Over the years, I’ve received a lot of emails from teenagers and/or students who have questions about travelling, mainly how to get started or how to decide where to go.
While I can’t possibly know where every teenager who writes to me is coming from, I can offer just a little bit of advice for the positive steps I took when I was younger in order to fulfil my travel dreams. As I was growing up I was unwittingly preparing for a lifetime of travel, and years later I am so thankful that I was so determined from such a young age. Here are a few things you might be able to do if you’re a teenager who wants to travel the world after finishing school (or really, for anyone who wants to travel).
You know that saying, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”? That’s how I feel most of the time. It seems like almost every day I read about a place or an event I’d like to visit. There are a few things that have remained steadfast on my travel wish list for years, though: a safari in Tanzania, scuba diving in the Maldives, a road trip though the southern states of America, a cultural trip through Bhutan, and, on the list for the past few years, seeing Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
And this past November, I was finally in Thailand at the right time to see the festival. Here, then, are my tips on the best way to celebrate Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai… complete with lots of photos!
I am writing this from my hotel in Thimphu, Bhutan, where one of the myths of travel in Bhutan has already been shattered for me… that there’s very little wifi in the country. Another myth about travelling in Bhutan? That it’s difficult to get a visa to visit, or that the government limits the number of visas they grant per year to tourists. So is it difficult to get a visa for Bhutan?
I’ve received a few emails from readers over the years asking the same question: “How do you know you’re ready for long-term travel?” I totally get it. You know you want to travel. You’ve read the packing lists and advice blogs. But how do you know that you are definitely ready to take the plunge to travel for two months, six months, or… indefinitely? Long-term travel may not be for everyone, as it is vastly different than a week holiday to the beach. It requires a bit of planning, a lot of optimism, and a healthy dose of an open mind. And while it can be incredibly rewarding, exciting, humbling, and FUN, it can also be stressful, challenging, and eye-opening (none of which are necessarily bad experiences to go through in life).
So, how do you know if you’re ready for long-term travel?
It’s no secret that I am pretty obsessed with London. I absolutely love living here, and I am constantly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things to do and see in the city. Despite living in London for two years, I feel as though I’ve barely scratched the surface, and that I’m only just beginning to discover what the city really has to offer.
On top of that, London is a photographer’s dream.
I have been to Russia twice – once in 2007, when I spent a summer volunteering and teaching in Yaroslavl, and in 2010, when I took the Trans-Siberian across the country. There are a few important things to note about Russia when you consider packing your suitcase: summers can get quite hot, and winters… well, winters can get very, very cold. Not only that, the cold weather can last from September to May, so it’s best to always pack a few warm pieces in your suitcase, no matter what season you visit the country in.
With the exceptions of perhaps Moscow and St. Petersburg, most of Russia dresses quite casually throughout all seasons, so if you just want to bring jeans and a few sweatshirts, you’ll be fine. I’m not exactly a jeans and sweatshirt kind of girl, so here are a few outfits I wore during my time in Russia.