How I caught the travel bug

Hello my name is Natalie here is a little intro about me,
Go on give it a read……..
I am originally from the UK. A place called Burnt Oak which is a suburb on the outskirts of London.

When I left school I didn’t have a lot going for me living there. It’s not the nicest of places to live. Lots of babies having babies, youths hanging around the park drinking and smoking and not to mention the kid who robbed our house and being greeted by the smell of poo after he literally shit himself.
Heading to the park on a Friday night with friends really was the highlight for me.

I always had a feeling that I wanted something better for my life, myself and 5 other siblings were raised by a single mum.

I always watched my mother struggle to live a balanced life and this taught me how I didn’t want my life to be. I wanted the complete opposite to what she went through and still is going through in life. (more blogs to come about my very unique family)

I left home when I was just 16 years old, I moved to a city called Cambridge. Yes this is a very young age to leave home but I had to grow up fast. I started working/training for a Toni & Guy hairdressing franchise.

This was the best decision I made after leaving school. I didn’t have the best grades to get into University. I really did struggle in school and my mum never had time to help me at home. So when Toni & Guy Hairdressing offered me a placement as an assistant I was so excited.

I remember earning just £240 a month and most of that went on the room I was renting which may I add was riddled with damp! Yes it had mushrooms growing on the wall that every so often would blow out this weird smoke. Never the less I loved living in Cambridge and still do. For me it was a huge step forward getting out of the suburbs of London.

I ended up meeting a lot of different characters and made some lifelong friends. A friend of a friend was leaving Toni & Guy to open up her own Hair salon and asked me to join her. I worked there for a while but this didn’t plan out as well as I thought. During my time working for this new Hair Salon I dreamt of a new adventure and how I would love to go travel the world.

I always thought that you would need lots of money, that it was for rich kids on a gap year etc. One day I had an even more awful day than usual so I decided to hand my notice in. My boyfriend and I had a long chat and said let’s give this traveling thing a go….

We both saved for our tickets costing £1200 pp. This allowed a certain amount of miles and stops on the map. I remember going into StaTravel to book the trip and not really having any clue on exactly where we wanted to go. We never had any social network sites back then, so there wasn’t much influence. The travel advisor (who had just got back from traveling himself) was very enthusiastic. He gave us a lovely route to take as follows:

•Starting in South Australia for 3 months with a working permit •Over to New Zealand, where we lost our camera






•Next stop Fiji •Further east to Tonga
•Australia Brisbane for a road trip up the east coast to Cairns













•Cairns to Bali •Singapore •Over land to Malaysia where we explored some islands west of Malaysia


•Last stop Thailand, where I trained in Muay Thai










By the end of 2003 I had managed to save £3000 to take away with me (I know it’s not much but it worked!) my boyfriend had about £4000 saved again it wasn’t much but we still made it happen. We were so excited buying all our travel bits. I remember getting a huge back pack as I wanted to bring everything but the kitchen sink, after trying to put the back pack on and after picking myself up off the floor I soon realised that I needed a much smaller bag.

Now looking back, it’s crazy to think how much stuff you bring with you that you don’t need. (See my tips on what to pack) I had no idea that this trip would change my life for the better. This, year, long trip opened my eyes and made me fall in love ❤️with the world.

We don’t have a long time on this planet so try and see as much of it as you can.

After watching STA travel  put together our year trip I knew I could easily do this myself and that’s just what I did……

Coming soon…. Journey to the Coral Triangle

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