Welcome to Northern Stroll, a travel blog documenting the wanderings of a pair of Northern English bastards, Jack and Emily. Despite having only known each other for two weeks whilst on an organised tour around China in March/April 2016, we decided to pick up sticks and go on a globetrotting mission together, beginning in late August of the same year. Spontaneity can be a wonderful thing.
I’m Jack, a 22-year old good-for-nothing from Newcastle, England. I graduated from university with a 2:1 in Biomedical Science/Physiology in 2015 and since then, after realising my degree is pretty much useless, I’ve done little more than yearn to hop on a plane until I figure out what I want to do with my life. So that’s what I’m doing.
Strangely, I haven’t always had a burning desire to travel like most people seem to these days. In fact, quite the opposite. I remember going to a meeting in sixth form about an upcoming school trip to Costa Rica, thinking that Costa Rica was a resort in Spain and that the trip was going to be a piss-up holiday with everyone from my year. I learnt the true location of the Central American country that day and never went back to the second meeting. You see, the only experience of leaving the country I’d had, up until that point, had been holidaying in places like Tenerife where religiously drinking in the same strip of British-run bars for a fortnight was gospel. I was fairly well-travelled, just not in a ‘traveller’ sense of the word.
And then I came to university and had my eyes opened when Facebook stalking countless people’s ‘gap yaah’ photos; swimming with turtles, sunbathing on insane beaches, sightseeing gigantic buddha temples – my wanderlust was kicking in. I still never done anything about it until my final year at university though, when I went inter-railing around Europe with three friends, and secured myself on a partially-funded internship and travel program in China. (I did go to Kavos and Santa Ponsa, Majorca during summer breaks, but I’m not counting those!)
Inter-railing was a lot of fun, but swanning around China is honestly one of the best things I’ve ever done. It infected me with the bug, and spurred me to make the decision to go long-term travelling, as well as throwing my travel companion Emily into the mix. On a personal level, the trip gave me a lot of confidence, and did wonders to my Instagram follower count; I’m determined to make my next adventure just as successful.