Stories from a backpack with Kerry life and loves…
I’m so happy to share these stories with you this month. Kerry writes a wonderful mix of travel and lifestyle posts, filled with honesty and funny stories, I know everyone loves Kerry’s positive outlook on life and I love her ideas about why travel is the key to growth.
As always, I start with the question no traveller ever wants to answer (because it’s so hard to choose)… Please share with us your favourite/ best/scariest or funniest travel story…
When I was backpacking in Australia, we had no real idea about budgeting etc, so we ran out of money pretty quick. I was travelling with my (now) husband, and three of his friends. In our wisdom, we decided that we would buy an old Ford car off another backpacker, and live in the car for a little while. We were making our way from Perth to Darwin, planning to find casual work once we got to Darwin. Little did we know, that Australians never drive through the outback of a night. NEVER. We used to do all our driving at night, each of us taking turns to drive so that the rest of us could sleep. We would then get to our destinations, (usually after driving for ten hours and not seeing another soul), get on the bonnet and the roof of the car, make sandwiches and eat them where we were. Our car was our sleeping quarters and restaurant! When we used to pull into the very rare and always remote service stations, the locals used to think we were mental for driving of a night. Not only because of all the wildlife and huge road train trucks that we could encounter but because there was also a suspected serial killer in that part of Australia, targeting backpackers! (the film Wolf Creek was loosely based on the murders) Thankfully, all was well with us but it was scary to think about how naive and blasé we were about it all!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever had (travel related or otherwise)?
The best advice I have ever been given is “Hold your Silence”. This is in any situation. It’s about learning to not react to anything in anger, to speak only kindness and to not involve yourself in things that really don’t matter! I use my energy for things positive only!
If you could only go back to one place in the world, where would you go and why?
Ohhh this is a tough one! I think I would have to say Thailand. No New Zealand….No Thailand, Aghhhhh! Ok Thailand. We spent six weeks there and I loved it so much but would love to explore more of it. I loved the people and the islands were just beautiful. I feel I have unfinished business there. We saw a lot of it, but I would love to see more of North Thailand. But I would love to revisit New Zealand too……..
What has travel taught you?
Travel has literally made me the person I am. I was incredibly lucky to start my “real” travel journey at just 17 when I left the UK with my best friends to backpack around Australia. My world travels continued for a few years. I feel that some of the people I met, the cultures I experienced, the kindness shown by people who had so little taught me more about life than any formal education could. It changed and moulded me as a person. I think it makes you much more accepting of all people, it shows you life’s realities, teaches you how to make your way in the world and gave me the biggest respect for our plane and how beautiful it is. I credit travel with making me the total nature nerd that I am today!
What is that one moment from a trip you will never ever forget?
I have so many of those moments. How grateful do I feel that I am able to say that! I think it would have to be seeing Humpback Whales in the ocean in Australia. I have a very strong connection to the sea and had longed to see the beauty of the whales out at sea. We were on a boat, in Coral Bay, going out to learn about the Ningaloo Reef. Suddenly, to the right of us, two huge whales arched up about of the water, the hiss of the air sounding so loud, and gracefully dove back under the surface of the water. They were no more than 25/30 feet from us. For about 10 minutes, we were treated to both an aerial and ocean display by the family of about 12 whales, and I spent the entire time silently crying happy tears. I was so overwhelmed at seeing these beautiful, magnificent mammals.
And finally… What’s your favourite line from the Stories from a Backpack manifesto and why?
I like this the most as that is exactly my manifesto for life! I do not believe we should think ourselves unlucky while chasing what we don’t have. We should always be grateful. I am also an incredibly positive person and choose to feel happy even under stress. Kindness to others, well that needs no explanation. xxx
Thank you so much, Kerry! Laura xx