Early February, 1998.
Janet Jackson had just hit number one on the Billboard charts, Bill Gates had just received a pie in the face in Brussels and I had just walked through the departure gates at Christchurch Airport. With a deep breath I clutched my passport, said goodbye to my homeland and boarded a plane to the other side of the world.
I figured I’d be in London for a year or so, take a look around Europe, then return to New Zealand and settle down. That’s what everyone else did, after all.
Life, though, had other plans.
Last week I celebrated 15 years of travel. For the last decade and a half I’ve been addicted to life on the road. Dreaming about it, talking about it, saving for it or simply doing it, it has come to define who I am.
Back then, barely in my twenties and armed with a degree and a guidebook, I thought I knew everything. I didn’t. I still don’t have all the answers – indeed, I never will – but I have picked up a few things along the way.
Here, then, are fifteen life lessons from my last fifteen years of travel. I’m hoping for many more.