From London to Asia, last stop Meditteranean

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Hello my beautifuls! Hope all is well with you guys.

Today's post is a guest post by my lovely friend Natacha from Venus Is My Home vs The World. If there is one person I would go to for travelling advice, it would be her and I just love reading about all the experiences she has had whilst travelling, always so funny and in depth with the truth! So I've invited her to share with us her experience when she went on a round trip from London to the Meditteranean! I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do! Speak to you next week. Lots of Love, A .x

Finishing off in the Meditteranean, Portugal to be exact, wasn't definitely not how I planned things to end but one of my biggest travelling lessons, to face and conquer the unknown, is how I've ended up here for three months. 
For a year now I had begun my planning for South East Asia, coming up with lists and lists of required injections and items, must see places and much more. To be honest it's actually quite easy to plan backpacking anywhere around the world as the internet is a beautiful world full of advice and beyond from other fellow travellers. With the passion and determination to get a route set as a rough guide of the direction we should go in, we managed to sucessfully travel through four countries. The beauty of travelling is meeting others who recommend different places to add in your route, and trust me it's worth listening to them and taking a detour. 
I started a blog just before I left to keep my friends and family updated on my stories and pictures. A lot of the feedback was great as my stories seemed to be entertaining because facing the unknown can lead to the best and most random stories ever. So much happened during my two months in SE Asia that I am narrowing it down to my top experiences whilst away:
- As cliche as this may sound, and you've probably heard it from people who have been backpacking before, meeting people is at the top of my list. It's so refreshing to meet people of all ages from different walks of life, foreigners or locals, who carry different views, worries and hopes. This is possibly the best way to learn new things and open your eyes to the world that is unfamiliar to you back home. One of my favourite people I met was a young man who ended up sharing our bunker half way through our journey in Vietnam on a sleeper train. Whilst I couldn't sleep he spoke to me and we exchanged questions about each others lives and countries. He even showed me things we went past and explained their history and importance to their country.

Picture 1: At the Russians house Vietnam, 
Picture 2: Laos restaurant owner teaching us to speak their language and giving us delicacies, 
Picture 3: Dale one friend I met in a hostel who I still stay in touch with.

- Second best on my list was learning about myself and my limitations. I've always been a pretty wild and outgoing person, forever ready to grab a bag and go anywhere and do almost everything. Having said that there are things that I wouldn'd naturally jump at the chance to do and this is something I got to see and challenge whilst away. Going to a completely different continent and crossing borders into other countries, seeing similar things between each one but also different in their own way, and seeing things I'd never imagine or think I'd encounter in my life definitely allowed me to dettach myself from my personal life back home and focus solely on how I respond to certain situations. I was able to learn how far I'd go to push my limitations, and that's a soul changing experience. 

Picture 4: En route to Poukham Cave in Laos with monks in background, 
Picture 5: Canoeing in Vang Vieng Laos, 
Picture 6: Raining at the Vientam- Laos border waiting for our coach to pick us up.

- Third best on my list was being inspired every day from my surroundings. Without exploring beyond your usual familiarities it limits you to the art, architecture, food and personalities the world has to offer. I was pretty aware of the culture and what to expect when I got there, but honestly only being there and being able to touch it and see it with your own eyes will you ever really know how truly magnificent our world is and how much beauty there is to offer us. 

Picture 7: Tiles on the side of a building in Lisbon, 
Picture 8: Statue in Angkor Wat Cambodia dressed up by locals, 
Picture 9: Food Market
We were supposed to visit three more countries during out three month trip but decided to take more time exploring Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. I would definitely recommend these countries for their beauty in everything, and for their simplicity and such friendly hostility. I didn't think I'd ever feel more at home miles away from where I was born and where I grew up than I did. My next comment may be biased as my family are from Portugal, and I have come here every year since I was a baby, but Portugal is an amazing holiday destination and is so culturally rich, just like the countries I visited earlier this year. I could not brag enough about it, especially Lisbon, to all my friends simply because the architecture and lifestyle is so fulfilling and rich that everyone who has visited has only ever had good things to say.

So my best advice to give anyone is to let go and roll with what comes your way. Face it with confidence, with passion to better yourself and the world. I encourage you to pack your bag and take a leap of faith in yourself, you manage to get yourself through your day to day why not change environments and enrich your mind at the same time?

Instagram: @Lotus_flowerbomb

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