Top 5 food destinations based on the countries I’ve travelled to

I want to start by saying that this piece is strictly from my own personal experience. You may have visited some of these countries and liked them more or less than me or you may be from one of them, whichever it is do not get offended.

Number one on my list is….

  1. Persian: I’m not being biased I swear. I grew up eating this food but even if I didn’t I’d still say it was the top of my list because it’s simply amazing! From saffron to pomegranate to rose water and pistachios, everything about the ingredients in these dishes is luxurious. Recommendations: My favourite is Khoresht Bademjan, but I’d also recommend Kebab Koobideh with traditional bread for first timers.
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    Kebab Koobideh                                                                           Photography by: Mehrnaz Karimi
  2. Greek: My experience of Greek food was exquisite. The dishes are very similar to Persian food, which is probably why it’s up there for me. Recommendations: Mixed meat Gyro because it’s simple yet delicious.
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    A Gyro in Santorini, Greece.                                                      Photography by: Mehrnaz Karimi
  3. Thai: Thai street food is great, so great that I occasionally found myself eating some of the rice or noodle dishes for breakfast. They whip it up so fast you’ll find yourself wondering how they got so many flavours into one dish so fast. Recommendations: Any of the curry dishes, you can’t go wrong.
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    My breakfast in Thailand.                                                         Photography by: Mehrnaz Karimi.
  4. French: I’m not choosing French cuisine based on traditional meals, I am basing this decision on the patisseries out there alone which says something. Wow, that’s the only way to describe the taste of some of there pastries. I can’t eat a Pain au Chocolat in England anymore now that I know what I’m missing out on. Recommendations: Chocolate and almond Croissant. Just wow.
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    Pain au Chocolat in Paris.                                                           Photography by: Mehrnaz Karimi
  5. American: American food makes it onto my list because everything is bigger out there! Ridiculously bigger. I had a kids meal in KFC and it was equivalent to an adults in England. Recommendations: Wendy’s, purely for the lemonade, I mean damn! That’s what I call lemonade!
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    Wendy’s lemonade in New York City.                                       Photography by: Mehrnaz Karimi
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You’re never too old to travel

Travelling is something that many of us want to do but how many of us actually do it?

Croatia, Plitvice Lakes. Photography by Mehrnaz Karimi

Sometimes it’s because obstacles in life get in the way which just can’t be helped. Other times it’s because time passes by and the travel bug is just forgotten about until you find yourself retired and reflecting on life. Then the disheartening thought of being “too old” comes to mind. Well stop there! There is no such thing as being too old! You are wiser, more experienced, and so therefore all the more ready to explore.

Nobody wants to live their life with regret, which is why you shouldn’t let an inevitable thing such as aging stop you!

You are only on this planet once, and there is so much to see, so what are you waiting for get that backpack on!

Chicken Reza

The first time I ever boarded a plane was when I was nine years old. It wasn’t to go to Disneyland or Spain or anywhere else you’d typically expect a first holiday to be; it was to go to my father’s motherland, Iran.
It was unforgettably hot when we stepped out of the airport and were greeted by a cousin, I’d not met. He drove us from the airport to an area in the South of Iran called Ahvaz, where my father had grown up. At first, I was overwhelmed by the amount of family members who were there to greet us on our arrival. I thought that they had all come together just to welcome us, as it was the first time that my dad had been back in years but I later found out that they were always together like this, every day. That wasn’t the strange part though, the weirdest thing about it for me, was that nobody seemed to have any pets. In fact, I think that I was the only person there to have ever owned a pet during my one month stay. It wasn’t the most usual of pets either for a nine year old girl; it was a cockerel I had named ‘Chicken Reza’ after my cousin Reza; who was not in the slightest bit flattered by this gesture.
I hadn’t gone out with the intention of bringing a pet chicken back to my grandmother’s house, it just happened.
My father and I were out shopping one day for some chicken to have for dinner, and I was half expecting there to be a supermarket with already dead chickens in ready for us to buy, but where we went, looked more like a pet shop to me. There were loads of these chickens cooped up in cages outside of this store, and how it worked was, you picked one out alive, they chopped its head off in front of you, and then they would put it into a machine which removed all of its feathers. I had another idea however; I saw this one cockerel, pure white with the reddest comb of the bunch, and instead of looking at him and seeing food I looked at him and saw life. I decided to save him, which my grandmother was not happy about to say the least when we had returned with this chicken who walked freely around her home like a dog.
Unfortunately her mentality was not the same as mine when it came to seeing him as more than just something to eat, because after a couple of weeks of having him, he mysteriously vanished. My dad told me that Chicken Reza had flown away but it wasn’t until years later when I learned that chickens don’t actually fly, that I questioned him and got the truth. My grandmother had cooked Chicken Reza for dinner.

