It’s crazy to think that 3 summers ago I began travelling solo, choosing Ghana to be the first place to start. Excited, clueless and and as young as I legally could be to travel alone. However, when I returned to rainy England I realised I’d caught the bug. No, not malaria, however I had been bitten hundreds of time, but the bug for travel. Wanderlust.
Before I’d even left to come home, I had already decided I was going back. I’d spent three weeks living with a host mum in Ghana, to whom I still call ‘Mama Molly’. I made more friends than there are American states and can now travel to more countries with place to stay and people to visit.
However, the hardest people to leave were the 30 children I had worked with in the local orphanage. Funnily enough, some of them were the same age, or older than me and we became more like brothers and sisters every day. They were the main reason I so badly wanted to return. I gave compassion and love, but in return I got so much more. They taught me to make bracelets with string , to dance to drums and to always have faith. This is why whenever I travel, I love to connect with the local community and its children, its the best way to learn about a country. If the children are happy, chances are the country is too.
Realistically, I could never have gone to Ghana at the aged of 16 without an organisation, and it was because of this trip that has led me to be where I am now. For the best people to work with, check out my post on organisations, (https://18inantarctica.blog/2017/11/23/recommended-travel-organisations/) but if you have friends or family in another country, start by travelling there. I have no regrets using a travel organisation, as we all need a platform to start, but my future travels and expeditions are either independently prepared or being sponsored by organisations.