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Travel Blogger Feature: Euan & Rachel from Our Wee Trip

April 23, 2012
Enjoying Mojitos at the Lebua Sky Bar in Bangkok

It’s good to be back and interviewing  fellow travel bloggers again!

For this edition, I’m lucky to have Euan & Rachel of Our Wee Trip – the adventurous (and good looking) travel couple from Scotland. They left their jobs, packed their bags and set off to see the world! They’ve recently finished their Asian trip and are now travelling across Australia. They keep their blog regularly updated so be sure to follow their stories and adventures!

Our day with the elephants in Chiang Mai

Here’s my short interview with Rachel & Euan.

Names:Rachel Bielinska & Euan Black
Where are you from? We are both proud to be Scottish!
Website: www.ourweetrip.com
Twitter Handle: @OurWeeTrip
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/OurWeeTrip

 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

We’re a mid-twenties, Scottish couple who met at university – Euan’s a PR Pro and Social Media Geek, and Rachel’s a Marketing Graduate and Shopaholic. We realised last year we had a decision to make – settle down in Scotland, or pack up and see the world. Six months later and here we are, sitting doing this interview in a café in Laos. We definitely made the right decision!

Why did you decide to start a travel blog?

We both love to write and take photos, and Rachel worked in digital marketing for the last year so it just made a lot of sense – we thought we had the ingredients for a good travel blog!

It’s turned out to be a great decision – we’ve met loads of people, been given tonnes of advice by other bloggers and had a great fun maintaining it.

 

What’s the most challenging part of being a travel blogger?

Trying to pick the best photos to put on the blog! We’ve got literally thousands of shots we know our friends and family would love to see, but it takes so much time processing and uploading them. We’ll have to invite everyone round when we get back and have a slideshow marathon!

Enjoying Mojitos at the Lebua Sky Bar in Bangkok

Can you tell us about your first travel experience?

Rachel: I’ve been abroad every year since I was 2 when my Mum and Dad took me on my first holiday to Greece (the story goes that I was determined not to get on the plane!). I’ve travelled throughout Europe and the US but this trip is my first travel experience as a backpacker. I was nervous, but I’ve loved every second!

Euan: My first real travel experience (independent from my parents) came when I was 16 and went with a few friends to stay in Barcelona for a week. We had the time of our lives and it was at that point I caught the travel bug.

What’s your favourite destination and why?

Rachel: Italy. The scenery is just breathtaking and the food is amazing. I couldn’t eat pasta at home for a long time after my last trip to Lake Garda – it just didn’t even come close to the how it tasted in Italy.

Euan: Almost impossible to answer – I’ve visited so many amazing places! But Mauritius stands out, as does Croatia. I would recommend anyone travelling round Europe to stop off in Croatia. It’s a beautiful country and I reckon it will become really popular with travellers in the next few years.

If you can travel with a real or fictional character, who will you travel with and why?

Rachel: Euan – cheesy I know but I don’t know anyone else that would carry their own 90 litre rucksack on their back while also carrying my 70 litre rucksack on their front! It’s also nice having your own personal body guard to walk you to the toilet in the middle of the night when you are on a sleeper train or in a hostel with a shared bathroom!

Euan: I should really say Rachel now shouldn’t I?! How about Bear Grylls – the survival expert/adventurer. Some of the stuff he does is awesome and I’d love to travel like that for a while – living off the land.

On a dusty tuk-tuk ride in Phnom Penh

What’s your favourite travel quote (from a book, film, TV show etc)?

Rachel: “No road is long with good company” – Unknown

Euan: “Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

If you have one flight ticket to go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where will you go?

Rachel: Krakow, Poland. My paternal grandfather was Polish and there is something special about Krakow. I find it so welcoming and comforting. It’s an amazing place to just sit in a cafe and watch the world go by.

Euan: A bit of a contentious answer, but I’m going to go for Bora Bora. It’s not really a ‘travellers’ destination, more like somewhere you go for a luxury holiday. But I don’t care – I could swim, snorkel, scuba, and fish…brilliant!

