There are some people who can casually stroll through their international travels on a wing and a prayer. Hell, they don’t even need the prayer. I met a girl like that in Thailand, a six foot tall Australian who had picked her way to the WFFT animal rescue centre via a series of buses and loose directions. We arrived on the same day, and she told the story of her journey like it was no big thing, casually admitting that at several points she’d had no idea which way to go. Her departure was much the same, leaving with just a vague notion of where she wanted to go, which wasn’t home.trip

I don’t know how she did it. I’m only just brave enough to travel to other countries, I need a schedule to hold in my journey. A frame if you will, a straight line that I know will get me somewhere by a certain time. Really, that’s the most stressful thing I find about travelling. It’s not the fear of going to a strange place or surviving on my own. That’s fine. It’s the time that gets me stressed. I have to be at the airport in time to catch the plane; what if I don’t make it? The thought of being late is what gives me the grey hairs. It’s like building up to jump off a cliff, hoping that you’ll get it right and miss the rocks below.


Some travellers take off their corsets and just throw themselves off the cliff without a single care. If something goes wrong they’ll just deal with it as best they can. I throw myself off that cliff, but I take a long run up at it and go through all the safety checks beforehand. I’m like the bespectacled accountant or cliché movie nerd who does all the things that adventurous people do, just in a more fearful way. Don’t get me wrong, I find my own strength. I was sure that my Thailand trip would kill me. My neuroses and borderline OCD were bad enough at home, let alone in a place populated by strangers, questionable shower facilities and a surplus of creepy crawlies. By the end of my four week stay, I was as grimy as the rest of my crew of volunteers, covered in sweat, dirt and quite possibly elephant pee.


In fact, the only time I am ever free of my neuroses and anxiety is in survival situations. I couldn’t care about being clean in Thailand, there were more important things to worry about and do. I couldn’t really be shy or socially anxious, I had to work with people every day and forge friendships quickly otherwise my stay would have been an awkward and unpleasant one. I survive, and I discover that I’m capable of more than I thought I was. My upcoming trip to Colombia already scares me, the thought of catching not one but two flights there and the stress of settling in is not a pleasant one. But I know I can do it, and I’ll do all the safety checks I want to before I throw myself off that cliff. 

About the author

A chronic idiot with a passion for travelling and writing and travel writing, Rosie graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in English Literature and a Masters in Creative Writing. Whilst she aspires to be the next Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Dr. Seuss or E.L. James, Rosie prepares to enter the adult world and become a responsible member of society. Both of her university degrees go toward making terrible jokes, rambling blog posts and reading the popular literature that we all feel obligated to read. When she’s not sat in front of her laptop, Rosie can be found just about anywhere. With Iceland, Thailand, Barcelona and Belgium under her belt, there’s still the rest of the world to experience.

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