1. When did you first start travelling and which is your favourite travel memory?
I first started traveling in 2012 and my first solo trip was to Bangladesh. I have some very vivid memories from that trip (being my first) and have this one where I remember being on a local ferry on a river in one of the villages around Dhaka, watching the sunset. As night fell, thousands of stars showed up in the sky and I was reduced to tears because I had never seen so many stars at once.
2. How do you fund your travels?
Through a combination of savings and income through freelance writing, blogging, social media consulting and content creation.
3. What do you focus on while travelling to a new place – people, culture, attractions, food, adventure, or nature?
While I focus on all of the above, the ratio differs depending on the place. I love nature and the wilderness and so landscapes, hiking and mild adventures naturally become the focus of most travel plans. But I also love people and culture, and seeing as food is an important part of culture, all of these are important to me. I’m not as stressed about attarctions though- I don’t travel with a checklist and I’m usually okay about missing a few ‘must-see’ tourist spots if it means I can watch a sunset or go on a hike.
4. What is your advice to travellers who are just beginning their journey?
Don’t overthink anything- not the planning or whether or not you will meet other like-minded people (if you’re going solo). Just take it one step at a time and you’ll figure it out. The world is a far less complicated place than it can sometimes seem.
5. What is your number 1 money‐saving tip to other travellers?
Skip the souvenirs. You don’t need a scarf from every country (I know through experience) and the best things you can take away from any trip are the stories.
6. What is that one destination in your list that you are dying to go to and why?
There are a couple actually (no surprise there)- I’m dying to go to Antarctica because it’s so so unlike anywhere else on the planet, the Swedish Lapland because I’ve never seen a real winter wonderland and Bora Bora because what’s not to love about an island paradise?
7. What has been your favourite destination? Why?
8. What is the craziest thing you’ve done during your travels?
While this might not seem crazy to a lot of adventurous people, seeing as I have an extreme fear of heights, jumping off a cliff to paraglide in Queenstown, New Zealand was definitely both crazy and impulsive, but I’m so glad I did it.
9. What advice would you give to anyone who is considering travelling but is scared to take the leap of faith?
You can’t live your life in fear and there is nothing to fear when you set off into the world. Just take your common sense, good manners and compassion with you and you’ll find that the world rewards you with more than you can imagine. To sum up in two words- Just go!
10. Do you travel full time? Or do you take breaks in between?
I do not travel full-time. I’m based in Dubai and this puts me in a central position to take many trips during the year. I like having some downtime in between so I can really work on my freelance assignments and projects.
11. Any upcoming trips you’re looking forward to?
I’m absolutely thrilled to be heading to Iceland in two weeks’ time. This is one of my dream trips and I’m literally dreaming about it every other night!
12. We know that travel affects our lives in many positive ways, but no one ever talks about the negative side of it (i.e. relationships can suffer, etc). Has travelling affected your life negatively in any way?
It has no negative effect on my life- I’ve only gained a lot from traveling and I think it is because I keep the balance between traveling and staying put in one place for a while.
13. What is the most challenging aspect of travel in your opinion?
Resisting the urge to see as many places in a short time as possible. This is really a poor way to travel because you get almost no cultural immersion and a zero understanding of the people and society. I don’t like the idea of following a checklist and just seeing attractions versus really experiencing a place. So now regardless of how little time I have and whether or not I know I’ll be going back to a place, I don’t rush myself.
14. There are many ways to travel: from staying in luxurious resorts to hitchhiking and living off the grid. How do you travel?
I don’t restrict myself to one style. When I first started, it was all backpacks and hostels but as I’m getting older and have the need to work while on the road, I’ll do a combination of hostels, hotels, apartments and guesthouses. The amount of luxury depends on the kind of place I’m visiting and what I can afford.
15. Why did you decide to blog? Has it had any impact on the way you travel?
I decided to blog on TheBohoChica.com because I wanted to share stories from my travels and help people realize that travel is not a distant unachievable dream that requires big sacrifices or for you to spend half a lifetime thinking about. Why wait two years, or five or ten? What will change or be better then? If an introverted, geeky girl can make it work on a modest income, then so can anyone else who really wants to see the world. I also really enjoy creating these stories- whether it’s words, photos or videos- I’ve recently ventured into making YouTube videos from my travels and I’m having a lot of fun doing this. Creating all this content is serious business and the need to document my travels has made me more focussed in the way I travel- I seek out the interesting stories, offbeat places and really pay attention to every experience.
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