I am obsessed with travel, I read guidebooks to places I’ve not been, nor have booked to go to, I read all sorts of books about where I dream of going, I gaze at travel photography with endless awe, but there’s one thing that I truly love and that is travel TV shows. Born from a love of watching Palin, Attenborough, heck, even Rick Stein’s travelling around the Med or the Middle East cooking, I’d watch anything remotely related to travel if it meant I got to see a new side to a country or a culture. As time went on other Travel Presenters and Adventurers adorned my heart, however Simon Reeve quickly became my favourite, with his boundless enthusiasm for adventure, for culture and for travel.
I watched as Simon Reeve explored Australia, followed the line of Capricorn around the world, touched scared rivers around the globe, followed the equator around earths circumference and more, his easy going nature, friendly demeanour and visible passion for travel earned him top spot in my house for TV viewing. So imagine my absolute glee to hear that he would be talking travel at the Luxury Travel Show in London, I had to go, what better way to spend a Sunday than listening to the tales from my favourite world explorer?!
Before I knew it Sunday flew around, I found myself sitting in the front row, as I sat and watched as my travel inspirtation Simon was interviewed by a lovely lady called Hannah (easy name to remember). The discussion was so interesting, but two issues really struck a chord with me, the discussion about how safe the world is to travel solo and how to travel in a sustainable and responsible manner.
As a solo female traveller I often get told that the world is dangerous, that I should be careful or I get *that look* and questioned on if I don’t have someone to come with me, I spend a vast amount of my time reiterating that I feel safe and comfortable travelling on my own. It was really refreshing to have a seasoned traveller state “How safe and welcoming the rest of the world is … you may have a preconceived idea that a country is dangerous, nine times out of ten it is absolutely fine”, especially when my mum was sitting right beside me, I think that might have been something she was glad to hear. In discussing solo travel Simon stated that the important thing was to be smart, to not arrive in an area in the depth of night with no place to stay, to be aware but don’t be reserved. Of course it’s a bit silly to be walking around a dark beach at night on your own or to flash your cash or expensive electronics in areas where you might be targeted (that applies to anywhere from Bognor to Bolivia).
There was a lot discussed in the forty-five minute chat, mostly, importantly, Simon discussed how to travel in a sustainable way, to travel in a way that gives back to the beautiful world that we are lucky enough to explore; “Do good things and give back … we can help the world if we get up and leave the resorts, if we go and pay for the national parks and for guides, we can help”. I’m a huge believer in travelling in the sustainable manner, to know what you can do to can give back to areas that host you, to parts of the world that you traverse through; it’s about smart choices, choices that will leave a trail of good instead of bad. It’s easy enough to do, from volunteering, to not wasting water or to using your own plastic containers or reusable bags instead of non-degradable plastic bags. There’s a lot out there in the blogosphere regarding sustainable travel for you to read, but here’s a link to a responsible travellers packing list from Alex in Wanderland to get you going.
The most important thing is that we enjoy the world, that as Simon Reeve said “go for experiences that linger in your brain for the rest of your life”, our time for travel is now as mentioned within the discussion, the world is changing, it’s shifting as we speak, we should go see the beautiful world for how it is today, because soon, it might be completely different. Our time for travel is now, our time for adventure is here, life slips by and days pass, it is up to us, me, you, to decide to grab life for what it’s worth, to go out and see the world and experience everything life has to give us.
I left The Luxury Travel Show absolutely in awe, my wanderlust was heightened my love for the world and exploring at an all time high. What sparks your wanderlust? What’s your favourite travel quote or photo? Join the discussion below alternatively, you can find me over at Twitter or Instagram.