Sister Story - Ellie

Name: Ellie

Age: 18

About: Just finished my A Levels at sixth form and I'm going to Exeter university in September.

Why did you decide to travel? I finished sixth form and I wasn’t quite ready for University and I wanted to see the world and experience things before I had to settle down for 3 more years of education. Going travelling allowed me to take a break and do something that I've always wanted to do.

Where do you come from? Hertfordshire, UK

Where do you want to go next? This year I'm going to Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, Loas, India, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Next I want to travel central America. 

What is your number one tip for travelling? Pack clothes that you don't mind leaving behind. I got three days into living out of a backpack before I gave away a few of my clothes. It becomes a hassle having to unpack and repack everything everyday and your bag feels 10x heavier in the heat with sunburnt shoulders.

What has been your biggest challenge to overcome? I haven’t experienced any big challenges along my trip yet, but I think the main thing for me was leaving home for an extended period of time, for the first time. Im spending six months away and the longest I had been away for before this was a week, so it was a big leap for me.

What do you miss about home? Roast Dinners, tea and my dog. 

What have you learned about yourself? I am stronger than i think - Im doing things that a few years ago I would have never done because I didn't think I would be able to do them. 

Favourite Quote? Live the adventure

Favourite new thing? (i.e. food you have tried, skill, tradition, place) Cava in Fiji. Its a root that the elders drink after they have retired to chill out all day. It makes your face and mouth go numb, its not like alcohol though its completely natural. It tastes like dirt though and you have to drink it from half a coconut and drink it down in one.

What advise would you give to other girls wanting to travel? Just do it, be prepared to throw yourself in at the deep end, you become a different person when you’re travelling you become a more confident and outgoing person.

Also not to count the first 10 days of your trip, they’re the most emotional (especially when your younger and haven't been away from home). I spent the plane journey alternating between tears because I thought i was doing the wrong thing and wanting to go home to feeling pumped up and inspired that I was travelling all by myself. You just need to settle in and get into the swing of things, the first 10 days are like a culture shock as you’re trying to work out this whole backpacker thing.