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Away2Travel Accidentally traveling around the world...

Accidentally Around the World

LAOS | Friday, 2 May 2014 | Views [320] | Scholarship Entry

The sky has just sprung a leak and the contents of some seriously congested clouds have all departed at the same time.
Wondering where the billions of spheres of water can possibly be coming from has me ironically answering your same question – how did I end up here?
For this type-A, mature beyond her years young lady, it’s still surprising for me to admit my own story.
Sixteen months ago I resigned from relationships and a career as a clinical dietitian to travel. The home I spent countless weekends transforming into ‘mine’ was unemotionally exchanged for a steel five foot storage unit.

I ended up here after traveling overland from Cape Town to Kabale. Along the way I dove with sharks, camped in the bush, traversed canyons, explored deltas, nearly got stepped on by an elephant, swam atop Victoria Falls, met click-speaking bush tribes, had my kneecaps brushed by a mountain gorilla, hugged kids in Malawi I never wanted to let go of, witnessed lions kill and slept under the stars on top of boulders.

It was in Tanzania that I realized I had poorly planned my time and neglected to give the tallest freestanding mountain in the world the attention it deserved. At 19,341 feet, Kilimanjaro was my last stop in Africa.

With no other choice, in just 31 hours I was standing on top of the highest peak in Africa staring at the indifferent signpost congratulating me. If I want something, I go get it, and Uhuru Peak was no exception.
I refined my palate for gelato in Italy, pedaled around Prague, danced at a Scottish wedding and reset my visa over a summer in Ireland.
In Spain I developed a crush on Gaudi and hiked through gypsy hills.
I skated across calcium terraces in Pamukkale and saw for myself why foreigners should avoid Taksim Square on NYE.
The Burj Khalifa and the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi left me absolutely speechless.
In India I lost my mind, digestive health, sanity and temper. Three months and a Delhi exit stamp later, I was spit out more alive, elated, in love and open-minded than ever before. I recovered from Delhi belhi in Kuala Lumpur and saw orangutans in Borneo. A few Thai massages later and I am sitting on a spring-roll stand in Luang Prabang, finding shelter from the rain while recapping and ridiculously grinning as I answer your question. While I just provided an animated itinerary, the basic answer to your question is that a lot of determination, a pinch of street smarts, guts, a good attitude and a flexible sense of humor got me here.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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