It seems we’ve all come down with a case of the Wanderlusts of late.
For a lot of us masochistic types, there’s nothing we like to do more than scroll through sumptuous pictures of beautiful people travelling to far-flung destinations while we intermittently gaze out of our windows at the dreary, grey scenes of British mid-Winter.
Enter 25-year-old Brooke Saward, who founded the hugely successful travel blog, World of Wanderlust.
Brooke has travelled the world, collecting stories, memories and beautiful photographs to document her journey.
But the pictures, which Brooke posts on her highly curated Instagram feed don’t tell the whole story, the blogger has now revealed.
Brooke told Daily Mail Australia:
I started travelling by myself at age 20 and there have been many challenges I’ve faced along the way.
The biggest thing I took away from the whole experience was learning how to control my emotions.
Brooke has visited over 50 countries, often travelling alone and although the 25-year old’s Instagram looks pristine on the surface, it hasn’t always been plain sailing.
You have to be careful when you’re travelling by yourself as a young girl – I’d never go out alone late at night, for instance. The most vulnerable I’ve ever felt travelling was when I was in La Paz and I had an attempted mugging. I’d been warned not to get my bag or my camera out, but still someone tried to take my handbag from me.
At this point, then 20-year-old Brooke has been travelling alone for seven months and ‘felt invincible’.
She claims the incident bought her back down to earth.
On her travels, Brooke has faced many obstacles.
In South Africa, the 25-year-old fell ill with what she believed to be Ebola.
I hadn’t taken my malaria tablets and totally convinced myself I had malaria or Ebola.
I literally stayed in my hotel room for seven days ordering room service. Eventually, I got on my flight to Arizona and landed drenched in sweat. By the time I got to the hospital, and racked up a $10,000 hospital bill (luckily, I had travel insurance!), I found out it was just a kidney infection. That was a lucky escape.
Despite attempted muggings and Ebola scares, Brooke still counts herself very lucky to have the opportunity to see the world; a pastime which no doubt racks up great expense.
Before I went travelling, I was a bit of a princess, and I freaked out when things didn’t go to plan.
But you have to learn to deal with things.
She recounts a story – that, honestly, sounds a bit of a breeze – when she ran into accommodation troubles in Bolivia.
One time I was thrown out of my accommodation in Bolivia as they’d overbooked for a big group, and there was hardly anywhere left to stay in the town.
I ended up staying somewhere pretty dirty, where the sheets hadn’t been washed and things like that.
According to Brooke, the experience taught her to be grateful for the roof over her head.
She elaborated, ‘Before I went travelling, I wouldn’t have done it, but going travelling teaches you to be grateful for having a roof over your head.’
Brooke’s best advice to travellers is to get travel insurance – which seems like a pretty obvious first move when you’re planning a trip.
She also said:
Over budget and plan as much as possible. I’m going to New Zealand next July with my boyfriend, and we’re already planning and budgeting so we have an idea of what we’re going to spend. Also, embrace Skype, which has been life-changing for staying in touch with my family and loved ones. I love researching my destinations and acquainting myself with local maps – it helps to have orientation as soon as you arrive.
Brooke’s wanderlaust has taken her all over the world, from Peru to Paris and Italy to the Amazon rainforest.
Her blog documents every tiny detail of her trips, from what she eats to what she wears while eating it.
Brooke spends her time exploring new places and sampling the delights on offer, from cultural pusuits to outdoor activities.
As much as her advice isn’t anything you can’t read on Lonely Planet, Brooke certainly has a beautiful brand on which to base her career.
She’s savouring her experiences in every country and paying the wonderful diversity of our world due dilligence, as she still wants to be travelling and seeing new places when she’s eighty.
While things are not always as they seem online, I think I’d still like to walk a few miles around the world in Brooke’s shoes.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.