Talking Travel with Linda
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF LINDA LAI @THEONEWAYROUTE
Tell us about your love of adventure and the outdoors?
All kids love adventures, being outdoors and exploring. I guess I never grew out out of it.
I love exploring new places (the travel bug got me big time!) and I absolutely love having something to look forward to and getting out of routine.
Being outdoors and visiting new places makes me a happier human.
Where have your travels taken you?
It has taken me to Tassie all the way to Ireland & Antarctica.
I've been very fortunate to have met so many amazing people on the trails and abroad who have inspired me to do things I wouldn't normally do and visit countries I didn't intend on visiting.
When I was 10 I decided I wanted to visit every continent in the world. I didn't want to look back in my life and die wondering what other cultures were like and what real tacos in Mexico tasted like. I wanted to sleep in a yurt in Mongolia, see the Pyramids, trek Everest Base Camp and the Inca Trail, see the Big 5 in Africa, climb volcanos in Central America, volunteer abroad and eat all the tacos in Mexico - the real deal!
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
I'd always remember my first solo adventure.
I had just turned 18 and was off on a 3 month adventure to the States. I boarded a United Airlines flight to fly to Des Moines to work at a Summer Camp in Boone, Iowa - the land where tall corn grows and where the movie Twister was filmed.
At that time I'd never felt so scared in my life but at the same time super excited of the unknown!
It was pretty exciting not knowing too much about where I'd be living and who I'll meet.
Looking back at it now it was great that the only form of communication with family and friends was via email or a phone call.
Let’s talk about your love of trekking. Where does the passion and desire to trek come from?
I grew up living near a National Park which was super handy when I needed to get my trekking fix.
I love being outdoors. It's my happy place.
Working in the travel industry has given me the opportunity to do what I love. I get inspiration from my teams mates and other travellers.
I knew as a kid I was very lucky to be able to move: walk, run and get from A to B. Seeing my Uncle's health deteriorate from running 10km+ each day to not being able to walk or talk gave me a desire to see and experience as much as I could.
What do you enjoy most about trekking?
I love the feeling you get after a long big hike.
It's quite rewarding.
It's also a really good way to catch up with friends properly and doing and seeing new things together.
It's great having some stories to laugh about afterwards.
What has trekking and the outdoors taught you? And have these experiences changed you?
There's been some times where the weather has been unkind. Some things are just outside our control and it's taught me to make the the most of the situation.
Some of my best hikes have been in the pouring rain.
It's also taught me to be better prepared: pack enough warm clothes, take enough food etc and have maps in handy in case I can't get reception.
Some treks have been quite challenging especially being ill and getting altitude sickness etc as well as having others being sick too. It make things a lot better when you have encouragement from others and in turn being supportive to the crew when times are tough.
What's in your kit? Food, clothing, gear etc..
Lots of water and snacks to get me through. You'll find boiled eggs, crackers, muesli bars and fruit in my backpack.
The weather can be unpredictable at times so having a waterproof jacket and warm gloves comes in handy and I always take sunscreen and a hat of some sort.
Describe the feeling in reaching the Summit or Destination?
It's always a very rewarding feeling you get. I always feel at my calmest upon reaching the summit and when you get to see sunrise at the top it really can't get better than that!
What's on the agenda? Any plans and ambitions?
I just completed my first marathon in Melbourne and would l love to be able to experience running a Marathon in other countries.
Running a marathon in every continent is my next goal!
My next trip will be trekking up Mt Kilimanjaro and doing an Ultra marathon in South Africa.
And finally, describe the ultimate travel experience?
It would consist of doing something active like trail running, cycling, trekking and spending time in the water as well as spending time with the local communities and meeting new people.
Thanks for sharing Linda :)