In celebration of my 100th blog post! Thank you to everyone who follows my blog, whether you've swung by on the odd occasion or you've ploughed through all 100 posts. Big love from Cape Town xx
- You will underestimate the sun's strength (who can blame you!) and end up with sunstroke/sunburn. Who knew there really is such a thing as 'too much sun'?
- You will miss the rain. And the cold. (Honestly.) There's no place like home...
- No matter where you are in the world, you will make a beeline for McDonald's after a long flight/stressful day
- And get yourself a cuppa, pronto - or the closest possible alternative
- You will be forced to have coffee or - god forbid - FLAVOURED herbal teas with breakfast. What is this brave new world?
- You will experience severe 'normal tea' withdrawal symptoms
- But fear not, as you will develop the impressive ability to hunt down English Breakfast Tea in the most unlikely places
- And if things get really desperate, you can always raid that emergency stash of PG Tips #firstthingyoupacked
- You will hang out with people you usually wouldn't think to - and have a blast
- You will open your mind to interests you'd never considered before, and become a meditating, bird-watching, mountain climbing incarnation of your former self - look out world!
- You will make 15 new Facebook friends in one day
- And they'll be from all four corners of the world. Free accommodation, you say?
- You will ask a lot of strangers a lot of questions
- You will be amazed at the lengths people go to help you when you're lost/confused/need a computer to update your blog
- A British accent will get you far, especially in New York
- Although you should make the effort to learn snippets of the local language/dialect
- You will get hopelessly lost in a city you don't know
- Embrace it; getting off the beaten track is what it's all about
- You will indulge in the petty theft of shampoos and soaps from various hostels and hotels
- You will accumulate more shampoo and soap than you could ever hope to use
- You will get wildly excited at the prospect of free hostel towels
- You will worry about how excited you get at the prospect of free hostel towels #aminormal
- Peeing in a bush/at the side of the road/in a pitch black room with a hole in the floor becomes second nature. Needs must
- You will be forced to replace flip flops on a regular basis. Best not get too attached
- Same goes for sunglasses
- You will become an expert wi-fi hot spot detector
- You may have to go without wi-fi for a few days on the trot - but you'll probably enjoy the freedom
- You will become a bag packing, clothes rolling extraordinaire
- You'll develop a love/hate relationship with living out of a backpack
- You will kick yourself for not bringing a bottle opener/underwater camera/emergency teabag stash
- You know roughly how much your pack weighs just by lifting it
- But you still worry all the way to the airport how it will fare on the scales of doom. You live in fear of the 20kg limit
- You will get sick. Inevitably just before a 14 hour overnight bus
- You will feel sad, lonely or homesick at some point during your travels
- But you'll lift yourself out of it as quickly as it set in - and home's just a FaceTime call away
- A bit of distance makes you realise just how shite the Daily Mail is, especially when you log on to catch up with the news. The ACTUAL news, not 'headlines' about Kim Kardashian's daughter liking to comb her own hair. #WTFDM
- You will be swept up in the traveller wristband craze - you can barely see skin on one arm for the amount of bands you've amassed
- You will get a travel-inspired tattoo
- You will become one of those annoying people who always manages to bring the conversation back to their travels: 'I had a similar experience in Bolivia' / 'That reminds me of this one time in Tanzania...'
- You will catch the travel bug. Don't fight it
- It's infectious. You will inspire others to see the world
- You'll soon realise there's no cure. The prospect of going back to a dreary 9-5 existence in drizzly England is seriously unappealing
- Working abroad/finding a job that pays you to travel has crossed your mind more than once
- You will eat weird food. Llama and mash, anyone? Tarantula leg?
- You will read a LOT. Now's the time to get started on War and Peace
- You will depend on your iPod to drown out snoring roommates/avoid conversation with weirdos
- You will perfect the art of ignoring pushy street vendors (Ooo, could I just have a look at that wristband actually?)
- You don't even consider staying at a hostel if it hasn't got a common room, wi-fi, secure lockers and 24/7 reception
- You will conduct the smell test on clothes to check whether you can eke out one more day's use
- You will drink a lot. Go with it.
