Welcome to Checkpoint Charlie

“You’ve got this wanderlust Charles, and I think you need to get it out of your system. So yes, travel; see the world! You’ll never settle down happily to a career if you don’t.”

I was incredulous to hear these words coming from my mother’s mouth. When I had first broached the topic of leaving university with no career plans, and taking off to travel, work and volunteer all around the world, my parents were less than thrilled. That was around a year ago. Their doubts had led me to consider many different options; law conversions, graduate schemes, masters degrees; I even went as far as to apply for some. At first I had found their scepticism quite exasperating.  But I realised that my parents just want what’s best for me, and during these unpredictable economic times, they can’t be blamed for wanting their youngest son to get a well paid job in the city and work towards a stable future for himself.

However whilst completing these applications there was only one thing I could see myself doing after university; travel. It’s a little cliché I realise, and I accept that I’m by no means alone in this, but the decision to pick this path actually involved not just convincing my parents I could do it, but convincing myself.

I may have a science degree under my belt, but occasionally I feel like I’m not particularly qualified to travel solo around the world (or for doing anything really). If they were interviewing people for the position of full-time nomad, I wouldn’t get a call-back. I’m 21, and only ever had one part-time job worth mentioning. I’m not athletic by any stretch of the imagination, have barely any useful skills, am mono-lingual, haven’t much money… I can’t even drive. On the other hand, I have zero commitments, I’m healthy, have limitless time and a bit of money. So actually, I couldn’t be in a better position! Really, there are just two qualities a person requires to successfully traverse the globe;

  1. A sense of adventure and curiosity
  2. Organisational skills that don’t completely suck

With the internet it is ludicrously straightforward to research destinations, book flights and accommodation – even make friends in the place you’re headed – all whilst sat in your underwear in your parents’ house watching Family Guy marathons and eating nutella straight from the jar (a standard Friday night for me).

So welcome to my blog, the purpose of which is to allow my friends and family to keep up with where I am and what I’m doing in the world, without clogging my facebook page with hundreds of selfies and check-ins (so be warned, there might be a lot of that on here). I also hope to convince people that travelling is a legitimate alternative to starting a career aged 21. And one other thing above all else; that it’s easier than you’d expect.

I’m planning to leave for my big trip after graduation (3 months today), so until then I’ll be writing about the planning stages, as well as a shorter Eurotrip I plan to take in September. Hope you enjoy the journey!

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