The Falklands: The Island that’s more British than Britain itself

In the South Atlantic Ocean located around 300 miles away from Argentina and 8000 miles away from the United Kingdom lays an old England otherwise known as the Falkland Islands. The Islands were discovered by English explorer, John Davis in the fifteenth century. Many would assume that the Island would have more cultural influences from Argentina due to its close proximity to the country, but Roderick May, who was born and lived on the Falkland Islands until he reached his twenties, says that it is more British than Britain itself.
Most of the residents there are English, but before the war in 1982 many of them had never even visited the United Kingdom. It could be argued that it is in a way, an old fashioned England due to some of the values that still remain. Falkland Islanders still follow a lot of traditional English ways that some of the people residing in the United Kingdom have simply forgotten about. Such things include ‘smoko’ time which is a break that is taken in the morning at precisely 11am, where everybody stops to have a cigarette and a cup of tea. Another break is taken at 4pm for tea and cake.
Roderick grew up on the Islands when there was only electricity in the main town and on the larger farms. They didn’t have light bulbs, they used tilley lamps and one of the earliest forms of electricity on the Island that he remembers was a twelve volt battery system and wind charger. He sheered sheep from the age of sixteen until he left the Island at the age of twenty three. Most of them relied on the income of the wool industry as many of them lived on farms, but it wasn’t like the farms most people imagine. This was because they didn’t have much livestock due to the lack of vegetation on the Islands which is still an issue today. It may be very English in its values but visually it isn’t anything like England. There are very few trees, because of the harsh wind and soil, and animals such as penguins are as common to see over there as pigeons are in London.

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A penguin braces itself in the harsh Falkland winds                            Photograph by: Roddy May

The grass is more of a white colour than green, and it is rare for anyone in the Falkland Islands to get fruit. Such things have to be shipped over from countries such as Uruguay because they’d be impossible to grow on the Islands. Even with fruit being shipped over, it is still rare for anyone to actually get any of it as by the time it reaches its destination it is either rotten or inedible.
The soil is too acidic and can be compared more too as peat because it is decayed matter rather than actual soil and contains little nutrients making it difficult to grow anything. It was a shock for Roderick when he moved to England because of how green it was in comparison. When he grew up there, there was only around ten miles worth of road, with the rest of it being dirt tracks. This meant that cars often got stuck and it would take around four hours to drive just forty miles on it. Since then, more roads have been built but there is still a way to go. This resulted in many people walking everywhere instead of driving, meaning that they didn’t often venture too far away from their homes. “When I moved to Southampton, I was surprised at the amount of people who drove instead of walked.” He says widening his eyes. He was also surprised at the fact that there was such things as sliced bread as in the Falkland Islands most people made their own.
Despite the differences, he didn’t find himself getting homesick and this was because of the British people. For him it was just like being at home in that respect, but one of the biggest differences, was the amount of people. The Falklands has a population of around two thousand people whereas Britain has a population of around sixty four million.
Despite it being thousands of miles away, the food there is also English influenced. The mystery behind how they have managed to remain British without interference from other cultures is partly down to the wealthier Islanders. They would travel over to the United Kingdom for six months and return, bringing with them the latest fashion and gadgets. Roderick recalls this happening from his childhood, when a lot of them would travel to Britain by boat which could take up to a month. This meant that they were usually a bit behind the trends in England.
Many of those who move from the Islands reside in the city of Southampton as it is the main port that they arrive into. Despite being classified as an overseas British territory, Roderick had to obtain a visa when he first came to the United Kingdom because both of his parents were born in the Falklands. He ended up staying as an illegal immigrant for a while after his visa had expired because of the war which made him reluctant to want to return. War had broken out between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the Islands, as both countries were trying to claim it as their own. “It was scary because my family was still over there but they allowed me to stay in the country luckily.” Since the British won the Falkland war however the Islanders are now able to travel to and from England without a visa.
Curiosity was what brought him to Britain in the first place with an initial two year planned stay, but it was war that kept him from returning. He ended up building a life and family of his own in England which meant that he didn’t return for a further ten years, and when he did go back he found it to be near enough exactly the same as it was when he left. To his surprise everything that had once been destroyed in the war had been rebuilt.

