Who’s Out There Now: Megan

Written By: jeff

Posted On: August 2nd, 2011

career break travel adventures in Jordan

Megan at Wadi Rum, Jordan. Copyright OnMyWayRTW.com

In this week’s ¨Who’s Out There Now¨ feature, we bring to you Megan, who runs the travel site, OnMyWayRTW.  After taking some time to travel around in 2010, she went back to her home in Australia. And, not soon after, the road called to her again so she headed back out to explore the America’s.

1. So, where in the world are you answering these questions?

In the very chill Samara Beach, Costa Rica

2. The name of your site is On My Way RTW. So, exactly where are you on your way to?

Ha! Good question. Actually, years ago when I was saving to travel, studying at university full time and working a terrible part time job in women’s fashion retail I got myself through some soul-destroying shifts by thinking of myself as just on my way to somewhere else. And these days, I’m always on my way somewhere new.

3. You’ve got 4 big themes on your site: Create, Inspire, Spirit, Adventure. How do those describe the way you’re approaching your trip or what you want to get out of it?

Sometimes, long term travel can start to feel a little directionless. I came up with these themes when I relaunched my blog and they provide both a blueprint for my writing and for the way I travel in general.

First and foremost I want my writing and my own travels to inspire others to do the same. So many people tell me they could never do what I do – they can’t afford it, they’re too scared to go it alone, they can’t make the time – I’m living proof that you can!

Also, I make a point of trying to say yes when I really want to say no because often I can be quite fearful (adventure). And naturally when you travel you learn more about the world and your place in it, which is where spirit comes in to the mix.

Lastly, travel gives me the time and gets me in the right head space to create – whether it’s crafting stories (that may or may not end up on my blog), improving my photography skills or crafting a whole new lifestyle for myself.

career break travel adventures in Guatemala

Hiking in Guatemala. Copyright OnMyWayRTW.com

4. You wrote about dealing with reentry back into your life in Australia. And then, took off again. Is round 2 as exciting as round 1, or is it different?

Honestly? It’s more exciting. During round 1 I really felt like I was finding my feet the whole time. Although I’d travelled a lot, and alone, prior to my RTW trip, it just wasn’t quite how I pictured it. I got sick a lot, struggled with loneliness and sometimes even what to do with myself all day.

And then by the time I flew back to Sydney I was so blase and nonplussed about visiting new places and experiencing new things that I felt a little bit like I was doing myself a disservice by continuing.

Don’t get me wrong – I had an incredible year – but I think after some time back in Sydney to reflect I’ve been completely rejuvenated and I’m finally travelling with a bit more direction. I know what works for me and what doesn’t now and that makes a big difference.

5. You seem to have trouble getting along with the local animals, from bites from donkeys, dogs and a headbutting cow. Why don’t animals like you Megan?

Ha! I was also attacked by a dog just recently in Guatemala – it didn’t like the ruffles on my skirt. So now I’m pretty much terrified of all animals. It’s so true that animals can sense fear – I think that’s why they pick on me. Fear of contracting rabies must have a very particular scent.

career break travel adventures in Turkey

Visiting the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. Copyright OnMyWayRTW.com

6. Career break, nomadic adventure, backpacking, how do you characterize your trips?

I characterise my trips as the first steps to leading an unconventional life.

7. What are some of the secrets to travel that you’ve discovered that you think more people who aren’t traveling should know?

Travel makes you lose weight! Well, it does for me anyway, probably because I’m not a big beer drinker! Seriously, carry around your life and laptop on your back in humid climates for long enough (or you know, get frequent bouts of food poisoning) and it just drops off!

career break travel adventures in Burma

Visiting with students in Burma. Copyright OnMyWayTravel.com

8. What was your first ¨We’re not in Kansas (Sydney) anymore¨ moment?

Because I started my trip in the USA and UK, it wasn’t until I got to the Middle East about two months in. My friend and I crossed the border from Turkey into Syria and our first few hours in the city of Aleppo were a slap in the face – literally, with a hot desert wind. The city smelled like burning rubber and rotting meat and it was like nothing I’d ever experienced before in Asia, where most of my previous travels had taken me. Then we got serious food poisoning a day later and I honestly thought the Middle East was going to kick my butt. I loved it by the time I left, of course.

9. What’s been your most ¨local¨ experience so far?

In Hong Kong I spent some time with some friends who live on Lantau Island (complete with a view of Disneyland!). They took my sister and I to this secret restaurant where you have to be on a special secret list to get a reservation. There was no signage or anything – it felt a little like someone’s house. My sister, my friend’s husband and I were the only gweilos in the place. It was a 12 course vegetarian banquet and I had no idea what I was eating but it was incredible. Did I mention it was secret?

career break travel adventures in Guatemala

Studying Spanish in Guatemala. Copyright OnMyWayRTW.com

10. What has been your most embarrassing moment?

Being forcibly removed from a hotel in Hong Kong for having inappropriate footwear was not my finest hour. Actually, it was probably more embarrassing for my sister, who was appropriately attired and had warned me to buy some new shoes.

11. What’s your secret for getting the most out of your journey?

Research. I know a lot of people don’t like to do too much planning but I feel like I get the most out of a destination when I’ve really done my homework on local customs and history as well as the best things to eat, see, do or places to stay.

career break travel adventures in Nicaragua

Waiting for the ferry to Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. Copyright OnMyWayRTW.com

12. Finally, our lightening round.

  • Best dish you’ve found so far: Hard boiled eggs. Lame I know but I hated them before I went to the Middle East. Now…mmm!
  • Most exotic food eaten: Iguana. Then I found out it was a protected species. Fail.
  • Most breathtaking moment: Watching shooting stars over the desert at Wadi Rum in Jordan
  • Biggest disappointment: The Egyptian Museum in Cairo and the Pyramids of Giza
  • Most memorable place: Mongolia
  • Most memorable person: My guide and driver in Mongolia
  • Best thing to have on a long bus ride: My iPod
  • Worst thing to have on a long bus ride: One of the seats in the row in the middle of some big coaches that have no legroom.
  • Best thing you packed: My laptop. Sad but true.
  • Dumbest thing you packed: Cutlery. I never used it, then it broke when I wanted it.
  • Funniest travel habit you have: I hate talking to people on long distance transport once I’m in iPod mode. Travel companions, strangers, peddlers – just leave me alone!
  • Place you wish you could’ve stayed longer: Costa Rica
career break travel adventures in Granada

Having a cocktail in Granada. Copyright OnMyWayTravel.com

You can follow Megan online at OnMyWayRTW, on Facebook and on Twitter @Megan_RTW

Every week, Career Break Secrets profiles a different traveler or traveling couple who are embracing the ¨Because Life Is Out There TM¨ travel spirit.  These are people who have taken the plunge to embark on a career break and are currently traveling the world.

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3 Responses to “Who’s Out There Now: Megan”

  1. Megan says:

    Thanks for featuring me Jeff – I had a lot of fun answering your questions :)
    Megan recently posted..The people you meet: Xela, Guatemala

  2. costa rica traveler says:

    Samara Costa Rica is really a fabulous place! Your global travel looks absolutely fabulous! Happy travels.

  3. I was so lucky to meet up with Megan in Guatemala and we clicked right away. I know this lovely lady will be a friend forever! She inspires me through her travels and I think she is so brave!
    Elise of Positive World Travel recently posted..Catching The Dengue…No It’s Not A Train

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