People are often shocked at the tiny size of my luggage when I travel, but I wasn't always this way.
I used to be the girl who would use the full allowance of 20kg on a 2 week holiday, and come back having only worn half of it, but now years later after having backpacked the world several times over and now constantly transitioning from place to place with this “digital nomad” lifestyle, I have quickly realised the essentials that I need, and what can be left at home.
It was something I’d wanted to do for a long time, volunteering with the HOPE Foundation - the fantastic project that we support through Free Spirit to help children out of poverty in India.
Out of the thousands of amazing charities out there that I could possibly donate something towards.. this is the one that resonated the most with me.. no matter how poor, I believe children should always have access to an education and that’s something I’m extremely passionate about. I’ve always felt a connection with India and despite it being a challenged and challenging place there is something that draws me back time and time again..
I’ve always said that I had a love hate relationship with this wonderland.. because so often one minute I will be in awe of the beauty, the sights, the smells, the spices, the opulence, the warmth.. and the next moment I will be cursing for the exact same reasons...
I'm not really one for making yearly resolutions... I believe any day is a good day to start with good intentions, so long as you believe in it! It's no good saying “I'm going to give up peanut butter” just because it's the 1st January (and besides it's never gonna happen as 1. Why would I deny myself something I love so much? and 2. Ironically I am tucking into a jar right now as I'm typing this – so clearly it is my source of inspiration!)...
Sometimes you meet someone who you instantly connect with.. as if it was written.
My second day in Peru in Huacachina, an oasis in the desert, I walk past a young guy selling his drawings.. he has many Mandalas so I instinctively am drawn to take a closer look. We chat in both Spanish & English and I discover he's 21 years old from Cusco. He has a HUGE passion for travel and left his home town with just 300 Soles (about $100) 2 weeks ago and he's now as far as Huacachina selling his paintings and living a free spirited life. We of course instantly connect. He reminds me of the boy in the Alchemist (even living here in an oasis!) and as I've literally finished reading the book, I give it to him as a gift, although I'm sure he already knows most of the wisdom the book speaks of..