The land of the falling lakes

There’s more than just ‘looks’ to Croatia’s largest National Park.

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Croatia, Plitvice Lakes                                                                         Photography by: Mehrnaz Karimi

Founded in 1949, it is not just one of the oldest parks in Southeast Europe but it is the oldest park in Croatia and it is the country’s largest.
Visitors would find it hard to believe that Plitvice Lakes had any involvement in the civil war which took place in Plitvice on March 30 1991. The park was torn apart and taken over by rebel Serbs who took control of its headquarters. It was kept by the rebels for the entire duration of the war and was not regained back by the Croatian army until 1995. Despite this however, the park looks untouched and so it is believed that it healed itself naturally over time.

As a result of its cultural and physical significance, the national park was included on the UNESCO list of World Natural Heritage sites in 1979.

It is located halfway between the capital city of Zagreb and Zadar on the coast, but no matter where you are staying in Croatia, the lakes are a must see. This is why there are excursion coaches going from all over the country to the national park, no matter what the distance.
I travelled from the city of Pula to see the National Park which was a three hour coach journey. The journey to Plitvice Lakes was just as beautiful as the National Park itself, with acres of tall trees surrounding the bendy roads. There were locals on the route selling goods to passersby, each with their own unique stories to tell. One of them was an elderly woman who sadly lost both her husband and son to war. She was standing behind a stall selling jars of homemade jams, marmalade’s, honey, cheese and liquors, offering tasters to those who stopped. Her stall has become so popular that excursion coaches stop for tourists to have tasters and make purchases. She was stood just a yard away from another local who was also selling homemade goods.
Tourists travel from all over the world to see the mystical beauty that is Plitvice Lakes, giving the locals the opportunity to give tourists a real taste of Croatian hospitality. This makes the journey to the park all that more enjoyable.

Running parallel to the Dalmatian coast, each season brings its own beauty to the park, reshaping according to the time of year. In the winter it is a white wonderland that is unrecognizable from its appearance in the summer. The colour of the water goes from clear blue to grey but the snow topped woodland that labyrinths around the pools makes the park look just as stunning. Some of the native animals struggle to survive the harsh winters that hit Plitvice Lakes, but the strong waterfalls battle the cold and continue to flow.
It is a kingdom ruled by water and in the summer the first thing to be noticed is the colour of it. The water can only be described as crystal blue, with sixteen pools of lakes connected up by the waterfalls that attract millions of visitors every year.
The colour of the lakes is said to be ever changing, depending on the angle of the sun and the amount of minerals that are in the water which is dependent on the weather. It has however, been described as azure, green, grey and blue during different seasons.
The park is recognised for its picturesque waterfalls that keep the water flowing from pool-to-pool, and the formation of these cascades is just as fascinating as the sight of them. The ongoing biodynamic process of tufa formation which happens under specific hydrological and ecological conditions is the reason for the waterfalls. Tufa is a porous carbonate rock formed from the sedimentation of the calcium carbonate in the water, which builds barriers in rivers and streams. This formation is a constant process that happens at all times of the day. To the ignorant eye, one waterfall may look like the next but every single cascade is different. Taking new routes, the water picks up its speed and as temperatures change, new travertine barriers are formed, making it ever changing.

