The London 2012 Olympics may have finish but the Olympic spirit still lives on. I am proud to announce that I have been given the privilege and honour to serve as a member of the mighty Team Purple in Low Cost Holiday’s Travel Blogger Relay. Much like the Olympic Baton Relay, our travel blogger relay will see teams of (un)athletic writers pit against each other and share their own special top three travel memories before passing on the Travel Baton onto another fellow team mate blogger. The team with the longest chain wins the Blogger Relay! Beginning with the captain of Team Purple, Neil Barnes of Backpacks and Bunkbeds fame, we have heard inspiring travel stories from Team Purple involving noble volunteer work, romance and love, family bonding, exotic locations, grand adventures and inner transformations. Unfortunately, my contributions to Team Purple are comparably dull and to be honest, less noble. How can I compare myself with such great admirable team-mates!?
So, with this Travel Blogger Baton that has been bestowed upon me by Ed Rex of Rexy Adventures, I will now attempt to do Team Purple proud and triumph for glory.
Bronze Medal: Drinking Tea
Tea wasn’t something I truly appreciated until I visited a traditional teahouse in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Inspired by a lesson in our Chinese textbooks, my classmates and I went together to a traditional teahouse where we were served by a graceful tea consiouer. Oblivious to the world of tea, the kind hostess performed the tea preparation with grace and beauty, each action she performed had purpose. It was poetry and art all together in the form of tea. We often assume that travel needs to be about grand locations or epic adventures; well that simply is not the case. The aim of travel is to evoke a change in your view of the world. In my case, this simple visit to the teahouse opened an entire new realm of the food world, effectively establishing my path to become a self-proclaimed gourmand. No longer is tea just a simply hot beverage, it’s an insight into an entire nation, its people, its identity and its culture.
Silver Medal: The Streets of Montmarte
Paris will always hold a special place in my heart. Although I instantly fell in love with the city when I first arrived, I held a sneak suspicion that it was only the honeymoon goggles working their magic. Paris can be a fascinatingly chameleon-like creature of a city. One day she can shine radiantly and flow with her chic beauty, another day she can be a cruel mistress ignoring your passion and love. Montmartre was the one place that solidified my love for the French capital. It is the place that perfectly demonstrates the magic of Paris. Montmartre is a relatively young district, only truly springing into life by the end of the 1800’s, but she has quickly grown to become quintessential to the Parisian experience. The cobbled roads, the smell of rotisserie chicken along Rue Lepic, the stunning view of Paris in front of Sacre Coeur, the painters amongst the hustle and bustle of Place du Tertre, the turbulent history and the creative-flowing ambience; I love it all!
Gold Medal: Taiwanese Scooter Adventure…
On a mildly sunny day in November 2009, I embarked on a massively epic journey around the southern half of Taiwan on my leaky old SYM 125cc scooter that I had dubbed ‘The Green Hornet’. The journey saw me ride approximately 850km in just under 5 days, carrying only a bag filled with toiletries and clean underwear, an overused lonely planet guidebook and just a few layers of clothing on my body. Refusing to use a proper map, I navigated my way around the island using only the sun as my compass. This adventure acted as a test on how would I fare myself against a different environment. I wanted to know where my limitations lied, whether I can push myself and continue on with my journey of self-discovery. It was just me, the scooter and the open road. This was like the classic adventure stories you always hear so much about; and it was me who was achieved this adventure! On this scooter journey, I experienced the picturesque beauty of the Taiwanese countryside; lush valleys, stunning gorges, serene lakes, traditional folk villages and kind locals. With any adventure, there were some tough moments – mainly involving me unknowingly climbing Taiwan’s second highest mountain while freezing myself silly because I didn’t prepare enough clothes! This scooter adventure was the moment that my personal limitations were broken down, I came to understand that epic adventures can be done by anyone.
With my section of this travel marathon over, I now pass the Travel Baton onto my good friend, Jerrick from 25 Travels. Would like to shout a HUGE thanks to Neil and my fellow team-mates; hopefully we win this race by a mile and get our prizes…although I will have that Ipad thank you very much! Now off you go Jerrick, do Team Purple proud!
If you’d like to join Team Purple and share your travel experience, send an email to neil@backpacksandbunkbeds(dot)co.uk. Or alternatively, You can follow the action on twitter under the hashtag #TeamPurple, the lowcostholidays twitter feed or via the hashtag #BloggerRelay.