I’m taking part this week in #travellinkup where the topic is Once in a Lifetime Experiences. I was trying to decide exactly what to write about since “once in a lifetime” usually conjures up the image of the kind of adventure holidays that I don’t really go on, partly because that’s not really my thing and partly because I have kidney disease, so a lot of those kind of holidays are things that I just can’t do. But really once in a lifetime experiences to me are those that take you out of your comfort zone, be it travelling to a new city, or a new country or jumping out of an aeroplane.
Two trips immediately spring to mind. The first was in between ending my degree and starting my masters when I travelled solo around Europe for about six weeks by train. That was back in the days before I had a digital camera so was carrying loads of film around (and lost a whole days worth of photos somewhere!) and staying in youth hostels. My itinerary took me from Paris (which became one of my favourite cities and where I ended up staying an extra day due to a train drivers strike), to Geneva then on to Vienna and up to Berlin (via a night train which was a horribly uncomfortable experience with no working toilet), from there on to Copenhagen and then to Luxembourg City, then Brussels (I hated the hostel so much I ended up booking into a hotel) and then back to Paris before returning home.
I learnt a lot from all that travelling, not least of which was how to be self-sufficient in countries where my communication skills weren’t the best (I did French and German at school but I’m pretty rusty with both since I rarely have an opportunity to use them), I became much more comfortable with sorting out accommodation (something I don’t give a seconds thought about these days), I learnt how to pack lightly and what I need to have with me at all times and what I don’t, I learnt what kind of attractions I most enjoy visiting and that the first thing I do when planning a trip is to work out how the local transport works.
The other major once in a lifetime experience was quitting my job to go on a working holiday to Vancouver for nine months. Not everything went smoothly, there were housing issues and money issues at one point but I’m still really glad I took the plunge. I mostly stayed around Vancouver but I got the chance to do a bit of travelling around the area and over to Vancouver Island, I got to connect with family and meet interesting new people.
So I guess for me once in a lifetime experiences are about stepping out of your comfort zone and discovering both what you like and what you don’t. How about you?
The February topic is rather special – once in a lifetime experiences. The one/s that still makes your heart skip a beat, the time your eyes gleam remembering or maybe the one that makes your knees knock when you think about it…
Just pop your post up over the first week of the month (the 1st – 7th February 2018), add it to the link up widget found on Adventures of a London Kiwi, SilverSpoon London, Follow Your Sunshine and our guest host Tanja at The Red Phone Box Travels from the 1st.
As ever there are no real rules – basically all we ask is that you check out some of the other cool bloggers that are involved in that months travel link up; tweet a few of the posts out to your followers that you think they will love and make a few comments here and there. It really is a great way to meet some new travel bloggers and share some blogging joy!