Looking for “The One”

While I have always had the tag line: 20 something solo female traveller with a dream of seeing every country in the world, I have never explained the reasons why I hold this dream so close to my heart. But to tell that story I have to go back to the beginning.

As a child and all the way up until my AS level results, I believed there was no better place in the world than Cardiff. I was born in Cardiff, raised in Cardiff and I had convinced myself that I would probably study, work and eventually die in Cardiff. Looking back at the 17 year old me, I truly believed that Cardiff was the greatest city in the world and that there was no reason to leave.

Cardiff born Cardiff bred

Cardiff born Cardiff bred

And then I got 4 A’s.

I do not divulge this fact as a means of bragging but these amazing results (they amazed me at least) meant that my priorities changed. I thought that so few people had the opportunity to apply to Oxbridge and other top Universities that I needed to take the bull by the horns and apply to the top Universities: Cambridge, UCL, and when neither of these places would have me, Warwick.

Despite my normally sceptical nature about everything, I do believe in one thing, that everything happens for a reason … or at least so it appears. I believe that it was my placement at Warwick which led me to be where I am today.

It was all study study study

It was all study study study

For my year abroad, I was devastated when I was placed in the small village of Rodenbach, when my accommodation was a flat above an old couple that was full of sick cats. But I grew to love that village as if it was my hometown. I loved how everyone knew my name, how I was greeted as I wandered down the winding streets and how I didn’t need ID to change things at my bank.

Once I had seen a different part of the world all the flaws of my beloved Cardiff were revealed. Like Eve I had taken a bite of forbidden fruit. I realised that I had placed Wales on a pedestal, all the problems of Britain had been made clear to me and I knew that I would no longer be happy simply to settle there, no matter how beautiful.

Rodenbach was stunning ... but not enough

Rodenbach was stunning … but not enough

This was not to say that I believed that Germany was perfect, by no means, Germany also has it flaws. I soon realised that the more countries I see the more I want from a country. If I am to choose one country to settle in for my entire life, it will have to be one astounding country. But how can I judge that if I haven’t seen every country in the world, to judge one against the other.

And so my dream was born. But whether I’ll give up and simply settle down … only time will tell.

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10 thoughts on “Looking for “The One”

  1. I know what you mean — I was born and raised in Los Angeles but for some reason convinced myself that Paris was where I belonged. And then I didn’t get accepted into the Paris study abroad program — I ended up on the French Riviera, instead. After a few days there I was like, “WAIT…there are other places I love as much as Paris? Is this real life?” So basically I’m trying to do the same as you, to see if I love everywhere else as much as or (dare I say it?) more than Paris. Cardiff looks adorable, maybe that will be my next stop?

    • Oh do come to Cardiff, it is so often overlooked. I was on a night out last night and I met a boy you grew up here but went to Uni in England and now thinks Cardiff is rubbish, I don’t understand how. It’s got everything, when I left for Uni I couldn’t believe how lucky I had been before. If you come maybe I can show you around :)

  2. Haha thanks! I would love to come to Cardiff and meet up. I know I’ll be in the area in May 2014ish for a friend’s wedding, but that seems ridiculously far away so maybe an opportunity will arise sooner. Let’s be blog friends until then?

    • I just couldn’t imagine myself just staying in Britain forever that’s just not me. I need to see much more of the world. Dunno if I will do it all but I can always try! Hope China is brilliant.

  3. Pingback: Backpacks and Bunkbeds A Travel Blogger Interview with George aka @georgieonthego » Backpacks and Bunkbeds

  4. Is it better to live behind the screen of ignorance where you think that your bubble is the most amazing place in the whole world, or is it better to see the world and never be satisfied because you always want to see more? Once you cross that divide, there is no going back, yet I think we sit on the same side of the river where this decision is concerned.

    • I often think back to how I was in Cardiff, thinking I was happy. I am obviously a lot happier now then I was then, but I don’t know if I knew then that I could be happier. Obviously I chose to travel, but I guess now I will never know if I could have been happier if I had never left at all.

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