About me

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Helloooooooo, I’m Linda!

I’m a Londoner (born and raised) who is quite obsessed with all things to do with travel! (I watch airport documentaries for fun…). As a child, I was fascinated with maps and globes and I enjoyed looking at atlases. I used to tell myself that “one day” I would visit the countries that I was looking at on the map…even though “one day” always seemed to be a long way away…

My first trip abroad was a school trip to Disneyland in Paris when I was 15. We travelled by coach overnight and had a full day in the park and then travelled back overnight. It was a real novelty for me to be in another country! The following year, I went with my mum and sister to visit our family in Ghana. This was the most AMAZING trip and I loved seeing the places where my parents grew up. 

My next trip was another school excursion – a science-based camping trip to Switzerland’s Geneva. I loved this trip…but oh how I hated camping! We were in a pretty decent campsite right by Lake Geneva with flushing toilets and hot showers and I guess you could say that this was “glamping” rather than full-on camping but still, sleeping outside in a tent turned to not be my thing at all!

I spent my university years dreaming about all of the holidays that I would take once I had graduated…and this was also the time that I discovered that I had social anxiety…

As a child I was painfully shy. I always had friends and could be loud sometimes but in general I avoided being the centre of attention. I hated putting my hand up in school. I remember bring 14 years old and being given our two-week work experience placements. The fear kicked in and I spent weeks dreading and worrying about it. Two weeks with a bunch of adults that I didn’t know seemed like torture. 

I was constantly being told to “stop being so shy” as though I was deliberately acting that way. I struggled to speak to authority figures and would often be silent amongst groups of people especially if I didn’t know them. This lead to questions such as “why are you so quiet?” I second guessed everything I said and constantly re-played social interactions in my head and became annoyed with myself for everything that I perceived as a mistake. I avoided a lot of social situations and stayed within my tiny comfort zone.

At university, I learnt about mental health conditions and through some research of my own, I came across social anxiety. When I read the list of social anxiety symptoms, I felt like I was reading about myself. It all made sense and I decided to learn as much about social anxiety as possible. However, it took another few years for me to actually take steps to overcome it.

Currently, I am still living with social anxiety. I am still described as “quiet”, and “reserved” sometimes but things have greatly improved and I am able to do more now that I ever could. However, the anxiety still has a major impact on some areas of my life and I do still have setbacks and times where the anxiety is particularly high. Despite this, I am determined to live life IN SPITE of the anxiety and to do the things I want to do.

After university, I worked for a couple of years and then I found myself facing the prospect of moving to a new town alone to start a new job. Although I had previously moved away for university, I was overwhelmingly terrified about this move. To counteract the fear, I decided to something that viewed as “crazier” than moving to the new town – I booked a solo trip to Geneva! (To this day, I don’t understand where this logic came from) Although I was TERRIFIED, this trip turned out to be one of the best things I ever did! 

From then onwards, a travel addict was born! Since then I’ve been bewildered in Budapest, stuck on a runaway train in Barcelona, stuffed my face with tapas in Madrid, ‘abseiled’ in Chiang Mai, lived like a local in Australia and bounded up the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. So far, I have enjoyed learning the art of world wandering and as I journey on I hope to share my adventures – the good, the bad and the downright ugly – as well as any tips I pick up along the way and my own personal journey with social anxiety. I hope you enjoy reading as I explore the world and Draw My Map!

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