Surrounding the lakes, are woodlands, where tour guides do not usually venture. This natural phenomenon is home to bears, fish, deer, birds and other forms of wildlife including wolves and otters. Although the Park attracts millions of visitors every year, there is little human interference with the wildlife in the forest. Ancient trees lay where they fall and it is rare for tourists to see certain animals on a visit.
The woodland area has been referred to as the ‘land of the wolves’ after it was recorded a decade ago that the number of wolves there had increased.
According to studies, the wildlife within the park consists of 321 recorded species of butterflies, which can be seen flying over the 18km footbridges and pathways that lay over and across the beautiful water. There are 161 recorded species of birds, 21 species of bats, 1267 species of plants (including 75 endemic plants and 55 different species of orchids).
The number of brown bears (Ursus arctos) is currently unknown and sightings of bears are unheard of, as they tend to stay within the woods. There is enough food within the forest to keep the animals where they are, and with lakes flowing through, it makes it the perfect home to many species. However, with an increase in the number of wolves, there is an imbalance of the predator and prey ratio in the woodland areas, meaning that they are turning to eating rodents as well as larger animals such as wild boars.

The park has a surface area of 294.82 km² and it takes an estimated time of around six hours to explore the lakes alone on foot. This can be cut down however, by making use of the free boats and buses that take you to the different entrances of the park. A half day in the park is not enough time to see everything, so a full day is recommended. Having a good standard of physical health is also worth mentioning as there are a lot of steps to climb.
Tourists are not allowed to get into the water in case of pollution and disturbance of the natural habitat but they are welcome to walk the wooden footbridges and pathways that snake around the lakes. In fact, the only human contact allowed in the water is on the boats which are used to take visitors from one area of the park to another. Rowing boats are also available for tourists to hire out if they wish to.
Some of the foot paths are narrow and so there have been cases where visitors have fallen over so care is required when venturing around the beauty. Tourists are advised to follow the rules and stick to the footpaths, so that they do not disturb the animals or put themselves in danger to potentially dangerous wildlife. This is also advised to ensure that tourists do not find themselves getting lost. With the many visitors that go to the park, it would be difficult to seek assistance if you are not with a tour guide as visitors have the option to go with a guided tour or on their own. Due to the sheer size of the park, it would be easy to get lost, as it is divided up into seven sections, known as the upper lakes, the lower lakes, the Plitvica stream, Korana river, Supljara cave, Karlovci and Corkova Uvala.
There are small cafe’s and food stalls located in certain sections of the park and tourists are allowed to sit anywhere they wish, as long as they do not leave any litter. They are welcome to sit in front of the water where boats pick visitors up from to enjoy the view of the hungry ducks that swim not too far away from the tourists, hoping for a crust of bread. Tourists are of course advised not to interfere with any of the animals by feeding them.
Due to the fact that the park is so beautiful, it is against the rules to damage the trees in any way, or to pick or damage any of the flowers.
Tickets to enter the park can vary anywhere from 55 kuna to 180 kuna, depending on the time of year, with the summer months being the most costly. A percentage of ticket proceedings are put towards the protection and maintenance of the park.
There are hotels located nearby and camping spots for those who love the outdoors. These camping spots are not located within the park itself.
No matter how long your stay is in Croatia, Plitvice Lakes will be one of the highlights of your trip. It may also be one of the most beautiful sights you will ever see in your life.

For more photos of Plitvice Lakes, please click on my photography page on this website to see more!

Genghis Khan’s greatest weapon

The Mongolian Horse
23770886841_77d0d9e4cd_bA Mongol without a horse is like a bird without its wings.

