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Travel Is..: What I Experienced On My Solo Quest To Southeast Asia.

12/08/2015 10:23 BST | Updated 10/08/2016 10:59 BST

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The world has always fascinated me. There are so many destinations to discover and it's merely possible to see them all.

There came a time when I got bored of the same daily routine. Nothing excited me anymore. I needed something to look forward to. I needed a transition - to take a risk.

The student life can be as boring or as adventurous as you make it. For some, it's just a monotonous cycle day in, day out.

'Boring' are the students who use University as a cop-out. The students who don't attend University and spend their time watching movies all day with a take-away on their lap - the ones who drink themselves selflessly into oblivion every weekend.

For a moment, I felt this stereotype rubbing off on me.

I have always enjoyed challenging myself and being challenged. I'm the one who looks for the unbeaten path, opposed to just taking the original one.

When I moved to Sheffield, I ventured around this big city. I saw different people. I saw the opportunities. I began working for a production company as a reporter, took on charity work and became infatuated with my journalism studies.

With all of that in vain, I still needed more. I needed something that suppressed the dreary routines of daily life. I needed to reboot my psychological and physical momentum.

After being accepted to volunteer with disabled orphans in Phnom Penh through the organization Ubelong, I decided that this was an opportunity to feed my wanderlust.

I wanted this journey to be a challenge - a triumph of my own personal goal.

My backpack and I ventured through Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. I reached a total of seven destinations, catching eleven planes in the space of one month. During and after my journey, I learnt to appreciate the importance of travel and what it means to me.

Travel is..

Travel is waiting in line at the airport gate and knowing that there's 'no going back.' This is it, just me conquering the world. It's the not knowing what to expect on the other side.

Travel isthe sensation of stepping into another world. It's the culture that shocks me as I drive through the villages of Siem Reap on the back on a beaten down moped. Travel is witnessing the rice fields full of women in continental hats and the local men using machetes to cut into coconuts. It's feeling of your heart drop when a stray dog wanders in your direction.

Travel is learning about a different society when caring for disabled children in an orphanage. It's the warm feeling I get when I was rewarded by one of their smiles. Travel is blowing raspberries on the baby's bellies and making them giggle.

Travel is learning about a different religion. It's seeing groups of Buddhist monks in the morning giving out blessings to the local people. It is me climbing up 306 steps to reach the mountain temple that looks over the whole of Chiang Mai.

Travel is being in a not so well known area in Ho Chi Minh City and having no one understand a word you are saying. It's me getting into a taxi and having to communicate through Google translator.

Travel is experimenting with different foods. Or should I say eating rice and noodles everyday. It's when I realize that fried tarantula tastes like chicken and that crickets are prone to get stuck in your teeth. Travel is getting tipsy on cobra snake whiskey..

Travel is walking through the Killing Fields and seeing the blood stained cells at S21 Prison in Phnom Penh. It's seeing the trauma and damage a country has endorsed. Travel is the sadness in the Cambodian people's eyes whenever the Khmer Rouge is brought up in conversation. It's when I see thousands of victims' pictures that were murdered in the hands of Pol Pot.

Travel is witnessing the amazing scenery of Ha Long Bay and believing that I'm in paradise. It's seeing the clouds hug the tops of the mountains as if I'm in a scene of Jurassic Park. It's touching the mysterious cave wall where tribes once lived.

Travel is having the skill to catch an internal flight from Cambodia to Vietnam in 20-minutes. It's also having the ability to step on Laos for an hour via the Golden Triangle.

Travel is getting a traditional tattoo and holding the hand of someone I just met whilst getting it done. It's the swearing in English and being thankful that no one has a clue what I'm saying.

Travel is buying an additional suitcase because all of my souvenirs won't fit inside your backpack. Buddha's, artwork, t-shirts, elephant trousers, presents and fake goods. It's the excess buying of souvenirs to keep all of the memories.

Travel is having no air con and surviving with one small fan for two weeks. It's the countless times I have back, armpit, boob and top lip sweat. Travel is the large amount of insect repellant I apply every morning but still suffer with a ridiculous amount of mosquito bites.

Travel is seeing poverty. It's when I see the shack houses along the Saigon River and the homeless washing in it. Travel is the child beggars with no shoes on coming up to me in the markets. It's the homeless pregnant lady approaching my tuk tuk in the petrol station.

Travel is helping carry Miss Five's python snake back into its box in the Mekong Delta. It's when a white tiger jumps onto me at the Chiang Mai Night Safari. Travel is when I have the opportunity to look after elephants in their natural habitat.

Travel is getting an overnight bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap to explore the famous Angkor Wat. It's being on the six-hour journey, hoping that the horror story of being pulled over and robbed in the dark doesn't happen to me.

Travels is regrettably booking a hotel on Khao San Road in Bangkok and having many sleepless nights. It's the countless amount times a driver insists that I need a tuk tuk.

Travel isme looking down at Southeast Asia through my plane window and feeling a wash of sadness. It's the few tears I shed knowing how much of an impact this adventure has had on me. It is the joy of being able to tell myself "I did it."

Travel is the ability to tell people stories of your experiences. It's the stories you are able to keep to tell future children. Travel is the opening up of doors to new opportunities.

Travel is being independent and going along with my gut instincts. It's about trusting and building a relationship with myself. Travel is about finding myself as a person.

Travel is knowing how lucky I am to have the opportunity to explore this beautiful place we call Earth.

For more pictures of my adventure visit my blog:lucylwilson.com

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