Emma Tallon on long term travelling

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Emma Tallon on long term travelling

Introduce yourself – Where are you from? Where in the world are you currently?

My name is Emma Tallon and I am originally from Buckingham town in England, but spent most of my adult life as a Londoner! I am currently sat writing to you from my room at the Fallsview Hilton hotel in Niagara Falls.

 

Tell us about your first trip abroad? What first attracted you to a life abroad? 

I dont think I can remember my very first trip abroad as we went away fairly often as a family when I was young. Perhaps that got me used to seeing new places. But I do remember the trip that set my mind on taking a new path, one that involved me seeing as much of this world as I can. That trip was Morocco. I was staying in Agadir and exploring everywhere I could. It was a moment in time where I was on a petrol buggy, flying through the desert, seeing a whole different side of life I had never seen. That was when I knew, that I wanted to keep experiencing new cultures and making new discoveries. It is the adventure and the unpredictability that attracted me then and still does today.

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What kind of traveller are you? Backpacker? Long-term traveller? Short term? Other?

I am a long term traveller I guess. I dont backpack, I stay in nice hotels and have a constantly overweight suitcase. I travel a lot as I only need a laptop and internet connection to work, so I have geographical freedom. I take advantage of that as much as I can.

 

How do you fund yourself when travelling?

I work online, so I spend some time working wherever I am which keeps a good stream of income.

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Your favourite place you have been to? And why?

Its hard to pick one, when there are so many amazing places in different ways. I can probably narrow it down to two. One of my favorite places is a place in Dalyan, Turkey called Turtle Beach. It is called that because the turtles lay their eggs there. It is a long slim stretch of white, powder sand with nothing on it. On one side is the luke warm sea and on the other is marshland, the river running around it. Past the marshland there are mountain sides in which there are the 3,000 year old tombs of the Turkish king and all his wives. You have to travel there by boat. If you look around you there is nothing but nature and beauty. It is calm and warm and a pocket of oasis. It seemed like Paradise to me.

The other, is right here in Niagara. I have come here a few times and it is one of my favorite places in the world but only in January. Right now it is overrun with tourists – like myself. But in January, if you can brave the cold – and you need to be brave in the minus twenties to minus forties sometimes – it is the most beautiful place on earth. Very few people venture out here then, but if you do, what you see will take your breath away. The snow and ice around the majestic falls adds pure magic. The ice boulders at the bottom of the falls are like little mountains. You stand there looking at it and time stops and the world around you disappears and it brings home just how tiny you are. And that feeling of being small against something so incredible is great, because it reminds you how big the world is and how much more you have to see and breathe in.

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Your least favourite place you have been to? And why?

I havent seriously disliked anywhere, because everywhere has its pro’s if you look for them, but I guess the place I find that least caters to my interest would be Toronto. It is a great city, it is clean, has low crime and runs fairly efficiently. The people are friendly and they have a Tim Hortons on every corner which does great coffee. But it is a very new city. It lacks the depth and history and character and quirks that most cities I have been to possess. The buildings are beautifully built but they are all new and have no personality. The roads are a large, well planned grid system, but hold no surprises. There are no great hidden secret to discover and rave about. There is nothing wrong with it in particular but I have no great love for it.

 

What advice would you give to other people looking to travel?

Dont let anyone tell you what you should see and how you should feel about somewhere. Open your mind and your heart to each and every place, because you might see something others dont. There are no right or wrong places to go, just differences in perception (though perhaps steer away from war zones..). Travelling induces personal growth like nothing else does, but only if you let it. Take your own path. That might sound cheesy, but its true.

My other advice would be, keep all valuables and devices in your hand luggage along with a toothbrush, travel size toothpaste and clean underwear. I’ve had my baggage lost twice, trust me,  you’ll be glad you did if there is a problem.

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What is left on your bucket list for you to accomplish/see?

So much! If anything, the more I accomplish, the more my list grows! The more you see, the more your mind and information center opens up and throws you more goals and ideas. I could be here all day listing them, but to give you an idea of a few of the bigger ones: The Grand Canyon is on my list and is one I will be ticking off next month. The Easter Island Statues are another, though not planned that one as yet. India too, I want to explore India and the colorful culture it holds. This trip I have penciled in for next year, in among others.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I’m glad to say, I dont know. I know what people and strong relationships will still be in my life, but other than that I have no idea. I used to live a life where I knew exactly where I would be in five years and once I started to grow as a person, I realised that I hated that. I love that my path is not set in stone. Whereas the not knowing would have scared me once, it would be the knowing that would scare me now.

 

What is the biggest difference to life overseas compared to life at home?

Well, for starters, I have no home currently. Living out of a suitcase can be freeing and easy, but in the same token it can be hard. You have to live without a lot of the little things you are used to being around. Trinkets, meaningful objects, variety in your clothes, etc. You don’t think you will miss them, but you do. You miss your bed and pillow, because when you travel, that constantly changes and its annoying.

Its also different not having your core friends and family around you. I travel with my partner, but there are things I miss doing with other people. The people around you are a big part of who you are, so its different being away.

The other big one is food. I eat fairly cleanly. I cook where I can and try to grab healthy food where I cant. Its not too bad in Europe getting hold of healthy ingredients or meals, but North America is a much harder challenge. There is a lot of unhealthy and processed food. There are alternatives available, but they are much harder to find here.

 

You can catch up with her travels on Instagram – instagram.com/etallon87

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