This week’s guest post comes from The Fearless Flashpacker – ‘A female solo traveler’s global odyssey. Camel in Tow’. On her site, you’ll learn how to travel comfortably and in style on a very modest budget. She explains ‘I have a full-time, 60-hour a week job, and only get to travel during long weekends or using a maximum of two-weeks hard earned leave. I love dressing up, but never check a bag. I will never be one of those people that sells all her possessions and travels full time. I have a career that I love, and I also like having a place to call “home”. Next year, I’ll be leaving my job and taking a few months to travel before going to grad school–and part of my adventure will be earning enough from freelancing (and e-lancing) so that I can feed myself without dipping into my savings’. But above all she loves meeting people, exploring new depths (diving) or new heights (skiing/hiking/bungee jumping), and merely aspire to do it more and do it better than she did when she was younger.
1.What is your name and where do you come from?
Andrea from the USA. I’ve lived all over the country, but I’m currently in San Diego.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
None of the above. I’m a flashpacker–I have a career and full-time job, and like budget travel but will opt for AirBnBs or a private room in a hostel over a 10 person dorm. I travel a lot for work, and make the most of my 30 days of vacation time a year.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
Right now, I have a full time job. I’m taking a hiatus next year before I go back for a masters degree, so I’m funding that trip through very good lifestyle changes to up my savings, and through a $40/hr remote copyediting gig. I also make some money through various freelance writing gigs.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
New Zealand. Stunning scenery, very tourist-friendly, and the people were very nice.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
That’s a tough one, because there’s never been anywhere I wouldn’t go back to. Bahrain, Qatar, and India were all challenging for various reasons, but I can’t wait to go back to India, and I made some of my best friends in Bahrain. Qatar is hot, you can’t comfortably walk around alone as a woman in broad daylight (which you can do in Bahrain and UAE), and everything about it is big and artificial. But all that said, I also really enjoyed my visit there and I would still encourage people to visit at least once.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
Yes. Antarctica, Madagascar, Machu Picchu.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
Backup battery pack for electronics, iPhone, and one of those first class hygiene kits with eyemask/earplugs/toothbrush.
8. What makes you happy and why?
People. I’m extremely extraverted (85% on the Myers-Briggs), and get a lot of energy just being around new people and learning about their experiences.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve been blogging in some fashion since 2003. My current travel blog FearlessFlashpacker.com was started early 2014. I knew I wanted to share my adventures with the world (I’m away from San Diego 2 weeks out of every month, if not more), and that I’d be doing a round the world trip in 2015.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
I have yet to see another travel blogger out there who has the “day job” that I do. It’s safe to say, I’ve had a lot of experiences through my work of living in very tight spaces with lots of people for months on end, and visiting some of the dodgier, less touristy spots on the planet. So while many like to try these things when they are backpacking, I’ve already done it for a living! I also have a unique travel style that I think sets me apart from others: I don’t fit neatly into either the budget or luxury travel categories. I like being comfortable, but don’t like spending money on anything more than I need. I’m all about looking good when I travel, while still packing everything I need, and I believe this can be done with carry-on only luggage! Oh yes, and I travel with a small stuffed animal, Humps the Camel. He’s even been out to sea with the Royal Navy.
From ESLT – Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Andrea. After reading your answers and checking out your blog I think Mr ESLT and I fit in to the ‘Flashpacker’ category too – careers, full time jobs, like to travel on a budget but not to the point where we are sharing a room with others and we certainly won’t be giving all that up to become full time travellers. I notice that you say that India was challenging but you can’t wait to go back, we are thinking of heading to India later next year so any tips or recommendations regarding where to visit would be very appreciated. Enjoy your hiatus, I’m looking forward to following you and Humps on your adventures during that time. P.S your bucket list is amazing, I hope you manage to tick those places off in the future.
You can also find Humps the camel on Facebook too!