What is the strangest thing you have eaten, drank or experienced on your travels?

Rachel: I think you find something strange happens nearly every day when you’re travelling but I still can’t get over how publicly and loudly everyone belches in Asia!

Euan: On my first backpacking trip around Europe, I was at a club in Valencia, Spain and there was a gun fight…that was quite an experience.

Advice to fellow newbie travel bloggers?

Make sure you take advantage of travel time – we always make sure our netbooks are charged up while we are travelling so we can be productive during long waits at the airport or even during boat journeys!

ourweetrip

 

“Our Wee Trip details the adventures of us, a young Scottish couple, as we travel through Asia, New Zealand and Australia in search of exciting and ‘different’ experiences. We’ve scuba-dived in Thailand, fished for squid in Halong Bay, watched the sun come up over Angkor Wat, and had many many more amazing adventures we love sharing on our blog. There are also lots of great photos and videos!”

All photos in this post are Rachel and Euan’s property but are hosted on this blog’s flickr count. All rights remain with them.

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!

Travel Blog

Travel Blogger Feature: Will of My Spanish Adventure

March 29, 2012
english-teacer-london

My next interviewee is Will Peach of My Spanish Adventure.

Guys, this dude has great comedic flair and a talent for interesting banter over at twitter kingdom.  A definite must follow on twitter. And any great fan of Jack Kerouac deserves a space on this interview! You can follow his expat stories over at My Spanish Adventure and Travel Sex Life.

Here’s my short interview with Will Peach:

Will - My Spanish Adventure

Name: Will Peach
Where are you from? South England, but living in Spain
Website: gapdaemon.com, myspanishadventure.com, travelsexlife.com, vagabundomagazine.com
Twitter : willpeach
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/will.peach1

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Will, a 26-year-old British guy, living in Granada, Spain. Here I work as a travel editor for the gap year travel site Gapdaemon and for the digital travel magazine Vagabundo. I bloody love learning Spanish (despite not being all that good yet) and track my progress along with talking about what to see and do on my Spanish travel blog My Spanish Adventure. I love Spanish omelets. I don’t eat meat. And I’ve got a lot of time for basking in the Spanish sun like a cold-blooded reptile.

Why did you decide to start a travel blog?

Well I’ve been blogging on and off really for the last ten years. I started travel blogging when I left the UK to live and work in Vietnam about four years ago. Back then I was just getting to grips with WordPress and back into the swing of blogging – I was actually working in print at the time for a travel magazine based in Ho Chi Minh City!

When I came back to London I started working for Gap Daemon, running their travel blog and chatting with other travellers around the globe. I decided to start up my own late last year after hitting the road once again and coming out to Spain!

What’s the most challenging part of being a travel blogger?

Dealing with all the female attention. I get knickers thrown at me everywhere I go.

On a more serious note I’d say it probably has to do with consistency. Sometimes you’ll have a ton of good ideas on what to write about and then other days you’re left desperately searching for inspiration!

Will - My Spanish Adventure

And then there’s the problem of discipline as well as sticking it out in the early days when nobody reads or cares about you. Boo hoo.

Can you tell us about your first travel experience?

I was lucky to have many travel experiences growing up as my family took vacations around the world. My first real independent one however, and the one I feel is most significant, was my study year abroad in the USA.

As an English exchange student at the University of Miami you’d probably expect I got in all sorts of trouble with those gutsy American dames. Nothing could be further from the truth however as I was still very shy and very much bewildered by the whole experience.

In terms of seeing the world however that’s what got me out there and lead me to the path I’m on now. Seeing America and living the culture was a fantastic experience that I’ll always take with me. Beer pong or no beer pong.

What’s your favourite destination and why?

I really love Southeast Asia mainly because I had the greatest two years of my life there living in Vietnam and travelling around neighbouring countries. The best thing I love about the area is its mix of the modern and traditional as well as the buzz that fills the air making all those big cities appear as if they are thriving with opportunity.

