In interviewing Lauren of Never Ending Footsteps, she discusses some of her unique experiences and incidents that happened during her travels.
1) What would you consider your most unique experience or incident since you started traveling?
Probably the time when I was nearly caught in a tsunami in Phuket. There had been a huge earthquake in Indonesia and as I arrived at Phuket airport a tsunami warning was issued. I heard banging and screams, looked up and saw the entire airport sprinting towards me with terror in their eyes.
It was the most scared I’ve ever been and this was the only time I’ve been 100% convinced I was going to die. We were evacuated to a nearby mound of earth and spent the next six hours waiting, having no idea what was happening and listening to other travellers talking about how a 10 metre wave was heading our way and that we were going to die.
Fortunately, the tsunami wasn’t as bad as had been predicted and we all remained safe. This happened six months ago and I still haven’t recovered from the shock of it. Every time I step inside an airport waves of terror wash over me and I’m met with an overwhelming urge to run outside. It takes me right back.
2) What made this incident stand out the most from any of the other incidents you had on the road?
It was the only time I genuinely thought I was going to die.
3) What have you learned about yourself that you may not have learned if you weren’t traveling?
I’ve learned that forcing myself out of my comfort zone is really important for me to develop as a person — and that I’m won’t die from doing so. Back home, if something intimidated or frightened me, I’d avoid it and do everything I could to NOT do it. Now, I actively try to put myself in situations that make me uncomfortable.
4) Do you think you will ever stop traveling?
I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. As long as I can keep funding my travels, and as long as I still find it enjoyable, I’ll keep on travelling.
5) Is traveling a part of you now that you can’t see yourself staying in one place for too long?
No, it’s actually the opposite. The longer I travel the more I crave slowing down, finding an apartment to base myself and to stop moving for a decent amount of time. I think somewhere between a month to three months is perfect for me. Any longer than that and I start getting itchy feet!
6) How important do you feel it is to know certain words in another language such as ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening’ when traveling?
I think it’s very important and I always make sure to learn at least the words for “hello” and “thank you” in every country I visit.
7) Do you feel it is important to know these words in more than one language depending on how many countries you plan to visit?
Yes, I feel it is important to do so in every country you visit.
8 ) Any advice you can give to someone who would like to travel long term but they are letting their fear stop them from taking that last step from cubicle life to world traveler?
What did it for me was imagining the regret I’d feel later on in my life if I had stayed behind and never travelled, I knew I’d always spend the rest of my life wondering “what if?”. You only get one life and I wanted to use mine to see as much of the world as possible.