My passion for travel began when I started working as Cabin Crew for Virgin Atlantic at the age of 18. I didn’t have a plan when I left school (I didn’t really excel at anything…..probably because I hardly ever showed up) and the thought of university TERRIFIED me. So, going against the grain of everyone else that was submitting their university applications, instead I decided to embrace the shiny red shoes, the red lipstick and go see the world.
I was lucky enough to visit so many places that I could never have even dreamed of visiting if it wasn’t for working in the airline industry. Although some of the trips were short in duration, the frequency in which I travelled to certain destinations soon meant that placed like Dubai and New York became second homes to me. In fact, I could navigate my way round these cities better than London, which I’ve only visited a handful of times (shame on me I know 🙈).
Whilst working for Virgin Atlantic, the many places I visited, the people I met along the way, the chance encounters, the crazy lifestyle, all made me in to the person I am today. It built my confidence and gave me an independence that I didn’t know I had.
But as they say, all good things come to an end and after eight years of flying around the world I felt like I had outgrown the job and decided to give up my wings to do what my family would refer to as ‘getting a real job!’
In 2011, it was finally my turn to apply to UCAS and I successfully got my place at Bournemouth University to study Paramedic Science. This was not a decision I made lightly and I spent of lot of time researching the job as well as speaking to people who worked for the ambulance service. After two (what felt like VERY long) years of academia I finally became a fully qualified Paramedic and have been doing this ever since.
Being a Paramedic certainly has it’s ups and down. I have witnessed new lives entering the world, I have witnessed death and I have witnessed just about everything else in between, often being there for people when they are at their most vulnerable.
During my time working for the ambulance service I have made some of the very best friends, who are almost like family, and I know I can count on these people should I need to. It takes a special kind of person to do this job and I feel privileged to call so many of these amazing people my friends.
Although I love my job and I wouldn’t change it for anything, my passion for travel never left me. Working for the NHS is no easy feat, it’s long hours, it can be tedious and the politics of it suck but I am lucky enough to get plenty of time off and the money isn’t too bad either. I don’t want to totally give up the career I have worked so hard to succeed at because I love being in a position to help people and that feeling of satisfaction you get from doing a good job is totally addictive. But working as a Paramedic can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming, not to mention tiring and I think it is important to realise that and take a break when needed in order to focus more on what makes you happy. And for me that is travelling, seeing the world, creating memories and seeking out new adventures and experiences.
I initially set up this blog as a coping mechanism to help deal with a tough time that I was going through a couple of years ago. For me, travelling is a great way to help deal with any mental health issues I may be experiencing, whether that be from work or in my personal life and I have written extensively about this in other posts. It was also at this time that I took the brave step to do my first solo trip to Istanbul and ‘The Nomadic Medic’ was born!
Admittedly, until now, ‘The Nomadic Medic’ has been a bit of a hobby which has fitted in around my full time job in the NHS. But due to a recent sad turn of events I feel that it is time for this to change…..
A few weeks back I returned from a 4 week trip to Sri Lanka to discover some horrific news about someone that meant the world to me and that I loved very much. We had been arguing the day before it happened and because of my stubbornness I didn’t respond to the last message I received, something I think I will regret forever. It is so hard to comprehend that I won’t ever talk to this person again and that I never got the chance to say all the things I wanted to say. This is definitely not how our story was supposed to end and this tragedy has really hit me hard. It has forced me to look at my own life and re-evaluate what is important to me and who I am as a person. I deal with tragedy everyday at work and can easily detach myself from it but this has shown me that life is cruel and you never know what is around the corner. I initially had a lot of guilt over what happened and have spent a lot of time blaming myself, thinking that I could have somehow prevented it from happening if only I had messaged back. I don’t know how I am going to find peace with this situation, I’m not sure I ever will, but I want to try and turn this in to a positive.
I have realised that life is too short to not do the things that make you 100% happy……and so moving forward I am going to focus on myself and my own self care before anything else. I am going to put more time and effort in to making my Blog a success as this is where my passion lies and remove myself from things that aren’t going to motivate or enrich me.
It is important to remember that life is short and the world is wide. Everybody dies but not everybody lives. I don’t want to reach old age feeling like I’ve just been existing instead of REALLY living my best life. Sometimes the stress and monotony of life needs to be broken up in order to re-motivate, re-energise and re-focus yourself and I urge everyone to use travel as a great way of doing this.
I have just returned from a few days away in Krakow , which I booked as a last minute decision to take my mind off things after the funeral. This trip really has helped and has served as a great distraction but I still find my mind wandering at every occasion I let it to the ‘what if’ and ‘why’ questions that I have seem to have continually swirling in my head.
Looking into the future, I also have trips to Israel and Bali already in the pipeline for later in the year and I am seriously looking in to undertaking a voluntary Medical placement somewhere like India or Sri Lanka.
I will also be making sure that I don’t do anything that makes me unhappy, am not around people that don’t lift me up or dwell on things that I have no control over (I have spent too much time doing that recently)!
And if you can take anything from this then please also make sure you tell the important people in your life just how important they are as you never know when will be the last chance you get. In a world where you can be anything, it is also important to remember to be kind always and o want my family friends to know just how I grateful I am for them, especially over the last few weeks.
SO…..here I am! A 34 year old female solo traveller, funding my travel habits by driving ambulances and saving lives, currently working my way through my Bucketlist of dream destinations while trying to negotiate the stresses of everyday life and working full time for the NHS.
Please come along for the ride and join me on my journey and let me share my travel stories and experiences with you all…..