I’m Ellie, and I could be anywhere right now.
I have an insatiable thirst for travel, for new experiences. I feel fortunate to have grown up as a bit of a nomad, having racked up over 8 homes across 3 countries before the age of 11. I was raised on a cocktail of uncertainty, diversity and new experiences that I still embrace to this day.
But my travels have never been restricted to geography. I’ve been voraciously travelling our amazing planet in my mind for as long as I can remember. A champion of independence, I spent my childhood converting the streets of sleepy English towns and quaint German suburbs into oceans, forests, deserts and mountains. If I went awry for an hour or two, chances are you’d find me, well, anywhere. And I mean anywhere…in a cupboard, in the attic, in a bush, anywhere.
But you’d be wrong to think this was just a fervent dedication to Hide and Seek. It may have looked like I was squeezed into the back of the broom cupboard, but I was actually tunnelling to Australia. Sorry, you think this is the attic? It’s quite clearly a zephyr which is currently drifting over Kashmir. And what to the untrained eye may look like a bush, is in fact the heart of the Norwegian fjords – now shush, I’m trying to catch a moose for dinner.
It’s fair to say I was not a normal child.
But the older I got, the more pressure I felt to put myself into that box marked ‘normal’. I still felt the urge to live a life of adventure, one where my imagination called the shots and I blithely followed the path it took me on, but that just isn’t the done thing for a real grown-up to do apparently. I got myself a proper adult job. I got bored after a year and moved back down South. I got another proper job. I got bored after a year. I started out on a proper career path; I even bought a house and everything. I got bored of the house so we sold it and bought another after a year in it. But then I really, really did try to settle. I got a promotion, I decorated our new home, I made close friends and I ‘nested’, and for a while it worked. House, dogs, job, social life, boyfriend: I was finally planting both feet in the normal box, desperately hoping that roots would grow.
It didn’t last. We’d just passed the one-year anniversary of moving into our new home when my feet started itching again. I needed a change. It took months for the seed of intention to really grow into a fully-fledged, practical idea, but my dissatisfaction with conventional life spawned a plan to bail out of my normal life and try something completely new. I’m going to quit my job and train to be a scuba diving instructor. And then I’m going to travel the world. And I’m going to write about it as I go.
It’s taken me five years worth of desperately trying to conform to realise I might just not be cut out for a 9-to-5 desk job. Not yet anyway. No matter how old I’ve got, I’ve struggled to shake off the desire to go exploring, to be different. I’m starting this blog at a time in my life when I’ve decided to stop struggling. For the first time, I’m embracing the adventure full time. Armed with the power of being an actual adult, I’m dedicating my life to turning the hours of childhood wonderings into real-life world-wide wanderings.
So where will I be in a few years time? Honestly, I could be anywhere. Having made the decision to quit my job, sell my house, and start paying this travelling bug the attention it deserves, my journey into the unknown begins. This is my chance to capture that journey, to tell the story of one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made, and to find the heart in every home I settle in, be it for a day or a year.
Here, there, anywhere – will you follow me?…