Destination Addict – Our Full Story

The travelling addiction all started with me, Kelly, here’s my story from the very beginning along with how Adam & I met & now travel the world together…..

Wanderlust From An Early Age

Ever since I can remember I have always wanted to travel. As a child I would ask my Mum & Dad questions about far away places & study the Atlas that my Dad kept, pointing out places that I wanted to visit when I grew up! My Mum told me a few years ago that when I was about 8 I declared one day, on a walk to our local shop that I wanted to visit Australia! We went on a lot of holidays as a family but they were always to locations in the UK, until I was 14 that was, when we went on our first family holiday abroad, to Majorca. I loved it, it was hot & sunny, we visited the local markets, hired a car & toured around the island, we went horse riding, tried lots of new food & swam in the sea every day! I was hooked, the start of my travel addiction had begun…….

Living The Dream

At the age of 21 life had kicked in, I was settled in a full-time job & renting my own apartment in Bristol when I woke up one day & thought “wait, this is not what I want to be doing!” So my first big decision was made, I quit my job, secured a seasonal job in France, packed up my belongings & I was off!

I then spent the years that followed working the summer in France & afterwards Italy & the winter travelling the world! I became a travel junkie, the more I travelled the more I wanted to carry on doing so, I loved it! I saw so many amazing places, met countless awesome people & made endless memories – Yet at the back of my mind there was still that strange calling of needing to settle down eventually.

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Enjoying a day off exploring Venice whilst working on the Adriatic Coast, Italy

Back To Reality

I started working in Italy for the summer, with my then long-term boyfriend when suddenly we decided that we would do what we had been talking about for a while, go back to the UK to settle. We packed up the car & drove home through Italy, Switzerland & France to start a new life. We both found jobs, a house to rent & settled rather quickly, then life kicked in, it became apparent that something wasn’t quite right. I re-called something a friend had said to me in Italy about myself & my boyfriend, you see we had met in Italy, working summer seasons where it was a completely different world to the one we were now in. My friend had said to me that I needed to think what we would be like as a couple in the real world before committing myself fully, I had laughed the comment off & told him it would be fine but living back in reality I was starting to think differently.

My Cuba Challenge

In October 2014, when I was settled into a job that I loved, I was offered through business contacts, the opportunity to go to Cuba as part of a charity group. I was to raise £3,200 for North West charity CHILDREN TODAY by going on their Cuba challenge with them. The challenge took place in June 2015 & needless to say raising that amount of money in 9 months wasn’t going to be easy, but I was up for it! I spent those months running charity evenings, organising raffles, collecting in my local supermarket & pubs & emailing just about everyone I knew to get the money together to hit my target. It was really hard work but I did it & I was off to Cuba for the challenge! The trip lasted 8 days & consisted of cycling, trekking, zip wiring, salsa dancing & some of the most inspiring people I have ever met! Everyone that took part in the challenge had the same “can-do” attitude, they were up for anything & with a lot of them being older than me had a lot of stories to tell about the extraordinary things they had achieved in their lives. I came home feeling energized & full of confidence, something had changed in me, I realised I wanted more from life & along with this realised something else that needed to change, it wasn’t easy but it had to be done, my relationship with my long-term boyfriend had to end.

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With my “Cuba Challenge 2015” Team in Havana

Discovering Myself

I loved single life, I spent heaps of time with my friends & family, I had so much fun! I went to lots of festivals & really enjoyed doing what I wanted when I wanted, the sense of freedom was immense! It was only when I became single that I truly realised how unhappy I was before, I needed time to repair. I started going to yoga more & more & really started to feel the benefits of it, not just physically but mentally too, my life was really starting to change, I was becoming more self-aware & my spiritual journey  had begun. I started to think about travelling again, I had 4 weeks booked off work over the Christmas period & really wanted to do something with the time, I thought about going back to Asia but I had been there done that, I wanted something that was completely new & exciting! I thought about South America as I had been to Peru & Bolivia before, I loved that part of the world, it seemed like a good idea so I started to research. Then the decision came, less travelled than other South American countries, somewhere all the travel guides were saying to go to whilst it was still untouched yet somewhere I could still get to easily & see a fair bit of in a month, that was it, that was where I was going – Colombia!

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Blissfields Festival (UK) with 2 of my closest friends

The Run UP To The Big Trip

My friends & family, especially my Mum were horrified at the thought of me going to Colombia – ALONE! They had been so supportive around the months of my break up, always there making sure I was ok & now there I was declaring that I was off to do something where they quite clearly thought I would be in danger!

Then the questions came “Is there not anyone else who wants to go with you?” “Can’t you wait until you meet someone else?” “Will it be really dangerous?” “Are there loads of drugs?” “Are you mad?” and just plain old “Why Colombia?” but I was determined to go, no matter what, it was just something that I needed to do!

So after a while a guy came along…… We met in the summer & he was working at one of the festivals I went to, we liked each other but with his busy festival lifestyle & my newly found single life the timing, well, just wasn’t quite right!

