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My Destination is Cardiff

(see more entries for this location)

If you're inspired by Cardiff, you might also like to check out Bristol, Isle of Wight and London.

To some, having everything means absolutely nothing.

Travelling is so much more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, seeing things through different eyes, and having a completely new idea of living. India made me realize that the travelling was not important; it was the discovery that really made the difference.

My trip to India happened nearly five years ago, at the age of 17. The opportunity of a lifetime slapped me in my face as soon as I got to college. The chance to go to India to build a school was a challenge I couldn't resist. I had to raise at least £1,500, and after banking nearly £3,000, I gave myself a great big pat on the back!

I travelled with 20 unfamiliar faces, into the land of unknown and without surprise, I loved every single second of it. We cycled for 3 days to get to a tiny remote village, with only a run down shed acting as a school. For a class of 30, this simply wasn't good enough. Our mission was to create an amazing environment, enabling them to grow and develop.

We all got our hands ridiculously dirty... sanding, brick laying, painting and tiling. We played with the children 24/7, singing to them whilst teaching them English.

But the moment that really captured my heart was when we presented the children with bubbles. They had never seen anything like them, they had no idea what to do with them and they could not comprehend why we wanted to give them gifts. They, politely and very sweetly, refused to take them. It made me realize that they didn't need any material goods, this would have taken them out of their comfort zone, and they were 100% happy with the life that they had. Some people seem to think that those with 'nothing' cannot achieve happiness, but to me it made me realize that actually, those living in 'squalor' can achieve happiness just as easily as those living in mansions. I actually believe the people I met were happier than some of the richest people in the world. They have no desire to own expensive handbags, or a ridiculous car, there is no competition to own the most up-to-date laptop... it is all about the collective community and enjoying life whatever it might deliver.

After I got home I developed wonderlust... the desire to travel to the rest of the world, discovering even more cultures, and even greater experiences. Five months around the world in 2009 overcame this, but only for a very short space of time. Now it's back!

For me, there is no greater joy than having an endlessly changing horizon, whilst collecting moments like this along the way.
These people became my best friends
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Emily Wood

Emily Wood

Currently located in:
Cardiff, United Kingdom.
Twitter: @EmilyRachaelW
About me in 140 characters or less

"I laugh until it hurts and I constantly have a smile on my face... I like to be silly and have fun in the moment."

A bit more about Emily:

"I draw the line at eating... Nothing, I'll try anything once"

"My most essential travel phrase is... Cut the price in half...Last price!"

"My most memorable souvenir is... A stick... yes, you read that correctly. :) I know it may sound silly, but that stick was the prize possession of one of the children I met in India. That stick meant everything to him and now it means everything to me. "








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