Hi all, Jon here!
Who am I? Well I’m just your average Joe really but of late I have undergone a change and am on the road to becoming somewhat of an amateur traveller, or explorer you could say.
It’s quite easy to get lost in your own little bubble or become trapped within your daily routine; but once in a while it needs to be popped, wouldn’t you agree? Once that bubble has been popped, your mind is open to the rest of the world and the great outdoors is yours to explore.
That’s what happened to me. After graduating last year I went straight in to the world of work and got stuck in the whole “eat, sleep, work, repeat” pattern. I started to feel like this was it now, could I look back years from now and tell of the wonders I’d seen and the places I’d been?
I always wanted to explore places and visit different countries, but it was always just a dream. This brings me to a quote I remember from the good old Karl Pilkington, odd I know but humour me:
“Your dreams should never be better than your real life. Unless you’re a sloth, because then they’re asleep a lot aren’t they?”
Okay so I digress, but my main point from this quote is that dreams shouldn’t be better than real life – life is what you make of it. So in the New Year one of my resolutions was to travel more. I don’t often make mad decisions, favouring not to be the risk taker, but I went against my own belief and went for it. I presented a random idea of a long weekend away somewhere with some friends of mine and they were totally up for it! That’s how it all started!
Ireland was the first adventure – we travelled to Dublin for the May bank holiday. This was the first time I had ever stayed in a hostel which wasn’t that bad at all, so I’m going to do it again – it’s a great way to make some new friends along the way too!
I never envisioned Dublin to be quite like it was – it was so busy! There were people everywhere, and not just fellow tourists – the pubs were heavy with the locals by 11am!
There was so much to do as a tourist, from the Guinness storehouse and the Leprechaun museum, to Dublin zoo and a tour of Trinity College, and that’s just some of what is available.
We took a day trip out of the city to see the lakes of Glendalough and the rest of the Wicklow National Park. The views were endless with such vibrant scenery; there was something very tranquil about this area. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing day-to-day; this is what I had dreamed of doing and was finally doing it!
A month later and I found myself en route to Loch Lomond, Scotland with a few of my friends from university. Never heard of Loch Lomond? Let these pictures do the talking:
My visit to Scotland was somewhat different, more of a challenging journey as opposed to being the tourist I was in Dublin. Over the course of three days I had been island hopping in a canoe, hiked up Ben Lomond and then overcame a fear that I never thought I had in the form of Go Ape!
Don’t get me wrong, though challenging, it was almost total relaxation – in some odd way – I was just in awe of what I was seeing and doing. This then led the way to my most recent venture, Snowdonia!
With my trip to Snowdonia came new experiences in the form of camping – wait what? You’ve never been camping before Jon?! Well only once and it was only one night. I have to say I really enjoyed it!
The sound of the rain delicately tapping against the tent, the sound of laughter from the other campers on site, the combined smells of the various fires and barbecues, the eerie silence when all of this died down, and then of course the feeling whilst climbing up Snowdon.
After scaling Ben Lomond I felt like, well I felt like I could conquer the world – yes a slight exaggeration for those of you who have climbed higher, but it was my first time and we’ve all felt it!
So whilst walking the path towards the peak of Snowdon I once again felt it, like I’d found my calling! An odd phrase to use and maybe even a little over the top but it feels right; I don’t know how else to describe it!
Although my travels haven’t spread much further than the UK as of yet I feel that I have already seen so much, and this has only wet my appetite to see more. So that’s what I am going to do! Of course given the usual constraints such as finance I won’t be one of these hardcore travellers by any means but heck I’m going to give it a go! Watch this space!
So next stop Belgium! Then Barcelona! Then, who knows where 2016 will take me…though fingers crossed for Japan!
I leave you with a cliché quote, but a relevant quote nonetheless:
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only from one page.” – St Augustine of Hippo
Well, it’s safe to say my eyes have been well and truly opened and my pages are turning. I implore you to do the same; you won’t regret it.
Until next time.
For more travel pictures from my adventures give me a follow on instagram: @paxo.91
Wanderlust Week runs annually on the first week of August, celebrating wanderlust and adventure through travel posts on the blog.