Riding horses to Mongolians is like breathing, they are said to be born in the saddle and raised on horseback. They are taught to ride from the tender age of two, by being literally tied into the saddle.
The Mongolian horse is just as important to the country today, as they were generations ago during the times of Genghis Khan. They have been described as largely unchanged since these times and are sometimes mistaken for a pony due to their small size. Their size however, didn’t stop them from carrying Mongol warriors across half of the world. They were paramount in making it possible for Genghis Khan and his soldiers to create an empire that stretched from the Pacific Ocean to the centre of Europe. This could be one of the reasons why they have been referred to as Genghis Khan’s greatest weapon.
In western society, Genghis Khan is remembered as being a ruthless barbarian but in Mongolia he is a national hero, with a 131ft 2in tall statue of him seated in the saddle of a horse just 54km east from the capital city of Ulaanbaatar.
The Mongol Derby recreates the trail taken by Genghis Khan and takes place every year, with around forty competitors all trying to win the Derby crown. The race is undertaken by professionals, semi professionals and enthusiastic amateurs. It has been regarded, as being the toughest and longest horse race in the world. The race requires riders to weigh no more than 85kgs which includes the weight of their clothes due to the small size of the horses. They are even encouraged to travel light with just 5kg of essential survival equipment. The horses which are used for the race belong to local nomadic herding families and breeders. Fourteen hundred of them are selected in the months prior to the race and they are then put through training to prepare them for the derby.
As well as the famous derby, Mongolians compete in family horse races which are considered to be a big deal amongst the Mongols’, attracting people from miles away who arrive with their families and ‘best horse’. These race meetings can happen up to four or five times over the summer. Children are the ones who ride the horses in these races as the Mongol’s believe that the smaller the jockey the faster the horse. Before the race, each horse has to be blessed with milk taken from the mares known as Irag which is stroked onto them by women using spoons. It is believed that singing Buddhist Mantra helps give the horses speed. The family of the winner is rewarded with a valuable horse, while the runner up is given a sheep and although the other participants are given smaller gifts, everybody gets something.

Mongolians have kept in tradition since the times of Genghis Khan, where the horses are concerned, as they still use metal studs that are located on the wooden saddles which sit on the horse’s backs. These metal studs were originally put on the saddles all of those centuries ago, to encourage men to stand up whilst riding.
The journey that these horses went on to reach Europe shows just how tough they really are and this toughness has not worn down over the years. The native horses survive extreme temperatures of minus forty degrees in the winter and over thirty degrees in the summer with little interference from humans. They survive on the natural sources around them, eating hardly anything but grass and drinking water wherever they find it. The natives around them rarely provide extra food for the animals. They are also seldom shod due to the fact that they naturally have very tough feet. Mongols’ only seek veterinary care for their prized horse, with the outlook of ‘survival of the fittest.’
The male horses are used for transportation and racing while the females (mares) are rarely ridden as they are used for milk and breeding.
Although it is said that Mongolians see horses the same way that people in other societies see cars, these horses are more than just transportation for Mongolians. They are also used for their resources, such as their milk which is used to make a drink called ‘Irag.’ The milk is also used in traditional Mongolian dishes. It is difficult for them to grow fruit and vegetables so the milk is their only source of Vitamin C. In the summer, the horses are milked every two hours (up to six times a day) and this is only done by the women.
In the western society horses are taken care of and kept secure in fenced fields and stables, but in Mongolia they are merely left to leave if they wish to. They are treated with such respect by the Mongol’s, it is said, that they choose to stay.

Having a large number of horses is seen as a symbol of wealth and status amongst Mongol families. The older and quieter horses are usually ridden by the children and women. Children are also put on the backs of foals and weanlings to help break them in for work. Some Mongol’s tie the foals to a line where their toddlers can help ready them for human interaction. Many of them are herded from birth so that when it comes to riding them, the process is sped up. Despite this, they are still considered to be free and wild animals which could be why the riding style varies greatly from western horses. Mongolians do not expect to have complete control over the animals, and put their trust in them to complete tasks themselves. This is why westerners who ride Mongolian horses are advised beforehand to not expect full control over them as this will result in the horses rebelling.

