Why I travel

 I travel a lot for work, especially between London and New York. It's exhausting, so it means that  when I do travel for fun, it's usually a last minute booked flight and then figuring out what the deal is from locals. 

Wanderlust is life. I was born in Beijing and immigrated to the UK aged five. We didn't have a lot of money when I grew up, so I didn't get the chance to really see the world until I got to College. With two friends, we flew a budget airline to Bratislava and then drove to Prague and Vienna. I'll never forget the giddiness in my stomach as we were pulled over by the police on the highway coming into the Czech Republic (just to check our passports). This first travel memory flashes up every time — when the police flagged me down in Kazakhstan  because I didn't turn the headlights, or when the police stopped me from running onto the El Nido airstrip in the Philippines. #travelfails

I'm a big fan of last minute weekends — St. Petersburg is a great romantic getaway and Tokyo is wonderful for a long weekend (and has great reward flight availability on British Airways :). I like leaving planning as much last minute as possible, seeing what is available on the ground and directed by locals whenever possible. On the plane, I like to read a book set in my destination — Anna Karenina is an obvious (but wonderful!) epic for Moscow and Petersburg  or the Quiet American for Saigon.

My travels have taken me to over 75 countries so far. My favourites have been backpacking around South America (even food poisoning in Bolivia was somewhat of a highlight) and driving overland from Russia to Mongolia through the 'stans. Good food is essential, I'm also partial to great design, local jewellery, conversations with everyone (with hand signing to get the meaning across), nearby mountains and hikes...and as many museums as I can handle But I appreciate the whole spectrum of travel and I've been just as happy in a $5 hostel dorm room near Uyuni, as in a honeymoon villa with a private infinity pool on a private island on Lake Malawi. Even if you only have a 5 hour layover, make the most of it. Go. Gogogogogogo.

Sleeping under the stars in Wahiba Sands, Oman

Sleeping under the stars in Wahiba Sands, Oman