Imagine. You wake up refreshed from a deep sleep, uninterrupted by the occasional buzz and vibration of social media notifications on your smartphone through the night. The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning isn’t scrolling through your Instagram feed to check whether you’ve missed anything important during the night, and subsequently getting a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) – before you’ve even got out of bed. Your journey to work isn’t spent frantically attempting to get the very best Boomerang of the scenery on the way to share to your followers. You’re not surrounded by robotic commuters glued to their smartphone screens, aimlessly scrolling their lives away.
Twenty bloody four. Sorry, but how is that even possible? It only feels like yesterday that I was chugging a bottle of Frosty Jack’s on a Grimsby field with Basshunter on repeat.
(This isn’t a recent thing. I was 15 – although I am a bit partial to Basshunter every now and then.)
I actually turned 24 at the end of July, but I’ve been so busy trotting across the globe that it hasn’t really sunk in until now. Being jet-lagged and drinking countless cocktails doesn’t really gel well, which is why I don’t have a very clear memory of this year’s birthday. That probably has something to do with it too.
But the reality would sink in eventually, just like it always does. The reality being that I am approaching my mid-twenties, which is just downright terrifying.
Here’s 24 things you learn by the age of 24.
A mere week after my 3-week-long trip to Bali, I was lucky enough to go on an all expenses paid trip to Prague for the annual 10-day Journalism Bootcamp scholarship. Organised by the Bakala Foundation, the scholarship brings together 20 journalism students from around the world and includes daily workshops and lectures, taught by some of the best professionals in the field.
I knew I would love it, but I didn’t realise just how much. It was actually one of the best experiences of my life. Not only was I lucky enough to be chosen for a prestigious program that has given my future career a huge boost, but I’ve made friends for life.
Outside of the lectures and workshops, I wanted nothing more than to sample the very best of what Prague has to offer, since there’s just so much to see and do in this beautiful city.
It was generically reading Eat, Pray, Love six years ago because everyone else was doing it that made me want to go to Bali in the first place. So, when I finally got around to doing so, and found out that tourists are able to go and see the actual son of the medicine man from the book, I obviously jumped on board.
I did it, guys. I finally went to Bali, after years of pining over it. And, without sounding really corny, the experience has actually changed my life and broadened my mind, re-igniting my love of faraway destinations and long-haul travel. This idyllic Indonesian island is quite simply paradise on Earth, and spending three weeks there was an experience I won’t forget in a hurry. If you read my post on preparing for a South East Asia backpacking trip, you’ll have read that I was planning on heading to Thailand, too.
I loved Bali and the Gili Islands so much that I decided to spend the entire time there, instead.
The smiles of the locals, the stunning natural beauty and the abundance of things to see and do, as well as the laid-back, tropical vibe that’s unlike any other place I’ve been, were just a few reasons why I made the decision to stay on longer.
So, if you’re planning on backpacking around Bali on a budget, or if you’re just after some crucial tips on the island, read on to find out my 9 essential tips.