing. It was a pleasure to be in the company of these great folk that makes you realise that you don’t need lots of money to be happy.
The Fijian trip, set off a chain reaction for a lot more travel into brand new destinations.
I visited many countries, mainly in Asia, with numerous trips to Bali, Thailand and South Korea. It included trips to Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, Malaysia to name a few. It was a full-on culture course, where I had the enormous pleasure to explore amazing destinations and greet friendly locals.
I had been hit with the travel bug and liked it, a lot, I didn’t want it to stop, so I travelled as often as possible.
It benefited my family too, especially my kids. Remembering it took me until I was twenty-one to leave Australian shores for the first time, my own kids had already been to handful of countries before they reached double figures and I couldn’t think of a better education for them to learn how other cultures and their way of life.
It is no real secret that you need to work hard to get ahead in life and that is exactly what I did. I worked hard, accrued plenty of annual leave and I travelled as often as I could, usually half a dozen times a year.
Naturally, I had to cut down my spending to hit the road more often. Yes, my income was strong, but it still meant I had to cut down from eating junk food, reduce alcohol consumption, and any other unwanted luxuries were wiped out, like pay TV and sporting memberships. I did it all with no regrets, I just wanted to travel.
Once I was hit with the travel bug, which was about 30-years in the making, I knew it only made sense to start this travel blog and make a career out of travel. While travel may not be a full-time adventure just yet, it is fast on its way to becoming my way of life.
Have you been bitten by the travel bug? Tell me your story in the comments below.