Meet Melanie, a woman on her way to a PhD and a full passport! Our latest woman of the week has a passion for people as well as seeing the globe, which was likely instilled in her from birth. Melanie tells about her travel-filled upbringing, and how she sees the world while working a full time job. She’s been to some places I can’t wait to visit, and I know you’ll love the photos from her adventures! Happy travels, and happy reading.
Connect with Melanie: INSTAGRAM
Tell us about yourself.
I am 29 and am lucky enough to live on the seafront in the city of Portsmouth on the South Coast of England. I was actually born in Australia and lived there from 8 – 16 years old as my parents have lived there three times and keep going backwards and forwards. My family are from Portsmouth three generations back so I feel strong ties to the city and, wherever I travel, know that I will keep coming back here where it really feels like home. I was a special needs teacher of children with severe autism but am about to start a PhD researching a specific area of autism education. My 26 year old brother has autism and is the most important person in my world, so working with children with autism is one of my main passions – along with travelling of course!
Why do you travel?
How do you balance work and travel?
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from your travels?
That the little things are the big things. The details that stick with you when travelling are often things you haven’t paid for and haven’t planned; wandering along an empty beach with a magical sunset, being helped by the genuine kindness of a local, being mesmerised by a night sky, snapping that perfect picture, being caught in monsoon rain. We spent three hours while waiting for a bus on in a thunderstorm in the middle of nowhere in the Philippines playing with a little girl who must have been about four. We couldn’t understand her nor her us but we had so much fun teaching her to flip coins and playing in the rain. We decided to call her Ling since we tried and failed to learn her name and that experience is one of the things we still talk about when we remember our trip to the Philippines. I’ve certainly learned to take every opportunity to find the things I didn’t know I was looking for.
Never one to follow the rules, I have far too many to decide on just one. They include hitchhiking from England to Morocco for charity (we made it in twelve lifts without stepping foot on public transport apart from the ferries either end), spending the night in a hilltop Buddhist monastery in Myanmar, delivering HIV prevention sessions for children in Lesotho, watching sunrise from a leaky rowing boat on the Ganges in India, seeing wild manatees while snorkelling in Belize, sleeping in an igloo in Romania, volcano boarding in Nicaragua and flying past Mount Everest in Nepal. I’m so so lucky to have made memories that will truly last a lifetime and hopefully with many more to come.
Thanks for reading! Want more travel tips from Melanie and women like her?
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