Who is Lou Does Travel?
Hi I’m Louise and I’m addicted to travel!
So how did I become addicted to travel?
Well it all started when I was 35 years old, soon after I got divorced. I’ve always loved travelling but my passion to travel only really started then, to be honest I was feeling a bit lost and wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my life so during a dark miserable nightshift I googled where is hot in May? The top answer came back as Rio de Janeiro! Next thing I know I’m checking out flight prices and by the end of my dinner break I had booked a two week trip to Rio! It was only once I got home and told everyone what I’d done that the panic started to set in, especially after everyone was telling me how stupid I was for travelling to such a dangerous country on my own! However me being me, I decided to prove everyone wrong and embrace this new challenge and I booked myself into the Lemon spirit hostel which was situated near to Ipanema beach, Perfect!
My previous holidays consisted of package holidays where everything was sorted for you in advance, flights, hotels, transfers, so this adventure was going to be different. After the initial shock had settled down I started to research as much as I could, everything from things to do once there, to travel tips for female solo travellers. Eventually I was feeling quite excited and really looking forward to the challenge, especially the thought of staying in a dorm room in a hostel, although I was starting to think I was maybe too old for the hostel life?
Eventually the time came and I waved my parents goodbye from Manchester airport, so with my massive 80l backpack which in hindsight was much too large for any sort of trip never mind just a two week holiday I boarded my flight to Rio. I was really quite relaxed about the whole trip during the flight, right until I landed, as I left the plane I could feel the anxiety and was starting to get a bit panicky, however I sat down and gave myself a little pep talk and a boot up the arse and decided I should at least look like I know what I was doing, rather than look like a complete lost soul! So I picked up my bag and just walked confidently out the airport and into a taxi, before I knew it I was at the hostel ready for a much needed sleep! However once I was checked in I was so excited I took myself over to check out Ipanema beach and the beautiful Atlantic ocean.
My anxiety about staying in hostels soon disappeared after I met my other roommates, three lovely girls from Sweden who invited me out for tea and we all became friends soon after. The hostel was a great place to meet people, I met people from all over the world, some travelling full time and others on smaller trips, many of which were solo travellers as well. Over the next two weeks I really had the most amazing time, I checked out all the sights, and even went hang gliding off a mountain, the best experience ever!
I returned home a new person and decided to sort out my life. As much as I wanted to travel full time, I knew I wasn’t going to be in a position to do that anytime soon so I decided to fulfil my other ambition to be a nurse and hopefully get my travel fix using annual leave. Soon after I returned I enrolled on a access to nursing course which helped me gain a place at university. It was a long 4 years and after a lot of hard work I graduated with a first class honours. During this time, I worked a lot of hours in order to satisfy my addiction for travel and travelled to Greece, Cambodia, Italy and Thailand twice. However this travelling just seems to make my addiction worse!
I am now 41 years old and my life revolves around nursing and travel. I have been qualified for one year as a theatre nurse, even though I love my job, I just can’t shake off the travel bug so I’ve decided to save as much money as possible in order to take a year or two out and travel full time. I have an endless list of destinations and experience that I want to try, it’s the only way I’m going to scratch this itch!
So in the meantime I have decided to start this travel blog to document my past and any new experiences along the way, not only to help me control the travel bug but to hopefully inspire others to travel more as well. I really do believe that travel can change a person, especially travelling solo, it opens you up to face problems head on, refocuses the mind and makes you more tolerant of the people around you. It also makes you realise how lucky most of us are to have the ability to travel freely and have the privileges many people in the Weston world take for granted!
Chase ya dreams folks, cause you only live once!
Happy travels everyone!