‘You’re so brave! I wish I was you!’ ….
Taking a big chunk of time off work, going off to explore the world to see what happens, is what young people do. And older people who want to start having adventures before it is too late ( which actually is never too late, only different).
It always sounds so free and wild and , yes, brave. Brave to let go of the familiar and to place your life in the hands of others, to seek companionship among strangers, and to seek for the meaningful among the overwhelming newness of every day.
Jenny Stallard conveys the onslaught of all these emotions in her read-in-one- sitting book of travel advice. The wanderlust is an irresistible force, exciting, challenging, scary, never really satisfied. Jenny has succumbed a few times, by the sound of it, and has helpful advice for others feeling the call to travel.
Practical advice about what to actually pack, and what to put it in. Definitely not a suitcase on wheels. A back pack with side zips is far better than a top loader which you have to unpack every time you want what lies buried at the bottom. But 70 litres is a lot for a girl to carry – find a smaller one, and cut the amount of clothing.
Three changes of clothes are enough, even though you do get bored, you can pick up scarves, pashminas, hats and colourful jewellery at charity shops and craft markets as you go. Jenny advises one decent skirt and jacket, for a job interview or a special occasion, and really sensible multipurpose footwear, even if it really hurts to leave your heels behind.
However she does recommend taking your favourite pair of jeans, most used makeup and even hair straighteners, if they are essential to you. As she observes, ‘ you are not going to boot camp, you are going to live your life somewhere else .’ You want to feel comfortable, to be yourself, but to travel lightly.
I always travel with a sarong- to use as a night shirt, pillowcase, headscarf, skirt, towel or just to put on your bed so there is always something familiar in each new place. I also take eyeshades, ear plugs, radio/ipod, a smart phone, and the latest on my list, an e-reader, all loaded with enticing books.
So buy this book before you leave – the first couple of chapters will help with planning and decision making. The next will guide you through the intricacies of relationships while you travel. Intense, exciting, boring, interesting people will cross your path and you can choose how involved to get. Then after it all is the homecoming, with its own mixture of happiness, meeting up with friends, and discomfort as you ease your way back into some kind of normality.
Amazon Kindle link to book
Ceridwyn Parr articles on Women Travel…
[catlist id=558 numberposts=10]