When festival season died down & winter started to kick in we decided to meet up for a drink, we hit it off immediately! I told him that I was going to Colombia for a month on my own to travel, I wasn’t sure what he’d make of it but he seemed to think it was pretty cool, a relief I thought! He also had some travelling planned, he had a 2 year visa to work in Canada & was off to Whistler to do a ski season the very next month – it seemed timing again just wasn’t quite right!

Travelling Solo

Arriving at Bogota airport at 3am, alone, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I was crazy! But I was there & I was doing it & there was no-one else to rely on but me! I went to the taxi rank & chose the driver with the most trusting looking face (a trick that I had used in my previous travels & one that had never let me down!), the taxi journey seemed to take forever, I suppose that fact that it was dark didn’t help & needless to say I was relieved to make it to my hostel in one piece! I got a good nights sleep & the next morning sat & had breakfast, I had never TRAVELLED SOLO before so I was a little nervous but those nerves soon passed, I got speaking with some other travellers at breakfast & spent the next few days with them & over the next few weeks spent my time meeting so many incredible people & discovering Colombia. It literally blew my mind & travelling solo was the most wonderful feeling ever, it brought with it such a profound feeling of freedom, it was really quite overwhelming. It changed me & taught me more than I could have ever imagined & was totally worth fighting all of the doubt & fear I had encountered beforehand.

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Making lifelong friends whilst travelling Colombia

Keeping in Touch

So with the new guy, Adam in Whistler, Canada & me at home in the UK on an 8 hour time difference it was not really the easiest task to stay in touch, but we liked each other & wanted to make it work so made the effort to catch up, having FaceTime chats at all hours, which was sometimes totally exhausting but definitely worth it!

When I was travelling Colombia it got easier, the time difference was only 4 hours & with my big adventure going on I had loads more to tell him about than my normal 9 til 5 schedule. We spoke about the possibility of meeting up before May, which was the month he had decided to come home from Whistler & back to the UK. We were throwing around ideas of when I could visit him, I was sat on my bunk in a hostel in Santa Marta on Colombia’s sweltering Caribbean coast when I just blurted out “we should meet up in New York” which, much to my surprise he replied “yeah, that would be amazing!” and that was that, on my return back home I booked my flight to NYC along with 4 days off work to go on, as my sister put it, a long way for a date!

Falling In Love

The trip to NEW YORK happened, it was epic! We were officially in a relationship & had 3 months until we were to be reunited again, some days it was ok, some days it was really hard! There was FaceTime with laughter & FaceTime with tears but I knew that I wanted this no matter what, I had completely & utterly fallen for Adam, we were as one of my close friends had put it (who also happened to know him) cut from the same block! All the waiting was worth it & Adam came home in April, a couple of weeks earlier than planned & it was incredible! We had an amazing summer, meeting each other’s families & friends & doing lots of cool stuff together, we were finally able to be a proper couple & were loving it!

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Sightseeing in NYC

The Next Step

After a while we started to talk about the future together, I talked about wanting to travel again & was still buzzing from my trip to Colombia, Adam had never visited that part of the world before but really wanted to, so that was it, we were going to save up & travel through Central America & down to Colombia.

We spoke about how & where we would start & the conversation kept drifting onto Cuba, I told Adam about the dream I had of travelling around Cuba by bicycle & he was well up for it, cut from the same block after all!

So we started to save, make plans & booked our flight to Havana.

Now

We travelled to Havana via Toronto where we spent a few days with our (same block) friend & purchased 2 bikes!

We then spent 3 intensive weeks at Spanish school & afterwards fulfilled my dream by cycling, almost 400km all the way from Havana down to Trinidad, Cuba!

Destination Addict - Pushing through the cycling pain together on the road from El Fraile to Mantanzas, Cuba - Day 2 of our solo cycle tour!
Pushing through the cycling pain together on the road from El Fraile to Mantanzas, Cuba – Day 2 of our solo cycle tour!

Afterwards we flew to Mexico where we enjoyed some pretty epic times & then looped through Guatemala for weeks of stunning scenery before flying out of Mexico to Vancouver, BC, Canada.

We are currently in Whistler, BC loving all of the mountain adventures & after this head down to Colombia for more adventures!

Destination Addict - Enjoying rainy forest walks, Tofino, British Columbia
Enjoying rainy forest walks, Tofino, British Columbia

We hope you enjoy following along and our stories inspire you to get out there & explore too! If you have any questions or would like to know more, we would love for you to get in touch using the form on our CONTACT US PAGE 

 

Published by Kelly
One half of adventure travel couple Destination Addict. I was born & grew up in Bristol, UK & started travelling in my early twenties. I have travelled to over 30 countries & have a real passion for exploring. For me travel is about learning about new places & cultures, meeting new people & really immersing yourself in a place. I prefer to travel slowly as I feel this is the best way to really take everything in. I just love an adventure, my main activities being hiking & cycling with diving & kayaking also a favourite. My other passions in life include my amazing fiancée, my beautiful family & friends, photography, reading, yoga, music & good food. I am a sucker for a sunset & for epic views, The reason I started travel writing is that I want to show others that they can get out there & explore too. I want no more than to pass on some exploration inspiration to our readers & really hope you enjoy following our journey.

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