Sharing My Love Of Travel: A Giveaway

**The following post is sponsored content written by me and brought to you by Coupons.com as part of their Share the Love Valentines Day campaign**

When I received an email with the words “Valentine’s Day Share The Love Campaign” in the title, I almost dismissed it as spam.

However, upon opening the email and reading its content, I promptly started to re-consider my initial reaction. The concept I was being asked to consider was my love of travel and how I share that love.

Now THAT was definitely a topic I was confident I could write about, and also a refreshing take on the kind of romantic love that Valentine’s Day campaigns usually promote.

I have always been a curious, inquisitive person with a thirst for knowledge and adventure, and an inherent desire to explore and understand the world around me, attributes which lend themselves naturally to a love of travel.

Whilst friends of mine were forming careers for themselves, buying houses, getting married, and starting families, all I wanted was to get enough money together so that I could travel long-term.  Travelling for me satisfies my hunger for new experiences – new sights, new sounds, and new flavours. Each new day brings with it a new discovery, and a new adventure.

Whilst the people, landscapes, and situations I encounter are an endless source of inspiration to me, and constantly provide me with knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of a country which is often so very different to my own, such things would only ever be committed to my own memory if I were not to share them. What’s more, memories fade, and our recollection events can become distorted.

So, in order to share that moment as I remembered it at the time, that experience, that conversation, that flavour, that scent, or that beautiful panorama that stretched out before me, I chose to write about it, and to take photographs to help illustrate those words.

Yes, my love of travel has inspired me to start and maintain this blog, and my passion and enthusiasm for the countries I’ve visited, the people I’ve met, the challenges I’ve completed, has inspired me to share this blog with family, friends, and more recently, a growing spectrum of readers across the world.

Some of you may read for inspiration and advice, some of you may read to compare your own experiences of a particular place, with those I describe, some of you may read in order to gain knowledge and understanding of a particular concept, culture or religion. Whereas some of you may just fancy a bit of escapism; to live my adventures vicariously from the comfort of your own living room.

I encourage people to travel, both in person and through my writing, because I believe that travel can have such a positive impact on our lives and on us as people. Travel lifts me when I’m feeling low, gives me encouragement when I’m feeling despondent, and fills me with a sense of purpose and belonging when I feel directionless. It arouses curiosity, passion, empathy, excitement, enthusiasm, and contentment. I love the sense of anticipation, discovery, and adventure that travel evokes.

I accept that travel isn’t for everyone.
Some people prefer the security of their own environment, the comfort of their own homes and the stability of a good career. Don’t get me wrong, financial stability is fundamentally important for each and every one of us. The difference is that – rather than financially investing into a home or family – I choose to spend my spare money on a journey of discovery across the world. Whether it be a long weekend in a European city or a 6-month solo trip around South East Asia (I’ve done both!), travel is the one thing in life that makes me truly happy.

5 things I love about travel:

The people you meet

Whether they be locals or other travellers who happen to be from a different part of the world to yourself, people often make a trip.  Random acts of kindness or hospitality from strangers can really strengthen your perceptions of the country they inhabit.  People often have stories to tell, and these can teach you a lot about the history and culture of a nation.

I love meeting people of all ages and all walks of life.  The people often make a trip and teach you a lot about the history, and culture of the country you're visiting.

Being constantly surrounded by new sights, sounds, aromas and flavours

Travelling is like an eternal attack on your senses and each day brings with it a new discovery.  I love waking up each morning and being excited about what the day ahead has in store.

The sights, sounds, aromas and flavours of   Thailand, one of my favourite countries

The sights, sounds, aromas and flavours of Thailand, one of my favourite countries

Facing challenges and accomplishing them

I understand this can happen to those of us who don’t travel as well, but travelling opens up many more opportunities for us to face personal challenges, whether it be ordering a meal at a local restaurant in the native lingo, sampling a food you’ve never even seen before or making it to the top of a mountain you never thought you’d be able to climb.  We face many of our fears when we travel, the first of which is making the decision to travel in the first place.

Photos from my 7-day cycling trip across 3 countries, and the most difficult trek of my life up in the Picos de Europa

Photos from my 7-day cycling trip across 3 countries, and the most difficult trek of my life up in the Picos de Europa

Having your breath taken away by awe-inspiring scenery

For me, travel is exploring anywhere outside our immediate surroundings, so there are also some amazing landscapes to behold in our home countries.  However, the more unfamiliar these landscapes are to us, the more spectacular they can appear.

My favourite spot on the Greek island of Paxos...I never tire of the views from Tripitos Arch

My favourite spot on the Greek island of Paxos…I never tire of the views from Tripitos Arch

The lessons it teaches us

Learning how other people live – especially those who live in poorer conditions than we do, and do not have as many opportunities open to them in life – can be humbling.  It also helps us to become more broad-minded, more accepting, and more understanding of others.  Travel also teaches us to be independent, to be strong decision-makers, to be determined, organised, and adept at financial management – all skills which can help us through all manner of situations in our lives.

The way many people in Laos still live.

The way many people in Laos still live.

 

What are you passionate about? What drives you? Share your love in the comments below.

The generous folk at Coupons.com would also like to share their love with you this Valentine’s Day. They have a load of Valentine’s Day deals plus a giveaway open until February the 14th.

Enter here for your chance to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also read my fellow travel bloggers’ stories about their relationship with love and travel by clicking on the links below. Share the love and spread the word 🙂

  1. Chasing The Donkey
  2.  Wanderlustin
  3. Jetlagged Julia
  4. Travels with Curley
  5. Angela Travels
  6. A Southern Gypsy
  7. Besudesuabroad
  8. Jaclyns Jaunts

 

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6 Responses to Sharing My Love Of Travel: A Giveaway

  1. Chasing the Donkey February 3, 2014 at 10:10 PM #

    I just want more, more and more new experiences. It’s never enough. Be it food or new sights or smells. Its addictive.

    • Kiara Gallop February 13, 2014 at 1:41 PM #

      SJ I totally agree! 🙂 Catherine, ooh exciting! Where are you off to first?

  2. Catherine February 13, 2014 at 1:02 PM #

    Great post, I cannot wait to start my travels and experience all of this myself!

  3. Angela Anderson (AngelaTravels) February 15, 2014 at 12:00 AM #

    This was an excellent write-up. I completely agree with you priorities on investing in travel as some invest in relationships and family. Throughout reading your article, I found myself nodding and relaying it to my life. Great work!

  4. google May 21, 2014 at 10:06 PM #

    Wow, marvelous weblog structure! How lengthy have you been blogging for?

    you made running a blog look easy. The overall glance of your site is excellent,
    as neatly as the content material!

    • Kiara Gallop June 1, 2014 at 3:50 PM #

      Thanks for the compliments Sharon, I really appreciate any feedback on my blog 🙂 I’ve been blogging since around July last year, but there’s still a lot of work to do! I’m just trying to write enough quality content before working on developing the design and use of my site.

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