Another thing I loved of course were the people, who were always friendly and respectful and helped me out with a crap-load of things. The weather and the beaches aren’t too shabby either!

If you can travel with a real or fictional character, who will you travel with and why?

Ha I’m going to get lambasted for coming out with such a cliché but it would have to be my hero Jack Kerouac, author of the book that changed my life On The Road.

I probably couldn’t keep up with him in the drinking and womanizing stakes, but to travel the world while he comes up with poetic ways of describing even the most mundane things I can’t imagine being too unpleasant.

What’s your favourite travel quote (from a book, film, TV show etc)?

Again I’d have to turn to Jack and a quote I remember standing out for me, moving the hairs on the back of my neck as I read it, for the first time, as a lost twenty-one-year-old.

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road if life”.

It’s kind of astonishing how Word will highlight this as being grammatically inaccurate given just how iconic a phrase it is. Soon after reading this the road became my life and now, five years later, I still don’t want to stand still.

If you have one flight ticket to go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where will you go?

Brazil without a doubt. Or failing that anywhere in South America. It fascinates me so much and I can’t wait to go there, experience the sights, the people and the smells and hopefully put my Spanish (or Portuguese as might be the case) into action.

Will - My Spanish Adventure

I’d love to hang out and see Boca Juniors play, have a go at dancing the Tango, see the Rio Carnival, hang out in coffee shops and chat with locals. That’s the dream.

What is the strangest thing you have eaten, drank or experienced on your travels?

Being a vegetarian I tend to play it safe. I haven’t chomped on insects or duck foetuses or anything like that – don’t think I could hold it down either. I’ve drank a fair bit of snake wine in my time though, that’s pretty disgusting.

I remember almost puking up trying a bit of Durian too. Us Westerners can’t handle the smell. Putting that putrid mess into my mouth left me feeling like a little girl as tears welled up in my eyes –that feeling hits most days though you see.

Advice to fellow newbie travel bloggers

Great question and I’d say talk with as many travel bloggers as you can. Get really social, jump on Facebook, Twitter and other peoples blogs and help share their stuff. This karma will always come back to you in some way or another.

My Spanish adventure

“My Spanish blog is all about my life running around the country, learning the language and living cheaply. Gap Daemon is a brilliant resource for planning gap year travel and is full of handy guides and community advice. TravelSexLife is all about the naughtier side of travelling and talks openly about sex abroad. Vagabundo Magazine puts the spotlight on travellers all over the world and asks them to submit their work for inclusion in a quarterly digital magazine. I want to start more!”

All photos in this post are Will’s property but are hosted on this blog’s flickr count. All rights remain with Will!

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!

Travel Blog

Travel Blogger Feature: Ed of Rexyedventures

February 28, 2012
ed

A bit late for the week but here’s my interview for the week with none other than Ed Rex of Rexyedventures! He’s one of my recent travel blogger friends and upon reading his blog I was impressed on his travel dedication and spirit. He’s also profoundly deaf but it’s not stopping him from going on a journey around the world this March. Ladies (and gentlemen), Ed is definitely a guy worth following!

Here’s my short interview of Ed

Ed - Rexyedventures 2

 

Name: Ed Rex
Where are you from? East Yorkshire, UK, the best place ever!
Website: http://rexyedventures.com
Twitter Handle: @rexyedventures
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/rexyedventures


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a profoundly deaf, tall, dark and handsome god who absolutely loves travelling and getting involved in new experiences. I’m an out and proud original Yorkshireman who never strays too far from a supply of Yorkshire Tea.

I’m famed throughout my mates for my love of silly hats, my incessant photo taking, being a massively busy social bee, cheesy chat up lines, and yes..okay a poser.

After several University degrees and several jobs, I’m currently working as an Environmental Technician in a Water Company but I’m jacking that in to go around the world. Woo woo!

Why did you decide to start a travel blog?

