I’ve been thinking about travel lately. Let’s be honest, I’m always thinking about travel. Travel is in my blood. I can’t get enough. 

My first taste was when I was 16. Mum and dad took my brother and I to Europe for 6 weeks. It was a ‘check-list’ kind of holiday – Eiffel Tower: tick. Colosseum: tick. Venice: tick. I’m not complaining! These places are on the check list for a reason.

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Europe 2014! Photos: Bronwyn Eley

My first trip sans-parents was in 2011 when I went to New Zealand with my friend Grace. One does not simply walk into Mordor… we flew in big planes, small planes, hot air balloons, rode horses and swam. Take that Frodo. We did NZ in style.

After uni, the real fun began. Six months travelling in Europe isn’t all uncommon these days and I was glad to take part in this time-honoured tradition of running away to Europe. Germany, Italy, Iceland, Ireland, England, France, Spain, Portugal… I wish I could have done more. 

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Making wine (left), conquering NZ (middle, top), learning a new skill (right, top), building a pond (bottom)

About two years later, that pesky creature known as the travel bug started itching again. I had recently read an article about Mongolia and it had long been on my Bucket List (thanks to watching Ewan McGregor in his documentary Long Way Round). A radical journey, to be sure, but I wouldn’t take anything back.

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Mongolia! Photos: Bronwyn Eley

I swam in a lake during a sandstorm, saw a tornado, watched Steven the sheep slaughtered (and then ate him for the following week), drank milk and vodka (something I never do), sung around a campfire, waltzed and danced with strangers in an old Soviet camp, faced my fear of heights atop a snowy mountain at 3700m, hiked through hailstorms and saw, for the first time, free and truly happy animals as they shared the land with us. All within a three week period. Take me back!

Where to next?

(All photos, including header image, property of Bronwyn Eley)

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