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.
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.
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.
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.