I realised I adored travelling and I was always recounting my experiences to friends, family and even random strangers on the bus! But I have too many stories to say and store in my head! So that’s why I decided to create a travel blog to:

  • Share the stories and experiences with other people
  • Learn how to run a blog and web design to avoid being like my parents who refuse to conform to the latest technology and keep relying on me to fix their computer issues. 
  • Also, meet absolutely amazing travel bloggers from around the world to share the love of travel!

What’s the most challenging part of being a travel blogger?

I think there’s 2 parts that are most challenging for me:

    • Learning about coding and website design. It’s all very well and interesting but sometimes I’m unsure if I am getting the best deal out it. Luckily, I have literally awesome travel blogger mates who know their stuff and are helping me decide what I want. Currently, I’m supported by WordPress but I’d quite like to use my own hosting. 
    • Keeping up with the content! I do so much at home and I always want to write about my experiences and I haven’t even left on my first RTW yet!

Ed - Rexyedventures

Can you tell us about your first travel experience?

Even though I have been on plenty of holidays with my family before, I would class my holiday with them to Malta as my first travel experience. Dad and a 16 year old of me, took the bus to Valletta to visit the city. It was great to mingle with the locals on that bus and just experience Maltese life in the city. However, my first travel moment has to be when we hired a car to go to the other island but the car doesn’t start unless I get out and push (with both parents inside, how unfair!). This happened when we were on the ferry going over to the other island of Malta and we were the first vehicle that had to get off! So pushing the car up a ramp to get on the island was truly an experience with all the locals shouting and beeping their horns at me from behind and the police hanging around just laughing at my attempts! I grinned. This was amazing!

What’s your favourite destination and why?

Without a doubt, Uganda. There’s so much to experience and see in this beautiful country. Safaris, white-water rafting on the River Nile, eat in the local restaurants, volunteer with children, build schools, and go trekking. Lend of a country!

If you can travel with a real or fictional character, who will you travel with and why?

If I had to, then it would be a much younger version of my dad. He had me when he was mid forties and beforehand, he was a very much accomplished climber and trekker and backpacker! He always tells me of his glory days in the Alps, in Switzerland, Austria, Norway and much of Africa. I wish I could have travelled with him then and as we get on so much now, we would have had a massive laugh! I’ll never forget the time he took me mountaineering when I was 7/8.

What’s your favourite travel quote (from a book, film, TV show etc)?

Can’t think of one from the top of my head but the quote from the Bucket List have me reciting this to everyone:

Never Pass Up a Bathroom, Never Waste a Hard On, Never let a Never Trust a Fart!
If you have one flight ticket to go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where will you go?

South Africa. I’ve heard so many great  things about this beautiful country. I’ve heard so many stories from my parents when they went there on business. I was enthralled when I was younger listening to my dad recounting the time he wrestled a lion in the wild…I now find this to be highly untrue! How gullible was I!
Ed - Rexyedventures

What is the strangest thing you have eaten, drank or experienced on your travels?

Eaten – There’s nothing I have eaten that I classify as strange. If it’s not strange to that local country then it’s not strange to me. But I do have to say that Celery is by far my strangest food. It doesn’t taste of anything. I don’t understand it. And I never will.

Drink – Spezi (Germany) I’ll never forget the day I glanced the menu at a German Restaurant and I spied this drink. Half fanta and half coke?! Why haven’t I tried this before?! I quickly ordered one and I can’t still figure out the taste…my brain was telling me fanta and my taste buds were telling me coke. Who knows?!
Experienced – During my freefall on my skydive, I was washed over with an eerie calm. I was enthralled by the curvature of the Earth and felt like I was top of the world. But I didn’t fell like I was falling…It was like being in a swimming pool!

Advice to fellow newbie travel bloggers

Always take up the challenges and experiences. You’ll regret it if you don’t. At least you tried it once so you could say that you didn’t enjoy it and won’t do it again. Me? I’ll always keep on doing new challenges and experiences as I missed out so much before because I was too shy and wouldn’t say boo to a goose..(hey…could that be a challenge…to say boo to a goose?!)

