For me, travel represents freedom, life, adventure and spirit. All of these are virtues to me and when I embrace them I feel like myself.

I often wonder if the events in my life have led me to this place or whether it was already built into my genes.

In my life I have generally been a nomad anyway, growing up we moved house every year and this has kind of continued my entire adult life. In total I think I have moved around 30 times and never lived anywhere longer than 2 years. So changing my environment seems to be almost a habit, or routine, or maybe just a conditioning.

Growing up I always dreamt of running away, or jetting off, or living abroad. I had wanderlust very young, I just didn’t know what to call it.

So I went through the academic motions; as you do. I went off to university at 18 not entirely sure what to expect, and making the ridiculous mistake of choosing a uni based on its proximity to the sea. I soon discovered, once away from the comfort of my home and family (coupled with a not-so-great-degree-course) that I had a very desperate need to escape. I devoured books on travel, self-help, escapism … all sorts. Coupled with a few other issues in my life that I year, I decided to take a break from academia and take my gap year.

The ‘rents weren’t sure about it, but ultimately supported me whilst, at 19 years old, I took the time off from studying to work out what I wanted. That year I spent loads of time in the library (I didn’t own a computer in 2002) researching everything and anything I could think of, all the while taking up various temp jobs to start saving for my first backpacking trip. Before I went though I wanted to make a decision about my degree. I had every intention of going back to study, after all I was rather academic and it would be silly not to get a degree. Except this time I wanted to make sure I chose the correct degree. After many an hour in the library I stumbled across the social science of Anthropology, and I was hooked. The more I read about it the more it made sense to me. I had found my discipline. Now, at the time I was getting loads of work experience in the media and marketing industry so I looked to find combined degrees where I could study both. And that is how I came to be a graduate of Anthropology and Communications from Goldsmiths.

Now, before I embarked on my higher level academic studies for the second time, I grabbed a backpack and an Interrail pass to spend 5 weeks travelling solo around Europe. It was scary, exhilarating, inspiring and exactly what I needed. Now, this was a time when I was still using a film camera and instead of blogging I would write regular emails home to my family from my hotmail account, whenever I could find an internet cafe (remember those?). Looking back, it almost seems destined that blogging would become my way of life; I was always set on recording my travels, at least for posterity’s sake.

It would be another 5 years before I got to backpack again. Then I was 25 and had the obligatory quarter-life crisis (that’s totally a thing by the way). That year, I packed up and quit my life in London, started a blog and wandered around Southeast Asia for a few months. The rest, they say, is history… I’ve blogged ever since.

But that trip around Southeast Asia helped cement who I really am. I came face-to-face with my spirit. I understood that travel and everything it stands for was to be an integral part of my life. Learning, understanding, people, culture, the environment, similarities and differences, stories, moments – this is what travel is for me.

And that is why I choose travel.

About The Author

Elizabeth is a freelance blogger, writer and social media consultant. When she's not gallivanting around the world she is exploring her home country, the UK. She embarked on her first solo backpacking trip in 2003 and has been hooked on adventure and discovery ever since. She also runs her award-winning lifestyle blog Elizabeth Dhokia. Elizabeth likes culture, art, museums, spas and affordable luxury. She is a big fan of East Asian food and cannot start the day without a hot cup of coffee.

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14 Responses

  1. Liv

    This is fantastic!! I love how you said you came face to face with your spirit! I’d love to hear more about that!!! I had the quarter life crisis and also packed up and chucked the duces!!! Can’t wait to read more!!!!

    • Elizabeth

      Thanks Ashley! I’m exactly the same, I love reading about other people’s travel motivation.

  2. bethani

    oh traveling! i wish i could travel more & would have traveled more before i met my husband & had a child.

    one day though, one day.

    • Elizabeth

      Bethani, just packed them up and bring them with you. You’d have an amazing adventure as a family.

  3. Laura

    I love traveling! I’m a sucker for a good road trip and I’ve been known to get in my car and just drive with no place in mind. Traveling is just an amazing experience.

  4. Brittney

    I think it is so great you have been able to travel. It is actually a brave thing doing what you have done because so many people view it as unconventional. I think it’s awesome!


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