Julia is one of the first travel blogger I met when I was just starting this blog. I’ve been following her trips (Vietnam and Mexico in particular) and her stories as she prepare to travel the world soon.
She sold her house in order to fund her upcoming round the world trip starting on February 2012. It’s a feat that best exemplify that enriching experiences trump the need for material possessions. I admire her for doing that and I’m very happy to have her in this interview.
Here’s my small chat with Julia of Homeless and Confused.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself ?
I’m a web designer currently living in my home city of Manchester but am planning to take off on a round the world trip beginning in February 2012. I have been documenting my previous travels over on my blog Homeless and Confused since January this year and I think it was partly this and reading other travel blogs that spurred me on to pursuing the dream of travelling long term for a while.
Why did you decide to start a travel blog?
I already work in the travel industry with my day job and used to update the company Twitter account on a daily basis. I had booked my first solo trip to Vietnam towards the end of last year and noticed a lot of great novice bloggers out there documenting their travels through their own blogs and I thought that maybe I could do that, too. Somehow I just knew that that trip would be the start of many more awesome travelling adventures.
What’s the most challenging part of being a travel blogger?
I think sometimes when you start getting a good number of readers there is pressure to put out posts regularly, even if you have no inspiration to write from. I really try not to do this; if my heart isn’t in a topic then I simply don’t enjoy writing about it and know that my work won’t be my best. At times like this, I just don’t write anything at all. If I lose followers because of it, then so be it. At the end of the day, the blog is for me more than for anyone else, so if I’m not happy with it then what would be the point?
Can you tell us about your first travel experience?
When I was a child we used to holiday regularly on the coast of Wales during the summer and I have some great memories of hot weather, ice cream and arcade games during those years. But my first travel experience in a foreign place was to Prague (for a day trip) a couple of days after Christmas when I was around 9. It was my first time on a plane and I was so excited and nervous at the same time but I loved every minute of it. The weather in Prague was bitterly cold at that time of year and we spent the day mostly hopping from cafes to restaurants in attempts to keep warm, but I can still remember how exotic it seemed to be in a foreign country where they spoke a different language. I don’t think I’ve ever stopped loving foreign travel since that day.
What’s your favourite destination and why?
That’s really tough because I don’t necessarily have a favourite – I have fallen in love with lots of places I have visited, usually based on the great experiences I’ve had there. To be honest, the only place I have ever been and thought to myself “I could see myself living here” would have to be Mexico, but my favourite holiday destination is Las Vegas, without a doubt.
If you can travel with a real or fictional character, who will you travel with and why?
Harry Potter would be a pretty cool travelling companion because he could magic you out of any tricky situations and I could borrow his invisibility cloak to gain entrance to anywhere in the world free of charge – every budget traveller’s dream! Only downside is he doesn’t really have a great sense of humour, what with being chased by evil spirits most of the time, so that would be a definite negative in my eyes.
What’s your favourite travel quote (from a book, film, TV show etc)?
“Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.” – The Holstee Manifesto
If you have one flight ticket to go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where will you go?
It would be a toss up between Hong Kong and New Zealand. Both very different, but alluring nonetheless.
What is the strangest thing you have eaten, drank or experienced on your travels?
Strange experiences tend to follow me around both at home and abroad, but one that sticks out in my mind is the time I went on an elephant ride in Sri Lanka and the elephant decided to lie down in the middle of a shallow river, with me still sat on top. All the while, a kindly local was snapping photos with my camera from the other side. I thought I would never see either my camera or dry land again…
Advice to fellow newbie travel bloggers
Always try and put your personality into your blog, no matter what you are writing about. There are so many generic travel blogs out there, but I love reading ones that really capture the essence of the writer and their outlook on life and hope that mine achieves this too.
Get to know more about Julia from her blog – www.homelessandconfused.com
“If you like to read the crazy ramblings of someone who’s trying to find her feet in the world then you’ll love my blog. Either that, or you can just have a good laugh over how ridiculous I can be :)”
Do you want to be interviewed on our next session of Talk with a Travel Newcomer? The only requirement of course is that you have to be a newbie travel blogger. Contact me if you’d like to be featured!