Rexyedventures

A Solo RTW digital travel expert blog seeing the world the Rex Way! Trying to push myself to the limit; always trying out new experiences; new challenges; and new customs all around the globe! Also, I’m trying to tell you that Britain is one of the best places to travel as a backpacker 🙂

 

All photos in this post are Ed’s property but are hosted on this blog’s flickr count. All rights remain with Ed!

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!

Travel Blog

Travel Blogger Feature: Natalie from Girl and the World

February 21, 2012
Natalie - Girl and the world

Today’s Newbie travel blogger interview is with Natalie of Girl and the World! Her blog is really great and has fantastic resources on solo travel especially for women. And of course, there are lots of great posts about South Korea (where she spent a year teaching) and Sri Lanka. And she’s now saving up for long term travel. Definitely, watch out for Natalie as she’s set to conquer to world!

Here’s my short interview with Natalie. 

Natalie from Girl and the World

Name: Natalie Lyall-Grant
Where are you from? London, England
Website: www.girlandtheworld.org
Twitter: @girlandtheworld
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GirlAndTheWorld

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your travel blog?

I’m a English and Creative Writing graduate who discovered travel at the age of 18 and found herself totally addicted. I traveled as much as I could in my breaks from university, and then as soon as I graduated I left England and moved to Sri Lanka to take up writing professionally for a travel and tours company. I ended up running out of money and moving to South Korea to work as a teacher, where I’ve now been living for almost a year. I am currently saving up for my next big trip, which will be working my way across Asia over the space of a year. My blog is an exploration of places and cultures, trying to dig under the surface of what makes that country tick, and why it is worthwhile as a travel destination, specifically from a female point of view. I also run a series of interviews with women from around the world, trying to give voice to those who are so often globally silenced.

Why did you decide to start a travel blog?

I’ve been blogging for a while now for my friends and family back home, but I decided to create a commercial travel blog only last month. I’ve been rolling the idea around in my head for a while, but wasn’t sure what I could write about as I’m stuck in an office most of the time in Korea. Now that I’m finally about to don my backpack, say goodbye to the 9-5 and head off on a year-long adventure, I felt it was the right time to make a start on travel blogging, as I figured that people would be interested in reading about my experience.

What’s the most challenging part of being a travel blogger?

I found that setting up my blog initially was one of the biggest challenges. It took a lot of work to get it all up and running – buy the domain and host site, tweak the appearance with HTML, find the right plugins to get the layout I wanted, run the whole site through with SEO, etc etc. There were so many times in the first few days that I just wanted to give up! Once the blog was up and running there were other challenges (how to promote it? How to get followers on twitter? and so on…) but once I started getting kind comments and responses from other bloggers, it was so rewarding, I barely noticed the hard work I was putting in.

Can you tell us about your first travel experience?

My first solo travel experience, independent of friends and family was in Sri Lanka in 2006. I went over there as a naive 18 year old, with no idea of what to expect, barely even registering the fact that there was a war on at the time, just keen to do something different. I volunteered out there for two months and honestly felt like I came back a different person. That brief period of travel opened my eyes up to so many things, it was a truly amazing start to my travels.

Natalie from Girl and the World

What’s your favourite destination and why?

Sri Lanka is still my favourite destination. I’ve been back there three times now, and started studying Sinhalese (one of the three main languages of Sri Lanka) last year. Every time I go back I notice something new and wonderful about the country. I’m currently writing a novel set in Sri Lanka, which I hope to finish by the end of next year, and I will be returning there for a few months to continue my Sinhala studies this year.

If you can travel with a real or fictional character, who will you travel with and why?

What a great question! I’ve never really thought about it before. To be honest I like to travel alone, but if I could meet up with someone for a coffee along the way I’d chose real people over fictional characters. Perhaps Roma Tearne, the writer of Mosquito, a book about Sri Lanka. Or Bruce Parry, from BBC’s Tribe. I’d love to sit down and share a banana pancake on a beach somewhere with both of them!

