Hello! My name is Ellis.
I’m a twenty-something legal assistant, living in the UK (Kent to be precise). Other than commuting, my main past times are writing, travelling and eating. Whilst studying a postgraduate course in London, I figured, since I couldn’t actually go away any time soon, I could just relive my past adventures instead.
Where it all started: family holidays and school trips
I’ve loved travel ever sine my parents first took me away from France, aged 7. Being only a stone’s throw away, France was our main holiday destination. I’ve never been much of a morning person but the prospect of getting the car and heading down to the Channel Tunnel was exciting enough to get me out of bed. Our car snack/treat of choice were Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles Body Parts. I’m not even sure if they still make them but they’ll probably always remind me of family holidays. When we weren’t hitting up France, we were venturing to Italy (the first place I visited other than France at the age of 12), Germany and Greek Islands.
Other than family holidays, school trips were my main source of travel in my youth (which I like to think wasn’t that long ago). The first time I went abroad without the fam was at (about) 10. My primary school had a pen-friend programme to help us learn French (I don’t know a word). I later went back to France to practice speaking the language (still don’t know any) and for Geography coursework. This basically involved counting bits of gum and cigarette butts on the ground. I also got to a few days of school to shop in Germany’s Christmas markets, several days in Italy, where I must have photographed nearly every piece of rock in Rome and Naples, on a Classical Civilisation trip and I also went to Belgium to visit the WWI battlefields, as part of my History GCSE course, which was a much more sobering experience.
My first excursion outside of Europe was to Honduras on a Biology trip, aged 15. Whilst there I volunteered for two weeks with a conservation charity, spending a week snorkelling the reef and sleeping on a beach, whilst learning about reef ecology, and another week camping in the rainforest, accompanying the teams conducting surveys in the forest.
The Big One: My Gap Year.
I never realised how much of a UK-thing gap years were until someone asked me what on earth I was talking about when I was speaking about mine. In the UK, it’s relatively common for people to take a year out before or after university to get some travelling under their belts. I started planning mine from about the age of 12. I was going to spend two months in six countries. Of course, as it got closer to the time, I realised that the majority of the year would be spent living at home and working to earn the cash to go. In the end, I spent three and a half months travelling across America, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Hong Kong, with one of my best friends from school. It was an amazing experience and it was this that made me a bit travel-nuts.
I haven’t done too badly since my gap year, making it to Spain, Morocco, France again and the Netherlands. The highlight was a 3-week tour from northern Vietnam, through Laos and down to Thailand.
After my graduation from Nottingham, I spent August in Berlin studying German. I cannot emphasise this enough- Berlin is my most favourite place. Ever. I was lucky. I had a friend from uni doing the same thing in July, she was always debating staying out for longer but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. In the end, we ended up living together. I’ve been back several months and I still haven’t got over this trip.
Learning to Lawyer.
After becoming a graduate, I’ve started en route to becoming a lawyer. Whilst big trips may be out of the question, this doesn’t mean that I’m not able to hop on a plane from time to time. I’ve managed to take a couple of weekend breaks to Italy (Venice) and Germany (Berlin) and a holiday to Egypt since starting my lessons in law. I’ve also had the chance to spend two weeks interning at a firm in Dusseldorf, Germany. Life is still sweet.
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