Not so long ago I used lie awake in the darkness of the night and the silence of my room and imagine what life was like in countries far away. I tried to picture bustling streets, colourful markets and ancient buildings. In my mind I tasted exotic foods and listened to incomprehensible languages. The wonders of the world would spread out before me. I went here there and everywhere, but only in my mind.
Until then I’d had the usual package holidays in cheap sun drenched resorts a couple of hours away along the coast of the Mediterranean. I remember once standing on a Spanish beach crammed full of sunburnt Brits and staring across the sea where I could just make out the coast of Africa. One day I thought; one day.
Then a few years ago I decided to do something about it. I changed my way of life. I said goodbye to flashy cars, and realised I could be just as happy in a modest apartment as in a stately pile. I became an expert in seeking out the cheapest of this and the most economical of that. I made sure that I could afford to seek out the lands of my dreams, and I have. From Peru and Bolivia, to Egypt and the Middle East, to Cambodia, Nepal and beyond.
Tomorrow I leave once again. I’m returning to India, a country I’ve visited several times before and fell in love with the first time I stepped off a plane there. I became instantly enchanted. This time I’m heading to the south and I’ll be traveling by train, plane, boat and bus. And when I've finished my journey I’ll come home again and try to imagine all the places I still haven’t seen. Places where I need to go.