What’s your favourite travel quote (from a book, film, TV show etc)?

“to travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries” – Aldous Huxley

If you have one flight ticket to go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where will you go?

Since I’m already going to be traveling across Asia, I’ll pick somewhere from a different continent and go with… Ecuador. I’ve never been to South America but a girl once told me she has spent a month studying frogs in the amazon rainforest in Ecuador. It sounded amazing and I’ve wanted to go ever since!

Natalie from Girl and the World

What is the strangest thing you have eaten, drank or experienced on your travels?

I’ve eaten a lot of strange things over the years – silkworm larvae, blood soup, live octopus and shark, just to name a few. I can’t say I’ve drunk many strange things though. Perhaps the most disconcerting drink I have ever tried was the dreaded Lao Lao in Laos. Sold in brandless plastic bottles on the side of the street, smelling like petrol, and tasting like ethanol, I can’t say it was the nicest drink I’ve ever had!

Advice to fellow newbie travel bloggers

Find a niche. I struggled to get the views when I was just writing broadly about travel, but when I started narrowing down the content my views went way up. Also network as much as possible. The travel community on twitter is a wonderful source of information with some truly fantastic people in it.

Natalie from Girl and the World

Girl And The World is a solo female travel blog looking to get under the skin of travel destinations and closer to the communities that make up those countries.

 

All photos in this post are Natalie’s property but are hosted on this blog’s flickr count. All rights remain with Natalie!

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!

Newcomer Interviews

Travel Blogger Feature: Cole and Adela – Four Jandals

February 13, 2012
Cole and Adela - Top of Marmot Basin Ski Area

This week, our travel blogger newcomer interview is with Cole & Adela of Four Jandals. They are a Kiwi adventure couple currently settled in Scotland. Their travels have brought them around the US, Canada and the Pacific islands. They are one of my good buds online and I’m happy to have them on this section.

Here’s my short interview with Cole and Adela of Four Jandals. 

Cole and Adela, Top of Marmot Basin Ski Area

Name Adela May and Cole Burmester
Where are you from? New Zealand
Website: www.fourjandals.com
Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/#!/fourjandals
Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/fourjandals

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

We are a Kiwi Couple who love adventure travel and our Jandals (Flip Flops). We have been travelling and working around this tiny little planet of ours for over 2 years and have plans for a few more years yet. We first started our OE (Overseas experience) in Canada working in the middle of the Canadian Rockies for a year before moving to the UK. We are currently working as a Recruitment consultant and Wind Farm Planner in Edinburgh and trying to see as much of Europe as we can.

Why did you decide to start a travel blog?

We did an epic road trip across Canada and USA over 8 weeks in a converted Dodge van with a bed in the back. We drove 18,000km and saw some life changing sights. Initially we just wanted some way to ensure that we would never forget the great experience we had so we kept a diary whilst driving. Once we arrived in the UK, Cole thought having a blog would ensure we could keep the memories forever. It was also a way to keep family and friends updated on our travels. Cole realised how much he enjoyed blogging and we have been lucky enough to capture the interest of a few people and now we dream of doing this full time. We are hooked!

What’s the most challenging part of being a travel blogger?

Adela: Getting Cole off the computer haha. We actually just brought a new computer so we can both work at the same time, as it takes so much time to actually keep up a decent blog. Every article requires so much effort and then you want to ensure you are spending enough time interacting with your followers and other travel bloggers through our Social Media channels.

Cole: Definitely the time involved. We try to post a minimum of 3 articles a week and barely have time to do that. It is really hard when travelling to sit down after a long day touring a city or mountain biking to come back and write it up. Wish we could make it into a fulltime job.

Can you tell us about your first travel experience?

