Friday, 17 February 2017

Little Steps, People

Writing this post up has been on my mind for a while and, what with my workload for school looking a little intimidating, I figured I’d get it done now. Quick forewarning, I will be getting a little emotional.

Taken 2014

So, traveling first became a dream for me when I saw a tourism ad on the television that consisted of the Remarkable Rocks in South Australia. It, along with many others, were nice and inspiring ads and I’m most certain that others around the world have had similar moments. Thanks to social media, it’s become an epidemic that we can all get on aboard with.

An abundance of images are floating around cyberspace featuring temples, beautiful cities and natural environments that leave our jaws dropping to the ground – seriously, travel is the best disease ever!

Now, let’s skip ahead from the inception moment to the long desired one when ‘Young Aspiring Traveller’ – they know who they are – is of age, has worked their arse off and finally has their bags packed… and something stops them from getting on the plane.  

This, I can only trust, can be a heartbreaking moment kiddies…

Reasons can vary – the Young Aspiring Traveller has broken a vital limb, the airline has pulled a Tigerair and been forced to cancel all of their flights to Whoop Whoop or the chosen destination has been hit by some uneasiness, hence putting the plan on hold. If the Sheep is talking about you, good reader, you have said Sheep’s sympathies. Some things just simply cannot be helped.

However, there’s one excuse that I simply cannot tolerate stopping the YAT from getting on the plane. Said YAT has pulled out of their dream trip… because their parentals don’t want them to go.

This is wear my emotions will start to kick in.

Brenna of This Battered Suitcase fame went live on the Facebook abomination a few weeks back, in which she answered her followers’ queries (thanks for answering mine) and shared one saddening question by a young woman. The young woman in question pointed out that her parents didn’t want her traveling simply because they believed it to be unsafe.

A little bit later I was reading about Cynthia over at Every Footstep An Adventure (you want a good travel blog you suss out the Canadians – they know their shit) who was meant to take off with a friend before said friend’s parents made them pull out.

My heart breaks for anyone who has been placed in this kind of shituation.      

Taken 2016

For the record, parents have a right to be worried for their children’s safety – it’s only natural, and I’ve always believed that there’s nothing more dangerous in the world than a parent protecting their child, but children do grow up.

They develop aspirations and if said aspirations include a passport, than I say, ‘Let them go.’

My own parents had their reservations about me going my own way – to Thailand during the coup of 2014, and they even expressed their concerns about me crossing Australia for my first weekish long holiday (our homeland by the way). This pissed me off (in a quiet way) and it made me angry and so forth, but I reminded myself, they never experienced what I wanted to do. They weren’t able to reassure themselves of what could really happen.

This is where the fear stems from. Some have the luxury to raise their children with the odd trip via customs and immigration, whilst others won’t – reasons will vary and the latter shouldn’t be blamed. Not everyone is granted such privilege, but with budget travel another much welcomed epidemic the privilege can be very real. So, with all of that said, if it can be done parents, share in your child’s disease.

And this is where my big shot of advice gets thrown in…         

I’ve had people come to me asking for advice on locations and tricks to use and I’ll happily give them the answers, should I have them – TripAdvisor forums don’t always bear fruit and asking those who’ve attended Google university is just plain illogical to me. If I don’t have said answers though, I’ll point them towards individuals (solo females, people with special needs, those who’ve been to a certain destination and so on – I’ve met my share of these awesomniacs) who have first-hand knowledge.

That said – to stamp the fears out good parents, I highly recommend seeking out fellow parentals who’ve seen their offspring off at the airport. They can help reassure you that travelling can be the best of things.   

You’re likely to know your share of passport holding elders. If you do, go to them, ask them every question you can think of and put yourself at ease. If you don’t, beg your friends and family if they know any of their own and hunt those people down relentlessly.  

Information can be the tamer of our hesitations - it can put us all in a positive frame of mind that will get us all out the door and looking in the right direction that some of us can so sorely need. The world is calling – Lonely Planet’s yearly top ten destinations is temptation enough.

Taken 2011

It’s the best thing you can do for yourselves and most importantly, for your YAT.

Little steps, people. 


Sunday, 5 February 2017


Well look at that, I’ve been quiet since October.

Taken 2016.

To all of those who were relishing in my silence, I’m sorry, but now it’s time to get active again. I’m still here and I’ve decided to be as loud as ever. A male model in Manchester will tell you what that shit’s like, and if anyone does have a problemo, please feel free to go hashtag it.

It’s 2017 and I’m not working as much as I’d like to now; sure, I love to keep busy, even if that includes occupational labour, but there’s a very god reason. Life is going in a different direction for me and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I’m going back to school!

For those of you who don’t know, which most certainly includes the one hundred plus UAE viewers who flooded bloggie last month – THANK YOU by the way – I spent the better part of 2016 getting my name down for a diploma course in Travel and Tourism here in the weather famous Melbourne. It’s currently a grey and rainy summer at the moment.

Well, your good Sheep accepted the placement he was offered, attended an interview (in which he believed he’d be convincing the school to offer him said placement) and filled out a lot of paperwork which ultimately said that he’d be starting said course next Monday (the 13th of February) in a campus that’ll take me over an hour to get to by bus because I’ve always chosen to spend my money on plane tickets.

To say that I’m happy is kind of an understatement.

Things haven’t been the easiest in recent years. Yes, I’ve ticked off eight foreign countries (apologies UAE but you were only a layover between Melbourne and London) but there comes a point where I’d love to move out, get a place of my own and rent it out whilst I’m legging it on some other continent with a backpack weighing me down.

For all of that to happen, your good Sheep needs a career.

What that’ll be, though, I’m not entirely sure at this moment in time. Options are going to be presented come the end of ’17 but there’s no harm in helping them take shape, right? That’s where bloggie steps in and says ‘Hey y’all!’

Lauren Juliffe off Never Ending Footsteps fame had something to do with this post. I was peeking at her blog the other day and she revealed that most of her writing jobs come up because publications like her portfolio – this I can’t help but agree with WHOLE HEARTEDLY!

Whilst I can say that I haven’t consciously been keeping a folio in check, I can’t also help but think - Could bloggie fill that description?

The good teachers I’m to have, come next Monday suggested that I could use my Professional Writing and Editing Diploma for good instead of evil. I’m inclined to like their opinion. So, this is where I come to another point, which may have been pointed out once or twice before so apologitos for any repetition.

Bloggie has always been a means to keep my quill going – writing means so much to me - and while I may have been tardy in getting some words out in the past few months I may have to take a bit of a step back in this coming year.

School’s gotta come first and I made a conscious decision to own the damn course and get somewhere with it. #SORRYNOTSORRY

Whilst that is the case, I will be getting some words down but not as consistently; starting to feel like a hypocrite right now actually. I’ve decided to follow the lead of my friend, the vlogger of Annetdotal, who only posts when she’s got something worth talking about. In other words, and take note of this George R.R. Martin, quality over quantity!

So that’s it, really.

I’m stepping in a different direction this year which I hope will take me very far. I won’t be able to use the passport (insert a hybrid angry/sad face here) but I can’t help but convince myself that come 2018, it’ll have many more stamps gracing its bare pages.

For those of you who’re interested my current ‘wants of adventure’ include Oman (a road trip I’d love to convince somebody to join me on), a return trip to Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam (those two MUST happen together), Tanzania (I’m willing to break my ‘no more tours’ rule for this one) and some southern African countries which have claimed my interest.

Taken 2016.

Until then, happy and safe travels…