My Bizarre and Chaotic First Experience Traveling Overseas

Julien McLaren
9 min readJun 30, 2021
Photo by Bikalpa Pokhrel on Unsplash

When I was a kid, I begged my parents to get me a globe for my birthday. It’s all I wanted. When I had it, I would spend hours spinning it and jabbing my finger on a random spot. I would write the place on a list and keep spinning it. I would imagine all the fantastic adventures I would have travelling when I was older.

I grew up hearing stories from my parents about their travels to Asia and Europe and Mexico. The stories about Nepal and Thailand were always the most interesting.

As I got older, my desire to travel stuck with me. My older brother went to Thailand and filled my head with his extraordinary adventures. He went again and came back severely injured but still, I wanted to go. He went to Mexico and I was just graduating high school.

My teachers would ask me what I was going to do after I graduated. “Travel,” I would respond. Well, it didn’t happen exactly like that. First I had to save up money, but then I spent a lot of money too.

It wasn’t until I was 20 when I had enough money and courage to travel overseas. I didn’t even know where I wanted to go, just that I wanted to travel somewhere warm and exotic.

Remembering my parents’ stories, I decided to book a ticket to Nepal for 2 months. I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t concerned, I had money, had a hostel booked for my first night, and had a flight booked.

I wrote a list of things I would bring on my trip and excitedly went out and gathered them all.

I got my vaccines and a short while later, I was on my flight. It had two transfers, one in America and one in China. It was a hellishly long and gruelling flight that took over 24 hours altogether. But I didn’t mind, I was so excited to be travelling.

I met a nice guy on the last leg of the plane to Kathmandu. He’d been to Nepal several times and gave me some tips. He warned me of the taxis and scammers. I wasn’t concerned, the hostel I booked with arranged to pick me up at the airport.

I got my luggage from the turnstile and stepped out of the airport into the warm muggy night of Kathmandu.

I searched for my taxi driver. Would he have a sign with my name on it? I walked up and down…

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Julien McLaren

A Canadian writer sharing his life experiences and lessons learned. Traveller, musician, fitness enthusiast.