Adela: This is not the first time I travelled but i would class it as my first ‘travel experience’. When I was 15 I went to Hong Kong with my family and it was such an eye opening experience. Everything was so different to home. The sights, sounds, smells, language and I absolutely loved it! That trip made me realise how diverse the world is and it made me want to explore as many different countries and cultures as possible. Safe to say this is where I caught the travel bug.

Cole: Being from New Zealand meant that we often just travelled as a family to Australia or the Pacific Islands. While family holidays are fun, most of the time you seem to spend time in the kids club etc. So my first “travel experience” was similar to Adela but I went to Indonesia. The culture shock opened my eyes to a world outside New Zealand. Have loved travelling ever since.

Cole and Adela Rafting in Jasper National Park

What’s your favourite destination and why?

Apart from New Zealand we both agree on the Canadian Rockies. The views are amazing, as are the lakes. You can bike for an hour and feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. I love climbing up a mountain and feeling like I am so small compared to the wilderness around me. It always made me feel calm and free. Also the wild life there is something else!

 If you can travel with a real or fictional character, who will you travel with and why?

Adela: Bear Grylls. Because you would have some awesome adventures and if you ever got caught in a pickle he would be the best person to be with! Plus I am currently reading his account of climbing Everest, “Facing up”, which is a great read.

Cole: Any comedian who could turn any problem into a joke. Laughter really is the best medicine at turning a bad situation into a manageable one.

What’s your favourite travel quote (from a book, film, TV show etc)?

Adela: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Cole: A little inappropriate and not strictly a travel quote but it is searching which I relate to travel. “Surfing is like a pair of tits, you are always searching for the perfect set.” –  Anonymous

If you have one flight ticket to go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where will you go?

Adela: Keeping the time of year in mind, I would probably jump on a plane to Vietnam to cycle the Mekong Delta River. I have always dreamed of cycling through a country and it seems like an awesome way to see the land and reach some destinations modern transport cannot.

What is the strangest thing you have eaten, drank or experienced on your travels?

Adela: Snails in Paris – cliché I know. But still!!!

Cole: Not a meal or a drink but an experience. We were parked at a truck stop in Las Vegas when driving across USA and a crazy guy on some sort of drugs kept banging on the car and singing. Pretty damn scary and had to drive off in the middle of the night.

Advice to fellow newbie travel bloggers.

Just write consistently for yourself and the success will come. It is more important that you are happy with what you are writing than anyone else.

fourjandals

“Four Jandals is a travel blog that focuses largely on our adventure travel activities and gives other travellers the opportunity to obtain travel tips tips. It provides an insight into our feelings and individual experiences as we make our way around the world in our trusty jandals (flip flops).”

 

All photos in this post are Adela and Cole’s property but are hosted on this blog’s flickr count. All rights remain with Adela & Cole.

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!

Travel Blog

Travel Blogger Feature: Monica of The Travel Hack

February 6, 2012
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I’ve started reading Monica’s first blog  Total Travel Bug and I got hooked! She has a great material not only about travel destinations but also how she uses travel as a way learn and push  forward professional writing career (she’s a journalism graduate). She’s now back in the UK but she has lots of great material on her blog!

Here’s my short interview with Monica of The Travel Hack

Monica Stott - The Travel Hack

Name: Monica Stott
Where are you from? : North Wales
Website: www.thetravelhack.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/thetravelhack
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TheTravelHack


Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your travel blog?

When I finished uni I bought a one way ticket to Australia and didn’t look back for almost 2 years. I travelled around SE Asia and worked my way around Oz before heading home last summer. Since then I’ve started a journalism course and work at Gap Daemon, a gap year website, as an editorial assistant.

My blog follows my travels, my weekends away and my journey to becoming a travel journalist.

Why did you decide to start a travel blog?

Before I left to go travelling I was working for my local newspaper and they asked me if I’d be interested in blogging about my travels for their website. At the time I barely even knew what a blog was but it wasn’t long before I’d caught the blogging bug and began teaching myself the basics.

