When I set out last year to travel I really didn’t know what to expect. My friends were placing bets on how long it would be before I returned home, and having never travelled alone before, or for more than two weeks at a time, I was inclined to believe there was a high possibility I would be back within a month too.

I think I spent every single night of my first week in tears.

As someone who liked to firmly remain in their comfort zone, didn’t know how to talk to strangers and was terrified to try new things, I couldn’t help but spend every single second wondering what on earth I was doing, wondering why I was even travelling in the first place, struggling to understand why I was finding this so hard.

And it was really, really hard.

For the first month at least.

And then, suddenly, something clicked. I got over my reluctance to talk to people I didn’t know, I learnt that the likelihood of dying while trying new food was actually very, very low. The familiar emotion of anxiety that had held a constant presence for much of my life was replaced by something quite different. Happiness.

Travelling was my new comfort zone.

And the thought of going home suddenly started to terrify me.

I started to realise that returning to my old life back in England was no longer an option – I needed to find a way to make this lifestyle sustainable, I needed to start earning money. And so, after months and months of very little travel and a hell of a lot of work – freelance writing and other online ventures – I finally reached the point where I was able to fund my travels and could travel for the foreseeable future.

Being a physics geek, I love numbers and try to keep track of my statistics as I travel. Here’s my round-up of the last year:

Continents visited: 3

Africa, Asia, Europe.

Countries visited: 22

Austria, Bosnia, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Laos, Morocco, Netherlands, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine.

Cities visited: 78 lauren on the great wall of china

Distance travelled: 60,368km

Number of photos taken: 23,347

frolicking in the sahara desert

Number of planes: 36

Number of trains: 17

Number of buses: 33

surfing in kuta bali

Favourite countries:

Thailand, Taiwan, The Philippines.

Favourite cities:

Ljubljana, Slovenia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Koh Yao Noi, Thailand; Boracay, The Philippines.

Total amount spent: £8576.78/$13,312

I am pretty amazed at how little I spent over the entire year. Why were my travels so cheap? I’ve put it down to the fact that I spent 10 of the 12 months in Asia and I was based in Thailand for 6 of those months – a country where I frequently spent under $500 a month. It just goes to show that travel can be extremely affordable!

Amount spent per day by country:

Austria: £37.50/day

Bosnia: £40.00/day

Cambodia: £47.61/day

China: £21.23/day

Croatia: £36.14/day

Czech Republic: £10.00/day

Germany: £24.16/day

Hong Kong: £18.90/day

Hungary: £17.00/day

Indonesia: £25.52/day

Laos: £9.44/day

Morocco: £22.33/day

Netherlands: £32.06/day

The Philippines: £25.01/day

Russia: £30.00/day

Singapore: £30.00/day

Slovenia: £27.51/day

South Korea: £10.16/day

Taiwan: £13.55/day

Thailand: £17.60/day

Ukraine: £16.00/day

beach on koh phi phi

The highlights of my year:

at angkor wat

The past year has undoubtedly been the best year of my entire life!

The only thing left to say is thank you SO much for reading along with my adventures/disasters, for commenting and sharing my posts, for all the support – I appreciate it so much! Hopefully I’ve been able to entertain you with all my mishaps and I hope I can bring you even more ridiculous stories over the next year!

– Lauren