A year ago last week I was on a plane to Thailand, embarking on my first ever press trip and my first long haul flight. I was lucky enough to be invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to spend a week in some of the more remote areas of Thailand learning about the countries culture first hand by visiting small weaving villages and speaking to the locals. It was an amazing experience - one which I will never forget and I really think that particular trip helped shape me into the person I am today. From flying internationally with a group of people I met only hours before to visiting Buddha temples and finding my own inner peace, Thailand showed me what I was doing wrong in my life at that time, what I should be proud of myself for and where I want to be in 10 years time.
Travel is rewarding
Before I went on my trip to my Thailand, all I cared about was the next shoes I was going to buy or the next handbag I wanted to invest in -travelling wasn't on my agenda. However when I got back to the UK, I realised how much I learnt on my trip and my thoughts turned to how I can save up to visit another faraway destination. These days I would much rather put money away for a trip aboard or a staycation in the UK where I can learn about history than something that would bore me after five minutes. Memories are priceless.
I learnt that I can be independent
Thailand was not only my first international flight, it was the first time I had flown alone as an adult without my close friends or family. I was terrified at the thought of meeting strangers at the airport and flying across the world without anyone I knew, but by the end of the trip I had made so many friends from all over the world and I finally realised how independent I could be. I was thrown out of my comfort zone and I survived and had fun. In fact, I would happily travel on my own again.
I discovered myself as a writer
When I studied journalism at University, I was taught to write about so many different topics and none of them really stood out to me. I have always loved writing, but I could never find my niche. Fashion interested me for awhile, but there was only so much I could write about dresses and after running a beauty blog for almost a year, I realised I knew little about beauty for it to be a viable career. I was invited to Thailand because of my fashion blogging and to write about the fashion industry out there, but when I returned, I returned as an enlightened travel blogger. I realised after doing my write ups of Thailand that I was very passionate about travel writing and I noticed that my travel blog posts were so much better quality than everything else I had written. A few months later, I rebranded my blog as a travel and lifestyle blog and focus on quality rather than the quantity of posts and for the first time in years, I'm finally happy with my blogs direction.
What has travelling taught you?