For those of us gazing from the trenches of the daily grind, Brooke Saward, founder of travel blog World of Wanderlust, has a life resembling a travel guide.
After a trip to New York in 2012 (as part of a debating competition with Harvard students), the Launceston-born law graduate started a blog to share her travel tales and today has five writers on staff. Here the 23-year-old globetrotter spills on what she’s learned in her years of going it alone on a global scale.
1. OPEN UP (WHEN YOU’RE READY)
It’s easy for me to say that it’s easy to make friends and meet people on the road, but the truth is it took me a long time to get to this point. I was never a particularly shy person before I left home, but put completely out of my comfort zone and on the other side of the world from everyone I knew, I became quite a watered-down version of myself for some time on the road. It took me a few months to find my feet and be comfortable just being goofy, outgoing and fun-loving person I was back at home. Since then I’ve met loads of great people and will go out of my way to start a conversation with someone.
2. CHANGE FOR THE BETTER
My tolerance, patience and understanding has all grown far beyond what I thought humanly possible. By exploring the world and meeting people from different cultures all around the world, I have given myself the best and most authentic education I could possibly have in a lifetime. I wouldn’t change any of it!
3. KEEP A LEVEL HEAD
It’s totally a case of mind over matter. So much of the time things go wrong and no one sees that side of things. Many readers probably think things are smooth sailing for me and I never run into travel woes, but the truth is that it happens at least daily! It’s just a matter of staying positive and remembering my mother’s quote, “it could always be worse”.
4. DON’T NEGLECT YOUR HEALTH
The two times I managed to land myself in hospital were definitely a scare. The first time was in South Africa due to physical exhaustion and to be honest, I’m surprised I didn’t burn out sooner. I had been taking back-to-back press trips and was on a media trip that required early starts and late finishes – around 11pm or midnight – I was a wreck! The second time I had a kidney infection that I ignored for 10 days whilst flying for over 48 hours from Johannesburg to Dubai, then to New York, and finally onwards to Phoenix via Philidelphia. Needless to say I was in a lot of pain. Other than these two rare occasions I’m usually pretty good. I aim to eat mostly fruits and veggies, but I do have a sweet tooth that won’t go ignored.
5. OVERCOME FEAR
I’ve adopted a mentality that ‘whatever will be will be’ and thus go about my life without fear of what might happen or considering many (if any) what ifs. To overcome fear, I think this was just a process of putting myself out there, on the other side of the world, solo, and forced to stand on my own two feet.
6. STAY SAFE
Don’t walk alone at night (for obvious reasons), dress like a local and attempt to blend in, walk with confidence even if you have no idea where you are or where you’re going.