From a young age I was immersed in the world of travel. Born in England and growing up in Australia, with Kiwi parents, I would spend most of my time travelling with family or moving from country to country, which left me with going to about eight different schools. I was never fully in love with travel, even though I had been so engrossed in it as a child and it wasn't until the age of fifteen when my curiosity for exploring the world really sparked and I would spend hours looking through photos of places I wanted to visit.
In my final year of school after many years of wanderlust, I decided I wanted to go on a gap year around Asia. I had planned on spending 2 and a half months volunteering at an orphanage in Vietnam, however once I graduated my plans of travelling just didn't seem 'right' anymore. I felt the immense pressure of continuing my studies, so I switched my plans of backpacking for university classrooms. My life in Brisbane seemed like a very comfortable option, so I opted to live it out for a little while longer. I started my Arts degree in February 2016 and lasted all of three weeks before scrapping the whole idea and deferring the course for another year. For me University wasn't what I wanted and I never went back to my studies.
After dropping out I worked two jobs, one as a barista and the other at a gourmet fish and chip shop right next door. I worked most days, starting at the coffee shop at 5:30am till midday, before going home to nap for a few hours and then to the fish and chip shop for 4pm - 10pm. I did this for a few months and by April 2016 I made the decision to book my one way ticket to London and by the beginning of June, a week after my eighteenth birthday, I was on a plane to London.
Eighteen year old Courtney travelling in 2016
I arrived in England and a few weeks later went backpacking around Europe for a month with my best friend (you can read about that here). I spent all the money I had saved in Australia on that trip, so once I returned I went to work in Scotland where I had a horrible job as a waitress at a hotel in the middle of the Highlands. I worked 12 hour days 6 days a week, starting at 7am and finishing at midnight, with a break at 3pm and all for £5.30 an hour. I cried most days and only lasted a month at that job before returning to England. I lived with my parents in Berkshire and spent the majority of the year working at a coffee shop where I fell in love with my boss and travelled whenever I got the opportunity.
By my Nineteenth birthday I had travelled to most of the 'classic' backpacker spots like Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Berlin and so on. It was around this time I decided to create She Travelled the World. I had used the name as my Tumblr account back when I was 15 and took it as a sign from the Universe that I should pursue... I wasn't even sure what. It took me 2 months to set up my original blog and I spent most of 2017 daunted, I had no idea how to create a business. My parents moved to Dublin and I moved in with my boyfriend (the coffee shop guy) and I bought my first proper camera. I travelled to Hungary, Spain, Luxembourg, Russia, Nepal and a few other places, meanwhile breaking up with said boyfriend because I was away too much and it put a lot of strain on the relationship.
I mostly worked at cafes while I built up my blog and Instagram, travelling at least once a month. If the cafe management didn't like me going away as much as I did, I would quit and find another job! I started to build up a pretty substantial list of places I had visited and started falling more and more in love with photography. My blog gave me an excuse to travel further and more frequently, with my audience beginning to grow. In 2018 I was meant to visit Croatia for 10 days and ended up staying for just under 4 months (you can read about that here) and spent most of that summer by the beach, which meant neglecting the blog.
After that summer I moved to Dublin and worked endlessly to create a community for my Instagram and build my photography skills. As my skills became more refined, I saw an influx of likeminded people understanding and loving my content. From backpacking New Zealand to living in Budapest, She Travelled the World allowed me to share my stories with a loving audience. In 2019 I moved back to Oxfordshire, England which has become my base when I am not travelling.
48 countries later and countless early mornings, overnight buses, 2 minute noodles and missed flights, this blog has been my way of showcasing my love for exploring. Over the past few years my life has evolved into the dreams I had imagined when I was in school and I am so grateful for the endless adventures which have flooded each day. Blogging has been one of the most rewarding experiences I've had the pleasure of undertaking and I encourage everyone and anyone to pursue their love because the results are so worthwhile.
HERE IS TO EXPLORING AND HOPEFULLY MEETING ACROSS THE WORLD ONE DAY
Love, Courtney x