The worst of its kind

As Zika virus continues to spread on a global scale, more is revealed about the insect responsible.
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Meet Aedus.
It is the mosquito responsible for spreading the latest outbreak, known as Zika virus. It was named by German entomologist Johann Wilhelm Meigen after the Greek word meaning ‘odius’ or ‘unpleasant,’ a fitting name given to the breed of mosquito known for its spreading of disease. They used to only be found in hot climate continents such as Africa and Asia but they are now found in all continents around the world apart from the Antarctica, due to its freezing conditions.
It has been said that the mosquito was originally a forest specimen that had over time, adapted itself to rural and suburban, human environments.

They have recently come to attention since the outbreak of Zika virus in 2015. The virus was first discovered in Africa in 1947 and has since spread on a global scale because of Aedus mosquitoes. It was thought that the increase of the species in different parts of the world was aided through the fault of human activity in the international trade of used tyres. The mosquitoes lay their eggs on objects such as these and the eggs are then able to withstand very dry conditions, without water. Aedus can also undergo a period of delayed development known as diapause during the winter time ensuring their chances of survival.

They are distinguishable from other breeds of mosquito on sight due to their black and white markings which cover their body and legs. Another difference between them and other strands of the insect is that they are only active during the day time, unlike other mosquitoes which are mainly found at night. They are thought to be most active during the morning and evening just before it starts to get dark.
This genus of mosquito does not just consist of only one kind however; there are over 700 hundred different types of Aedus that carry a variety of diseases. Two of the most well known species of this kind are Aedus Aegypti and Aeudus Albopictus. They are responsible for carrying viruses that can cause dengue fever, yellow fever, West Nile fever, chikungunya, eastern equine encephalitis, Zika virus and various others which are less notable.

These types of mosquitoes can be monitored through the use of ovitraps which is a device that was originally invented to monitor the Aedus, in order to get an insight into their breeding patterns and to study their eggs. They are now also used to detect early signs of diseases, in hope of preventing further outbreaks. They also give an insight into the hotspots of the Aedus breeding locations allowing people to know where they are in danger of high infestation of the species. Since the creation of the invention there are now lethal ovitraps which are used to kill the larvae and adult mosquitoes that enter.

To prevent catching any diseases which are spread by the Aedus mosquito, people are being advised to use insect repellent containing DEET, to wear loose fitted clothing that covers the arms and legs and to sleep under a mosquito net when travelling to high risk areas.

Travelling on a budget

 

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Photograph by: Mehrnaz Karimi

Travelling on a budget can be a tricky thing, but assuming you already have some money saved up for your big adventure, you may be worried that what you are taking isn’t going to be enough. However, there are surprisingly many ways of managing your money sensibly whilst travelling.

Depending on where it is that you plan on travelling, determines how much money you will need to take with you. If you were thinking about heading off to Australia, you’re looking at taking around four figures, but there are many other destinations that you can travel to on a three figure budget. If you’re looking at travelling to destinations from the United Kingdom to Europe, you can fly to your first destination from some of the smaller airports in the country at a very reasonable price, with costs varying, depending on which destination you decide to start your adventure off in. Don’t think that you will have to fly from destination to destination though, because once the first flight is over, you can travel to all of the other destinations in many other ways if flying isn’t your preferred way of travelling. Take Europe for instance, if you prefer a journey more grounded, then you can travel all over Europe on the train.

Now that we’ve tackled the transport side of things, the next concerns are accommodation, food and generally surviving off of your budget.
When it comes to accommodation, try not to be too picky, although the sound of a hostel doesn’t really sound appealing, many people find themselves pleasantly surprised, because if you’re lucky enough to get a room in a decent hostel, you may find that it is actually nicer than some hotel rooms. There are even some perks if you choose to stay in a hostel, as accommodation and food can come hand in hand. This is the case for certain parts of Australia, where some of the hostels provide jobs in cleaning and reception work in return for your stay, so you wouldn’t actually be paying anything for your keep.
This is why it is good to go travelling on a budget with an open mind and a willingness to actually do a bit of labour, even if it doesn’t sound appealing to work whilst travelling. Another perk of staying in a hostel is the fact that there are going to be tons of other explorers just like yourself that will be staying there, so you may find that if you have gone alone you may leave wherever you are with a phone book full of new friends or you may even meet people to continue your journey with.
Some hostels also include food by providing a continental breakfast, so that’s one meal out of three that will save you a bit of cash.

