Now what I’m about to tell you may be hard to believe. But not everyone loves travelling. I know, crazy isn’t it? But believe it or not some people have a life which doesn’t revolve around beginning to save for their next trip the moment they get back from their last.
Obviously I’m not one of those people and whether it’s talking about my last trip or planning the next one there’s nothing I love more than whiling away the hours with stories about travelling. I’m lucky to have a few friends who are also in to exploring the world, as well as some very patient ones who are at least willing to listen to me going on about my trips. But I do sometimes worry about turning into the next “Gap Yah” bore. (Although I’d obviously be the northern version, so I’d be more likely to be banging on about my “Gap Yuuur”.)
I’ve joined Twitter about a year and a half ago before setting off on my 30b430 trip. I always thought people who used the site were a pretty friendly bunch and I used to love reading about other adventures. But it’s only since returning home that I’ve suddenly realised how much you need a travelling community to talk to once you’re back.
I’m sure we’ve all experienced those post-trip blues when you get home and suddenly you’re faced with the freezing cold weather and the never-ending job search (or is that just me?) So it’s been a relief to be able to turn to Twitter to talk about my travels and get inspiration for my next trip.
One of the best things I’ve found is that you never have to explain yourself to other travellers. When a lot of people at home ask me about my trip, one question that always comes up is “So is that you finished with travelling now?” and it’s kind of difficult to explain the constant wanderlust I have to someone who has no interest in it whatsoever. I guess it’s kind of like me and football. I can listen and nod in the right places but at the end of the day I have absolutely no idea why people care so much.
So that is what’s great about the travel community on Twitter, people just get you. It’s a place to throw out your random travel questions, to get a bit of encouragement when you suddenly get The Fear about the life you chosen and to relive your old travel stories, where no one gets bored (or maybe they do, but luckily they’re behind a computer screen so you can’t see their eyes glazing over).
I also love the weekly chats which travel enthusiasts have set up like Travel Talk on Twitter, where other travellers are always willing to share tips and advise you about your next destination. Looking back on my Twitter feed during yesterday’s #ttot for example, I spoke to @Canuckiwikate about New Zealand, the joys of looking like an 18-year-old with @StepheeTravels and the importance of packing your humour and your pants when you’re travelling with @lauraexplorer89.
In the evening I joined #gapyearchat, run by @gapyear.com, for the first time, where I discussed Brazil with @nihaoxiongmao, chatted about American summer camps with @VickyFlipFlop and shared my love of China with @worldwanders. @elspeth_rodgers also gave me a recommendation of where to dive when I go to South Africa and I talked tea and cakes with @vagabondbaker and @LexiLovesTravel. I even bumped into @pocket___rocket who I’d met in a hostel in Christchurch way back in February.
What’s also great about Twitter is that is allows me to share my belief that you’re never too old/tied down/in debt to take a gap year/career break/sabbatical and to encourage other people to take the same leap I did when I made the decision to take my 30b430 trip. I love talking to people like @SoloTravelFox about the big adventures they have planned and hopefully helping them to add a few more places to their travel list.
So a big thank you for the part you all play in the travel community. Because without you guys to talk to what would I do with all of this wanderlust?