What’s the most challenging part of being a travel blogger?

Blogging is really time consuming so the most challenging thing is simply finding the time to write my posts and keep up to date with my favourite travel blogs. At the minute I’m juggling blogging with full time work, studying part time and trying to have something that resembles a social life. I’ve been told that travel bloggers don’t sleep so this is something I need to work on and then my life will be much easier!

Can you tell us about your first travel experience?

I grew up with family holidays to European beach destinations but it wasn’t until I was18 that I did something a little different and visited Jamaica. My boyfriend and I travelled around the country staying in little beach huts, eco-resorts and tree huts where there wasn’t another tourist in sight. It was this trip that truly sparked my love for travelling and finding unique places to stay. We spent a while in a tree hut overlooking the sea with a bathroom in the jungle and this huge bathtub on the edge of a cliff. It was a pretty unique experience and something that’s going to be hard to beat.

Monica Stott - The Travel Hack

What’s your favourite destination and why?

Thailand. I know it isn’t very original and it’s everyone’s favourite place but I really love it. The people are so kind and friendly, the food is amazing, the beaches are stunning, the countryside is spectacular, the diving is top-notch and there’s so much to see and explore. And when you’re tired with all the exploring you can hop on a scooter and find a deserted beach and pretend you’re the only person in the world.

If you can travel with a real or fictional character, who will you travel with and why?

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter would have to be the best travel buddy. Not only would she have absolutely everything you could possibly want or need in a teeny tiny bag but you could also hold her hand and she could magic you to anywhere in the world. She’d have that awesome little tent you could pop up that is actually huge and she has a pretty good wardrobe so I’d like to borrow her clothes.

I also love organised people. I’m probably the least organised person in the whole world so I love being around organisation and neat, orderly people. I always wanted to be one of those people who have different compartments in their backpack for different things but within 10 minutes everything in my bag is a mess.

Monica Stott - The Travel Hack

What’s your favourite travel quote (from a book, film, TV show etc)?

Can I quote Nike? I know this isn’t very intellectual for someone who has an English literature degree but I love their slogan ‘Just do it’. It bugs me when people say, ‘I really want to travel and see this and do that.’ And all I can say is, ‘Just do it!’ Don’t sit around at home thinking about it and telling everyone how much you want to do it, just do it!
I’m not much of a planner and tend to make impulsive decisions so ‘Just do it’ is pretty much how I live my life.

If you have one flight ticket to go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where will you go?

India. I’m fascinated by India and the culture so a big trip to India is next on my list for October 2012. It’s a long way away but I’m excited already!

What is the strangest thing you have eaten, drank or experienced on your travels?

While I was in Vietnam there was a typhoon and we were trapped in our hotel for a couple of nights because the flood water was about 6 metres high. This wouldn’t have been too bad but it was a cheap hotel with no windows and obviously all the power was out so we were stuck there for 4 days in the dark. Claustrophobia would be a massive understatement!

Everyone from the ground floor was moved up a level which meant strangers were sharing rooms and all the staff who worked there had their families come to stay because their houses were flooded. It was such a strange experience as the hotel became one huge, multicultural home. Because it was always dark we were constantly bumping into one another and we became really close to perfect strangers who didn’t even speak the same language.

The weirdest part was when the flood water was eventually swept away and we could leave – everyone went straight back to being strangers again. That close, family feel just vanished and it was as though we hadn’t been trapped together for all that time. 

Advice to fellow newbie travel bloggers

Read as many travel blogs as you can. They will keep you motivated and help you realise what you like about travel blogging and what you should or shouldn’t use in your own blog.

Monica Stott - The Travel Hack

“My blog is all about my travels and travel related things that make me smile. I’m not quite a flashpacker but I do like to add a bit of style to my trips. My blog follows my journey to becoming a travel journalist, my life in London, my weekend escapes and my plans for my next big trip. “

All photos in this post are Monica’ property but are hosted on this blog’s flickr count. All rights remain with Monica.

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