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What Travel Means to Me

We all dream of travelling the world and great adventures, but what’s it like to live some of those fantasies?  TV presenter, Kate McIntyre, talks about some of her favourite travel memories!

For as long as I can remember there have only been two things I wanted to do in life after University, work in TV and travel, and I’m happy to say I have achieved both and have loved every minute along the way. I’ve no idea where my passion for travel came from, there was no history of adventurers in the family, but I certainly had that wanderlust, and saved up my pocket money topped up by part-time jobs as I got older, so I could buy a ticket and travel the world.

My first trip was at 18 to Australia, it was my first time away from home on my own, and what a place it was!  Australia was a good introduction to travel as of course there are no language issues and backpackers have been heading there for years.  It was still a big step for me to be on the other side of the world without my family and friends though.  I remember early on doing a rather expensive reverse charges phone call back to my parents when I was missing home … they still remind me of that to this day! Of course it wasn’t long before I met some great people and joined the backpacker trail.

Over the years my travels have seen me on safari in Kenya, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, trekking the Inca Trail in Peru, and riding elephants through the jungle in Thailand, to name but a few. In my early days of travel there was no Internet or email, no mobile phones or Skype.  It was just you out there finding yourself.  I remember you used to have to give the address of the post office in the next town you were visiting so friends and family could send you mail!

There was something magical about being uncontactable, and about not being able to see your photos until you developed them, as of course digital cameras weren’t around then either!  Now we are surrounded by modern technology, from mobiles to the Internet we are never out of touch.  It was funny when I went to Thailand with friends a few years ago it was my first trip for a while, and I was amazed with how the world of travel had changed.  There were Internet cafes everywhere, all hostels had WIFI and everyone had their mobile phone.  We tried to just turn up at a number of recommended hostels as we would have done in the old days, but they were all booked out - apparently most people book them before they leave the UK!  For me this meant that travel had lost a little of its spontaneity - but times change and you have to move with them.  So we hopped online and booked up the rest of our trip!

Without a doubt, travel has certainly made me the woman I am today.  From the experiences I’ve had to the people I’ve met, travel has certainly broadened my mind. There is something quite wonderful about exploring a new culture, attempting to speak a new language, immersing yourself with the locals and meeting other like minded travelling companions.  Taking yourself out of your comfort zone and allowing yourself to be open and receptive to all the new experiences and adventures certainly gives you clarity of mind, confidence, and a twinkle in your eye.

To sum it up I have to say that I’m the best version of myself when I’m travelling.  Sometimes I miss that feeling when I’m at home, but it’s important to remember all of the stories, the people, the places and the feelings they evoked.

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