Wanderlust

12 Dec
noun
  1. a strong desire to travel.
    “a man consumed by wanderlust”
Before I moved to Switzerland, I made a list of the Pros and Cons of moving. One of the reasons in the Pro column was the opportunity to travel. Being centred right in the middle of Europe is a huge advantage for a wannabe explorer.

So far, I have travelled to 36 countries which doesn’t seem like a lot. The US should count for more because I have been to at 15 states which is about 30% of the whole thing. I was thinking about doing all of the states but an American once told me that Hawaii is a pain to get to (around a five hour flight from US) and I am not really that much of a beach person anyway.

This year I have travelled to 5 new countries. My “big” holiday this year was to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. I have wanted to visited South Africa for such a long time. I have heard so many good things about it from so many different people but I always found an excuse not to go. So this year I thought, let’s do it!

People were keen to tell me how dangerous Africa is and to ask why I was travelling alone. I have travelled alone many times and I never feel so scared or nervous about it. I do my research in advance and don’t put myself in situations where I would be uncomfortable or at risk. I never encountered any problems while I was on this trip or on previous trips. I was surprised by how friendly the people were (also in Zimbabwe and Botswana) and of course it takes a lot of stress out of travelling when everyone speaks English.

My whole African experience was unforgettable. I saw the Big 5 while I was there which was incredible and got some amazing pictures of all sorts of wildlife and landscapes. I hiked down Table Mountain (a lot easier than going UP in 25 degree heat). I walked with Rhinos in Zimbabwe. When I say walked I literally mean walked. The photo below shows how close we got to them. Amazing creatures! And it is desperately sad that people hunt these lovely, docile creatures to steal their horns for medicine or to place on the mantelpiece as a status symbol.

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I swam with sharks. OK, I was in a cage but they were there in the water with me. We saw a total of 12 Great Whites in the space of 3 hours. This was another item ticked off the bucket list. The next day I went to a place just outside Cape Town to do a zipline. Here is what I actually did. It looks terrifying and it was to begin with but it was an incredible experience and I wanted to do it again as soon as I had finished it.

The holiday was relatively cheap. The South African Rand was weak when I was over there and with the Swiss Franc being such a strong currency, the exchange rate really worked to my favour. It’s always cheap travel when you live in Switzerland because everyone else is cheap to eat, drink and travel in comparison.

I went to Copenhagen for the first time in July. I had heard good things about Copenhagen and Denmark and I wasn’t disappointed. The weather was cold but, thankfully, it was not raining so it was ok to walk around and explore the city.

There is a street food market located at Papier Island which is incredible. I thought that I had died and gone to heaven at one point. There was so much choice of offer and the place was really buzzing with people and things going on. It was also nice to “do what the locals do” and buy some cheap beer from the supermarket and chill by the harbour and do some people-watching.

One of the things that I was really looking forward to seeing was the statue of the Little Mermaid which is located in Copenhagen harbour. Everyone says that it is really disappointing because it is so small but it was a lot bigger than I imagined it to be… but still a little disappointing.

I also made a solo trip to Prague. I have never been to surprisingly because it is where beer was first invented. It was a lovely place and I was very fortunate with the weather. And the beer was good. And very, very cheap. In the supermarket, the beer was literally cheaper than the water.

Is it a bit wrong that I feel a little bit disappointed that the list of the new countries that I have been to this year is only five? I had the feeling that I had been to a lot more. I guess I was making so many new memories that it felt like there was a lot more. The problem is that they all seem like they happen years ago and not just a matter of months ago.

Next year, I already have some travel booked in the diary. I am excited to go back to Asa and visit Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam for the first time as well as Norway (the last of the Scandinavian countries to tick off my list).

I’m hoping these places will bring new interesting experiences in 2017 and great memories to look back on in the future.

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to “Wanderlust”

  1. Rona Cooper December 12, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

    Brilliant – I wish I was as brave to do all that travelling. ? You must fit in a trip to see Jen in NZ she would love to see you.? xx

    • ourgirlinzurich December 14, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

      Thanks Rona! NZ is definitely on my list of places to go. I hope to go and see Jen soon. I see that she is doing well there! xx

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