Taking The Opportunities
When i was just in work at about 17 years old i went with ATLAS in a mini bus and 11 others I had never met, on a camping organised trip through Europe and into Yugoslavia. It was that or the trip to Kathmandu, but I didn't have enough time for that trip. A year before when I was 16 I went alone to Frederikshavn in Denmark, to visit a girl penfriend (those were the days before email and webcams). I was travelling to meet her and felt quite at home doing the trip alone.
At 19 I travelled with a work friend by train and bus through France and Spain, which when I look back on it was my first backpacking trip. As the years ticked by I got married had 2 children (now adults), and had some lovely holidays (only one in a hotel package) in Europe, Turkey and Scandinavia.
Then in 2007 I asked my wife if she would mind if I went to Asia alone? It allowed her to go away with her two girlfriends from work to Turkey. So we holidayed together, but then in late summer we went our own ways.
China was just the culture shock I wanted and I never felt out of my depth not speaking Cantonese or travelling alone. Being out going I met many people and found the whole experience life changing. Not only did I never want milk with tea ever again, but I had got the travel bug. I was infected. LOL
I thought this was a "one off" experience, but luckily and quite amazingly I was able to go to Thialand in 2011 and then in 2012 back to China again. I would never travel alone and leave my wife without a holiday so it works well when we have time in Turkey together, then she goes with friends.This year I am going to India for the first time. I thought China was going to be a culture shock but I know India certainly will be.
As we all get older it is important to take opportunities to do what we desire (within reason) as one never knows what is around the corner. if i were single i would no doubt travel East every year, and maybe even live there, but I am not and one must be fair with ones partner.