My travel biography

Leia Morales on 26 March 2020
So who are you booking with when you book your holiday with me?

Well, as you are on my blog you should already know that my name is Leia Morales. I am married to, Lou, a Chilean who grow up in Miami. We have a 5 year old daughter and we live in Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, with our dog. So that is where I am now, but where have I been?

Growing up with a dad in the RAF, I spent 4 years living in Germany as a child and travelled with my family in our caravan around various countries in Europe, including visiting EuroDisney on its opening day in 1990! When we moved to Nottinghamshire, many of our holidays were in the UK, which has given me an appreciation of what we have to offer closer to home.

In 2000, I was lucky enough to spend a month in Ecuador with my school. This experience was amazing, and sparked a lifelong passion for travel. Whilst seeing the Amazon and Andes was life changing, I will have to go back to Ecuador some day to visit the Galapagos Islands.

Throughout my university years I spent summers visiting friends in North America. I was lucky enough to be shown around some of the iconic east coast cities; Chicago, Boston, Toronto, New York and Washington DC by locals.

In 2007, with my degree under my belt, student loan money still in my bank account and wanting to avoid 'the real world' for as long as possible, I set off on a two year Gap Year.

To ease myself in, I committed to three months in Africa. The first two months were spent volunteering in South Africa in a monkey rehabilitation centre followed by a month travelling through East Africa in an overland truck going on safari in the many national parks, the highlight was seeing the gorillas in Rwanda.

After returning to the UK for my brother's wedding, deciding on my next destination was easy. My favourite book/film at the time was 'Memoirs of a Geisha' and the culture of Japan intrigued me. I spent about 6 months travelling around Japan on a working holiday visa.

Leaving from Japan, I flew to Bangkok to start 6 weeks of travel around South East Asia. Although I had travelled around Japan on my own, I was happy to join a group to travel through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore. Small group adventure tour companies are perfect for solo travellers and those who don't want the stress of finding a hotel for the night.

A gap year wouldn't be complete without a working holiday in Australia. After a month or so in Melbourne, I headed up to sunny Queensland and set up my base in Surfers Paradise, just south of Brisbane. I did a roadtrip up the coast to Cairns and saw all the highlights up to the Great Barrier Reef.

I met my husband, whilst I was working in Surfers Paradise. He had been in Australia for about a year and was ready to return back to the USA, my parents had just moved to Las Vegas (my dad's last RAF posting) so we headed over to live with them for 6 months.

Alas, it was then time to settle down and get a real job. I returned to the UK with Lou and was able to find a job that loosely combined my love of travel with my degree in media, by working in travel PR. I spent a year doing this before moving to work as a travel consultant for a large independent travel company, where I stayed for 9 years selling tailor-made holidays to worldwide destinations.

Of course, this job gave me the opportunity to continue travelling. I got married in Miami, visited my in laws in Chile and Argentina, relaxed on the beach in Barbados and took work trips to the UAE, New Zealand and Singapore.

In 2015, we had our daughter and so now our holidays are planned around keeping her entertained and happy. For a 5 year old she is fairly well travelled, having had her first holiday at 9 months in Mauritius. Since then we have travelled as a family to Mexico, Orlando and Paris.

So that in a nutshell is my travel experience. There is a lot more that I could write about on any of the above experiences and travel advice I could give, but I would love to know what has inspired you from my experience.

Now that you have read my travel biography, what does your travel biography look like and where will you go next?