My name’s Rhiannon, and it’s good to have you here.
My mission: to show you that you don’t need to be an extraordinary person to live an extraordinary life.
Wales to Wherever is a solo female travel blog aimed at the “inbetweeners” out there – those good eggs who are ready to quit the daily grind but not quite sure about the whole living out of a backpack thing just yet.
But before we go into that, who am I?
I’m a twenty-six year old translator from Wales, currently living semi-nomadically in New Zealand. What do I mean by semi-nomadically? Well, as I said above, I’m an “inbetweener” traveller. Although my profession does give me the flexibility and freedom to live a full digital nomadic lifestyle, that’s not something I want in life. At least not right now. Been there, done that, got the many, many hideously ugly souvenir t-shirts (including a fantastically bright yellow Inca Kola one, of course).
I like to put roots in place, at least for a little while, and right now those roots are firmly planted in the incredibly boring and not at all worth a visit Hamilton, New Zealand. It’s definitely not permanent (I know this, the Kiwi government knows this, everybody knows this!) and I’m not sure where the wind will take me when the clock strikes midnight here, but for now it’s nice enough. The rent is cheap and there are bloody tasty dumplings!
Born and brought up in little old Wales, until I was 17 I thought Africa was only 50 miles away from Cardiff (spoiler: it’s not), so you can imagine my surprise when my first ever solo flight to Peru one year later took more than 14 hours. Since then my understanding of distances has only gotten marginally better, but at the same time I’ve come to realise that the world isn’t so big after all.
Travelling mostly solo since 2011, so far I’ve visited 40 countries across 5 continents (click here for a full list) and lived in 4 of them – the UK (duh), Spain, Italy and now New Zealand. I’ve backpacked through South America, travelled overland from Nepal to India, traversed through Europe by train and visited all of the New7Wonders of the World.
I like to use my time in any new place wisely by hunting down the best ice cream, Indian food and waterfalls. When I’m not being a person on the Internet I quite enjoy reading books about serial killers, occasionally going for a walk, and eating donuts. Not a huge fan of hiking, but will climb anything for a pretty view!
Why do I travel?
This is where the typical “I’ve always known I wanted to travel” line comes in, but honestly, I didn’t. I didn’t not want to travel either, I was just totally indifferent to the whole thing. As a kid my family didn’t really do overseas holidays, and even when my friends and schoolmates were going off on their nice summer holidays to Greece, Spain and Turkey (your bog-standard British summer destinations, ofc), I didn’t bat an eyelid.
It wasn’t until September of 2010, aged 17 and in the midst of my Bob Marley obsession (I was an embarrassment, had dreadlocks, Bob Marley light switch stickers, the lot!) that I decided I was going to go to Jamaica the following summer. Somewhere along the way the plan changed from Jamaica to Peru, and I found myself putting in regular 50-60 hour working weeks in KFC alongside high school to raise money for the £3000 volunteer program I was adamant I was going to take part in.
I somehow managed it and the rest, as they say, is history!
Since then my desire to see the world has only intensified, and the list of places I want to see before I die increases daily! As well as wanting to visit new places, I’m also always keen to revisit old favourites and to date have been to Peru three times and India four. Because I can’t get enough queso helado and paneer masala, though definitely not at the same time.
What’s my travelling style?
So now you’re wondering what’s my deal when I travel, right? Am I a budget backpacker? Flashpacker? Lover of life’s finer luxuries?
Had you asked me a few years ago, I would have held my hands up high to the Gods of all things shoestring and proclaim myself cheapass backpacker with my dying breath.
These days? Honestly, I’m all of the above and more. I travel within my means. If that means spending 3 nights sleeping on the floor of a South American bus terminal (that didn’t happen…yet!) then so be it. Likewise, if I can afford to spend the night in the Marina Bay Sands Singapore then I will race you to the breakfast bar and challenge you to a boiled egg eating competition in the morning. But for real, mostly you’ll find me in a decently-priced guesthouse, aparthotel or occasionally hotel with an ice cold can of coke in one hand (full fat, please) and local guidebook in the other.
One thing I never say no to is adventure.
I prefer overland travel to anything else, and like to travel as the locals do. No luxury tourist buses for this gal. I find border crossings more exciting than the season finale of Game of Thrones and dream of one day being allowed to stamp my own passport. From skydiving in Brazil to bungee-jumping in Nepal, swimming with nurse sharks in Belize to sandboarding in Peru, I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie with a bad habit of never saying no to fun. I also never say no to donuts, chocolate or cries of “just one more episode!” but that’s by-the-by. I mean, who does say no to donuts?!
What is Wales to Wherever?
My mission is to show you that you don’t have to be an extraordinary person to live an extraordinary life.
You don’t need to be a billionaire to see the world, you don’t need to venture far from your own home to have an adventure, and you don’t even need to like Indian food to go to India (because their McDonald’s menu is amAZing). The world is out there, and it is waiting for you.
I’m an average joe. I didn’t used to be (I was a child mathematical genius, don’tcha know) but these days I am. I work an average job with an average salary, come from a normal-ish home in the UK, yet I’m able to live this incredible life that sees me cross off bucket list item after bucket list item. I didn’t quit my job to travel, I don’t come from some sort of aristocratic background with a basement full of gold chalices, and I don’t have a sugar daddy (yet – please send all written applications to…LOL, jk), yet hear I am living all the way across the world in one of the most beautiful countries where every day is an adventure.
With all that being said, one thing Wales to Wherever is not about is making people think that travel is some sort of measurement of self-worth. Because it is absolutely not. I travel because I want to, no other reason than that.
If you want to travel too, that’s great, welcome aboard! But if you don’t, that’s also great. There’s too much toxic “If I can travel, so can you what’s stopping you?” energy winging its way around the internet right now, and I don’t want to contribute to that. If you want to follow along with my adventures but know for a fact that travelling is not for you, you are more than welcome. I promise, I won’t ever make you feel less than that.
The end goal is for the site to be an all-encompassing go-to resource for all things travel, but we’ll take it one day (and country) at a time for now!
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The “Inbetweener” traveller
So you’re absolutely certain you don’t want to work 9-5 every day for the rest of your life, but you’re not quite ready to pack your life into a backpack and wave goodbye to daily showers?
Me too. Well, I could probably live without daily showers but whatever, my point is I’m an inbetweener traveller and so are you.
I tried the long-term backpacking life, and it wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the places I saw and the experiences along the way, and it was fantastic. But I’ve realised that I much prefer slow travelling, spending a considerable amount of time in one place and really getting to grips to it before moving onto the next. I tend to spend a few months at home in Wales, earning some $$$ before flying off on some mid to long-term adventure. Sound good? Then stick around, because I think we’d make good pals!