Huatulco, Oax., Mexico
You're probably wondering who "She" is, so I thought I'd tell you the (brief) story of my life and how I came to work and live travel.
My name is Ashlea (pronounced Ashley), I was born just outside of Belfast in Northern Ireland where I lived until I was seven. Before I was born, my parents had lived on and off in Canada (although they are Irish and Northern Irish born) and had two sons while there so I suppose after doing the math, they decided Canada was a better place for our family. We moved to a quiet suburban town north of Toronto in Canada and thus began a peaceful yet uninspiring adolescence.
I had always loved the idea of travelling. My dad had told me stories of places he had been and things that he had seen and it sparked a fantastical idea of a whole world that I could actually explore. After all, by the age of eight I had already lived in two drastically different places and now had a funny accent to prove it.
An interesting fact about people born in Northern Ireland is that it is the only country in the world that grants dual citizenship at birth, which means I was born both British and Irish. At the age of 23 I suddenly had an intense need to go and "find myself" so one day I boarded a one way flight to London, with all my worldly belongings in two bags, £800 and a British passport.
If you aren't familiar with it, the job market in London is savage to say the least. I spent my first few months applying to jobs I really wanted and eventually to any jobs at all and by absolute chance was hired by a popular global travel agency. This changed everything.
North America doesn't have a huge travel culture and I believe that's down to the nature of work. Vacation time is short, often unpaid and the countries are so large it's expensive and time consuming just to get out of them.
Suddenly, I now lived in a country that guaranteed me five weeks of paid vacation a year and because of my new job I was surrounded by the most inspirational and well travelled people I had ever met. Stories about riding the Trans-Siberian Railway, finding secret swimming holes in Laos and watching wild giraffes roam the savannah were normal to these people. They weren't rich, old or lying and if they could do it, so could I.
I went on to spend the next seven years in the travel industry. After leaving the agency side, I worked for a couple of tailormade luxury tour operators and eventually one of the world's largest adventure tour operators. I have had my itineraries and guides published in travel magazines and websites and finally decided to share my knowledge and experiences with the world directly, and She Roams About was born.
Travel is the thing I love most in the world and it has been such a large part of shaping me into the person that I have become. As I continue to explore this incredible and surprising world I will be bringing She Roams About with me. Through writing about my personal experiences and insights, I hope to inspire other travelers as I myself have been inspired.
-She Roams About