Name: Amanda Mason
Time on the Road (this trip or general outline): 1 year, currently 3 months into this trip
Funds (saving/working/’freegan’/mixed): Have been saving for a few years
What initially inspired you to travel?
I got the ‘travellers bug’ at 19 years old when I first took off on my own and travelled around the USA! Once you have had the opportunity to see more of the world it becomes almost an obsession to see it all! I’ve since been travelling many times around various countries. Any time I can visit somewhere new I do! After recently being made redundant at work I grabbed the opportunity with both hands to get away again. I had been working very hard over the last few years, sacrificing various travel opportunities and I had very much ‘missed the open road’ as they say!
How have your inspirations to explore the world changed since you began travelling?
At the moment they haven’t really, I still want to see everything! I plan to visit every country possible, and then I really can say I’ve been around the world!
What has been your most memorable experience abroad?
Climbing to base camp of Mount Everest! Reaching 5380M was a shattering, body exhausting experience, but totally worth it. The views you can see as you climb through the Himalayas really are indescribably beautiful! Pictures do not do them justice.
What would you say has been your most difficult or testing experience whilst travelling?
I would also have to say the Everest base camp trek, as I was in the Himalayas during the earthquake. I saw so much destruction and devastation, it really does give you a whole new perspective on your own life and how lucky I really am! I felt and saw some heartbreaking sites. Unfortunately it’s not the sort of experience that I could even begin to put into words.
Where are you right now?
Currently at Don Det – part of the 4000 islands, Laos
Do you have any survival advice for new travellers in this place?
The currency is very hard to convert mentally! Get the free currency converter app on your phone, it really helps and you don’t need wifi to use it.
If you had to recommend one place in the world to visit, where would it be?
India (West Coast – Goa and Kerala)
Let’s talk a bit about travelling solo in India as a female…
I travelled alone mostly in India, and it was amazing. It helps to have some basic self-defence knowledge as I took Krav Maga lessons before heading off on this journey. This gave me a bit more confidence in taking care of myself so I would definitely recommend taking a course if you are planning to travel alone! I found that in India it felt like being a minor celebrity; I got a lots of stares and many people wanted their photo taken with me, but if you can deal with that you’ll be okay!
It really is very beautiful in so many places in India, and it’s great if you are travelling on budget as it’s so cheap for accommodation and food!
Where do you plan to visit next?
Laos, Burma and Thailand will be the next few months of travel.
Thank you very much for your time Amanda and enjoy the rest of your adventures!
The Darby Diaries