There are also many people who provide work for accommodation at their own properties if you decide that a hostel is not for you. If you choose to go down this route, food may also come provided just as they would in some hostels in return for work and you may find that you are provided with more than just one meal unlike a hostel depending on how much work you are willing to do.

So go with an open mind, be prepared to work, and above all, follow these tips and you may find yourself coming home after your travels with a bit of extra money in your pocket.

Why you’ll never be able to relate to a backpacker until you’ve travelled

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Vietnam, Halong Bay                                                                   Photograph by: Mehrnaz Karimi

Ever noticed the understanding that backpackers share and wondered why you can’t relate? Here’s why….

The reason behind why those that have travelled can only relate to one and other is because when a person has been exploring they see and experience some of the amazing and awful sights of the world.

It is through these experiences that they learn and develop in a way that is unrelatable to someone who has not been out there. This isn’t to say that everyone who’s been backpacking can relate to each other on the same level of course (there isn’t a secret club don’t worry) but there certainly is a hidden understanding amongst those that have. It takes certain traits to want to go backpacking in the first place. Traits that not everyone shares in the same respect. You have to either be fearless or have a certain sense of bravery about you to want to go on such a voyage.

It isn’t an easy step to take even for those who’ve longed to go their entire lives, it is a matter of going out into the unknown after all. Travellers learn to be more open minded to all kinds of different things from food to people, the list is endless. They learn things about themselves that they’d have never have discovered if they hadn’t gone. Some will see poverty in unimaginable forms (depending on where they go) and that can be life changing in itself.

This can be for many reasons and some of the time it is because it makes them appreciate their own lives more. So if you know someone who’s been travelling and they’ve gone and come back a completely different person, don’t take it to heart. Another distinct characteristic of the backpacker is once they have been, for some that will be it and they will forever want to be back on the road.

That in itself can only be understood by those who share the same longing. There are of course those that will never want to do it again, and sometimes this is simply because they just haven’t been to the right countries. To those I say, don’t let one adventure stop you from going on another!

Travelling can be one of the most eye opening and life changing experiences that should be tried at least once in a lifetime. The understanding amongst them is one that everyone should get the chance to know.

The beauty of learning another language

Learning another language is a difficult yet enjoyable challenge. It has its many benefits, and from my own experiences I can safely say that it can be very self rewarding.
Here are just some of the beauties of learning another language.

1. You increase your knowledge
They say we learn something new everyday, and although sometimes these lessons are not always intellectually stimulating your still expanding your knowledge because you know something now which you did not know before. Therefor, if you are learning another language then you are expanding your intelligence in that respect.

2. Opportunities to widen your community
If you are learning to converse in another language, you are broadening your chances of mixing in new circles of people. People who you may not have mixed with before due to a language barrier. Therefor you are widening your social circle.

3. For the sake of travel
Most people will learn a foreign language with the intention of one day travelling to a specific country that speaks that language. That’s not to say that you have to learn another language just to travel to a certain place, but knowing how to communicate can definitely come in handy. The natives will view you in a different way, if they see that a foreigner has taken the time to learn to communicate in their mother tongue and you’ll be able to get yourself around with more ease.

4. To boost your CV
Many employers ask for candidates who are multi lingual. Even if they do not ask for this specifically, it never hurts to have something extra on your CV, which may set you aside from other candidates.

5. It can be fun
This can be for many reasons depending on your preferred method of learning. If you are in a classroom environment then you will get to meet new people who have their own reasons for wanting to learn. No matter how you choose to learn however, whether that be in a classroom environment or just one to one with a tutor, learning expressions and phrases of other languages can be both enjoyable and humorous.

Whatever your reason may be for learning another language, delay it no longer, and take the first steps to start reaping the benefits of it today.