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Why I’m Staying ON The Beaten Track

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I think there’s a lot of travel snobbery, with more experienced or ‘better’ travellers believing their apparently more authentic, ‘off the beaten track’ travels being worth more than enjoying the tourist trail. To them I say ‘everybody calm down’ – one type of travel is not more valid than the other – these are the reasons why I’m proud to be following the masses, experiencing the world’s biggest tourist attractions and (mostly) staying well and truly ON the beaten track.

All those people can’t be wrong

Places are popular for a reason, the world is getting smaller and smaller and we humans have pretty much figured out where the best sights are by now. Conversely, some places aren’t that popular because they’re a bit sh*t, hard to get to, or just plain dangerous. I would never want to miss out on seeing the Taj Mahal just because it’s a traveller cliché. I don’t care – I want to see it, and I’ll deal with the crowds and queues to do so.

I’m already taking a massive step

By jacking in my secure job and leaving my home to fly thousands of miles around the world by myself, as a woman, I think I’m a pretty kick-ass explorer as it is. I don’t need to prove that I’m the ultimate explorer by risking life and limb to find Thailand’s most secluded beach – flying solo as a girl is hard and dangerous enough, I don’t want to make it any harder by trying to prove something.

There aren’t really any ‘undiscovered’ places anymore

Sorry to break it to you, but that really cool ‘off the map’ little fishing village you found in Cambodia IS on the map, you’re not the first person to find it, and you won’t be the last. Making those assumptions makes you sound like a bit of a twat. I wouldn’t want to be caught out as you inevitably are when trying to act cool. Like the time I lied and said I’d heard of this guy’s favourite band and he’d made up the name – oh the shame, the shame.

Tips for backpacking

I want to meet as many people as possible

By hitting up the world’s most popular backpacker destinations I hope to meet lots of other people, I’m a sociable creature and although I’m travelling the world all on my lonesome (and for a reason, I like being alone) I’d still like to make some new friends as I go.

People will try and suck the achievement out of anything

You can go travelling around the globe, have met amazing people, seen beautiful places, wonders of the world, watched the sunrise on a mountain top and there’s always one smart-ass who says ‘oh X place is so commercial now, when I went travelling I went totally off the beaten track’. Well firstly, f*ck you, and secondly , when your entire life used to consist of flitting between Shoreditch and North London, I think going anywhere in Asia/South America/Australasia, no matter how popular it may be, is going out of your comfort zone.

Travel is a beautiful thing so don’t let anyone lessen or devalue your personal experience. Just be proud you’re doing it , because a lot of people talk the talk, they do not walk the walk… with that in mind, I’d like to say I wrote this whole thing as insurance for myself.

This is because I really want to go to a Full Moon party when I’m in Thailand… #soznotsoz #dontjudgeme

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