- You will quickly learn to factor hangover days into your travel itinerary
- You will probably gain a few pounds. Bring on the loose, floaty traveller trousers!
- No matter what lengths you go to, you will always stand out as a tourist
- You will irritate friends and family with insane status updates/epic photos/awesome stories
- You will worry less. Most things that go wrong can be fixed.
- You will appreciate how good you have it back home
- You will do things you never thought you could. You will push yourself out of your comfort zone, experience new things and constantly surprise yourself.
- Your world geography will improve apace. (Oh, the capital of Rwanda? Erm...) Okay, so the GENERAL whereabouts of places in GENERAL.
- You'll promise yourself that you will return to the places you love the most. You don't know when, but you'll make sure it happens
- Things that seemed bizarre at first will soon be considered normal. Zebras grazing by the road? Yeah, and what?
- But there are so many places to visit and so many things to see that the novelty of travelling never wears off
- You will fret over whether you should be back at home finding a job and settling down rather than gallivanting round the globe with no return flight
- But you'll shake it off sharpish - life is for living, and the road is life
- Likewise, you'll be glad you didn't let your dreams remain dreams #noregrets
- You will get so hot that you'd gratefully accept 50 ice bucket challenge nominations
- You'll get so cold that wearing the entire contents of your backpack just isn't enough
- You'll find out who your real friends are by who keeps in touch, and whose absence you feel most acutely
- Tinder is global. Just sayin'.
- You will have lots of time to think and figure things out
- You'll learn to love plane food
- You will become the master of unearthing free activities - anything that keeps you travelling for longer
- You'll struggle to keep your eyes open some days. The explorer by day/party animal by night character is a dude but darn hard to keep up with sometimes
- You will take so many photos that your SD card will be fit to burst. Oh hey Dropbox, nice to meet you
- You'll struggle to decide which is your most valuable possession, your passport or your camera
- It will dawn on you just how big the world is; that it's impossible to go everywhere
- If you weren't already, you'll turn into a yes (wo)man - you never know where an opportunity might lead
- You'll see some truly special places that only a handful of people will see in their lifetime
- You'll find yourself doing things you thought you hated (such as camping) because it's the cheapest/best way to see somewhere - and whaddaya know, turns out it's not SO bad after all
- Your aim will improve dramatically thanks to swarms of biting and stinging foreign insects. Those mozzies don't stand a chance
- Squat toilets also play a part in this. If at first you don't succeed...
- You will scorn your former fear of the harmless money spider after coming face to face with lions, great whites and giant flying bugs
- You will find a squashed, forgotten food item at the bottom of your bag when you decide it's time for a re-pack
- It will probably be mouldy. And damp. And have leaked onto your clean clothes.
- You will strive to put off washing day for as long as humanly possible
- But you'll never appreciate clean clothes more than when you're travelling
- You will meet a lot of Canadians, Australians, Danes, Germans and fellow Brits
- There will ALWAYS be at least one crying/irritating/boisterous kid on your plane/bus/train. It doesn't get any more tolerable over time.
- You will be humbled by the power of nature as you feast your eyes and ears on the sights & sounds of incredible landscapes and exotic wildlife
- You'll pick up new words and phrases from people you meet that rapidly establish themselves as part of your everyday vocab (That's totally rad, hot dayuum, saúde-SaOOji)
- You will watch countless sunrises and sunsets over the ocean, iconic landmarks and natural wonders of the world
- You will share many of your experiences with other people
- But you'll also get the chance to spend lots of quality time with YOU
- You'll be super glad you didn't listen to the people who tried to dissuade you from packing jeans (take them: they are universal, versatile and go with everything)
- You might find yourself getting strangely attached to geeky items, such as your head torch. But seriously, what would you do without it?
- You will accumulate small but meaningful treasures to remember your journey by: a Bolivian bag here, an African necklace there - not to mention postcards and ticket stubs
- Plus heaps of fabulous memories to draw on at your leisure
- You may find you don't like some places as much as you'd hoped
- And you might fall in love with a city you didn't expect to
- Swings and roundabouts eh; it's all an experience. All you really need to know is...
- You'll have an AMAZING time!
If you have any more to add, the comments box is ready and raring!