So in light of this whole covid thing – I have come to realise lots of things: how important live music is for me, and how valuable friends are. Something else that me and that I’m sure many many other people have realised is how lucky we were to be able to travel. I have always loved travelling and I feel so lucky that I have travelled so much at such a young age. I thought I would share some of my travel highlights to reminisce on some good times. Before I start chatting about some of the places I’ve been to – I would like to acknowledge how privileged and grateful I am to have been able to travel so much and to so many places. I know that not everyone is as lucky as me. Hopefully, this post doesn’t come across as too braggy – I just thought it would be nice to share my experiences and memories.
One of the first overseas family trips we did was Vietnam. I think I was around 11 when we went. We went all over Vietnam from Sapa to the bustling city of Hoi Anne. I don’t remember too much but what I do remember was the delicious food, the lovely people and the beautiful landscapes.
Another really memorable trip was when I went on exchange in Italy back in 2016/17. This was the first time I went travelling without my family so it was a pretty huge achievement in itself. I was only sixteen! I spent nine weeks there where I stayed with my exchange partner (Maddi)’s family in Varese (a small town close to Milan). I went to school and was fully immersed in the Italian culture. I was really lucky and my family took me to lots of places like Milan, Venice, Padua, Florence and lots more. Once a week I would go to Lugano to meet up with all the other students doing the exchange. I had some amazing experiences, some awkward encounters, met some pretty great people and had the most rewarding time there. I remember it being quite challenging being away from my family for so long. But I learned so much – not just the Italian language. It makes me sad thinking about how little Italian that I remember and that I’m no longer studying it but so happy when I think about all the memories I made there.
I made some videos while I was there:
The last big trip I went on was to South America. I went after I graduated high-school – way better than Schoolies. I went all around – starting in Buenos Aires with my mum and sister. It was there that I did a week-long Spanish course while exploring the city. Then we went on a little weekend trip to Uruguay. After that my dad and brother met us and we went to Peru. After that, we went to Chile (my mum is from Chile). Then my sister and I did a little bit of solo travelling in Brazil (when I say solo travelling I mean without the rest of the family but we were with Maria (a lovely girl who stayed with us for six months while in Australia) and her wonderful family).
There were so many highlights on this trip. Going to Machu Picchu was definitely up there as one of my highlights. I know you hear a lot about it and its a tourist hotspot – but for good reasons. The trip to Brazil was also one of the best few weeks of my life. My sister and I were so well looked after by Maria and her family – they took us to Rio de Janerio and all-around Salvador (their home town). I think this trip, in general, was also a really pivotal time for me and I grew a lot as a person and was constantly learning and exploring new things. I was only 17 at the time so it was an incredible experience to have at such a young age. My mum is Chilean so I felt a kind of connection to some of the places we went to. Even though I was so out of place – as a Gringo – I felt drawn into the people, places and their cultures.
I made some videos about my time there:
Travelling has always been something that I loved and have felt passionate about. I love learning about new cultures and meeting new people. It’s exciting. It’s that giddy feeling when you have booked plane tickets and start to think about where you want to go. It’s all the spontaneous trips and wanderings around a new city. I will say that it’s not always easy. It can be super stressful and as someone who suffers from some mental health issues – it can sometimes take a toll on you. But I can wholeheartedly say that travelling is one of the undeniably great things in life.
Living through this pandemic puts a lot of things into perspective. Again, I want to highlight how incredibly privileged I am to have been travelling and been given the opportunity to. I don’t know if travelling will ever be the same. There’s a lot that is out of our control. In the meantime: stay healthy, social distance, be sensible and look after one another. I can’t wait until I get to travel somewhere again.
clara x 2020