This week’s guest post comes from Lucy from World This Weekend. She explains that ‘in 2013, on a break from university, my boyfriend Will and I went on an epic adventure by train across the USA. It was the most amazing experience and changed my life. It was here I realised I don’t ever want the adventure to end.’ And adds that her ‘blog is not only here to act as a virtual postcard for all family and friends but also, I hope, inspire more people to get out there! World This Weekend aims to show that travelling is possible for everyone on all styles, budgets and timescales…even on the weekend.’ Currently travelling around South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, check out her blog and keep up to date on where she is and what she’s doing.
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
Hey everyone! My name is Lucy and I’m from a city in the south of England called Southampton. I’ve lived in a few places in England now including Brighton and Guildford but I’ve moved home to save after graduating university. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
Currently I’m more of a part time traveller. I choose to work for a period of time, usually back at home so I can save the most amount of money in that space of time, and then I leave my job to go off again. In between big trips I like to take advantage of weekends and the UK’s generous amount of annual leave by travelling as much as possible in this time, whether that be everyday adventures closer to home or quick trips across the pond to Europe.
My travel style is mix between budget travel with a hint of luxury thrown in when possible. I usually backpack my way around countries and then have a splurge on a fancy hotel or once in a life time experience along the way. I don’t ever want to regret missing out on something because I didn’t spend a bit more money. I also prefer to jet around with my boyfriend Will, or my friends because for me it’s all about having adventures together and making memories.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
As I said, I usually work in England full time and save save save my little heart out until I have enough money to leave and travel for a substantial amount of time. Since graduating from university I’ve been working in arts and heritage marketing and have managed to save £10,000 alongside paying rent and paying the usual living costs of running a car, phone bills, food etc. Despite being a good saver I even surprised myself!
I’m a big advocate of making travel a priority in my life. I don’t want a mortgage, or a fancy car or expensive clothes, I just want to see the world. Right now that’s my priority. It doesn’t even matter what yours is, as long as you want it bad enough and you’re prepared to make sacrifices for that then you can save a hell of a lot of money when you put your mind to it and don’t make excuses.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
It’s difficult to pick just one place but I would have to say my favourite big city so far is Chicago. I loved its vibe, the art, the culture and the pizza of course! I loved how the city was designed for people to enjoy living outdoors, with all the parks and sculptures and on top of that all the people were just so genuine and lovely.
My favourite areas to travel are the south of France and Spain. I absolutely love the culture, the laid back life, the style, the food, god I could go on and on. It’s on my bucket list to hire a car one day and travel Portugal, France, Spain and Italy along the coast. I’d eat fresh fish every day, be gloriously tanned and live the dream.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
I can’t say I’ve really been to anywhere horrendous yet but unfortunately I have to say the most disappointing place I’ve ever visited was New Orleans. I think it was because the city had been so hyped up by all of my friends and I had such high expectations that it just felt like a let down. I had anticipated being surrounded by amazing life music everywhere I went, smelling delicious food around every corner and being welcomed by kind hearted people who loved life as much as they loved their city. In reality this really wasn’t the case. We stayed in an awful hostel, we felt stuck for things to see and do after the second day and were definitely disappointed by the lack of music. Toward the end of our stay we were stalking the streets to find the ‘true NOLA’ but it was nowhere to be found. The one thing I can say that lived up to expectations was the food. Luckily I had researched before so had scouted out places to go and I still dream about Acme Oyster and Cafe Du Monde to this day.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
I don’t keep a finalised written down bucket list as I change my mind so much and don’t like to be held down by a list I wrote for the rest of time. Instead I have a list of places I most want to visit in the next few years in my head and Will and I spend our time talking and dreaming about our next adventures late in to the night. Within the next few years I’d really like to tick off my European Riviera road trip, do some of South America including Brazil and Argentina and by the end of my life I’d like to have stepped foot in one of polar regions. I love penguins like you’d never believe!
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
I can’t be without cameras. Photographs are really special to me and I regularly look back over them, so I have to take at least a DSLR or compact and then our Gopro. I’m actually on the hunt for a new compact so I can take the DSLR out less, as it’s quite cumbersome and heavy for little old me, so if anyone has any recommendations that would be amazing!
There’s not really anything else that I can’t be without so I would have to say a friend to share the adventure with (cringe I know, don’t shoot me) and an eyebrow pencil hahaha! I just love good eyebrows what can I say!
8. What makes you happy and why?
Sharing new adventures and experiences with friends and family and making memories together. For me that’s a huge part of travelling. I can do solo travel but it’s just not the same. The other three things that make me happy and content are dogs, great food and the sea. I’m easily pleased. When I moved further inland for university I found out I oddly didn’t like to be apart from the sea for too long. As for food I seriously love it. I mean I really really love it, especially anything with cheese. It just makes me so happy. Put these three things together and I’m happy as Larry.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started blogging June this year (2015). I had previously done bits and bobs but never really stuck it out so when I started World This Weekend I told myself it was time to commit. If it flops then at least I’ll know I tried and if I hadn’t I would have always wondered what if.
My boyfriend, Will has also recently started as a regular contributor so you’ll see the odd post about tech and his insane love for cycling a few times a month!
At the moment I’m really enjoying writing and learning so much from all the other amazing bloggers out there who are so generous and kind to share their secrets. I’ve never travelled whilst blogging before so I’m excited for this next challenge in a few weeks and I hope people enjoy coming along for the ride.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
I think it’s unique because it shows travelling in a variety of different ways but at its core it’s about making the most of whatever spare time and money you have with your favourite people. Whether it be short weekend escapes with friends, a little day trip with your mum or a big old jaunt across the world with your significant other. I try to experience all types of trips, on different timescales and budgets to show people what’s possible.
I see so many blogs out there telling me how to travel as a couple or a family, or how to conquer the world solo or on a budget or in luxury. The truth is that all of these relate to me but also distance me at the same time. I want a bit of all of that, but there’s no one really out there showing me how to. I want to see that it can be done.
Once you get in deep, the travel world can be quite alienating and there can be a lot of snobbery between being a ‘world traveller’ or ‘nomad’ (or whatever you want to call yourself) and being an everyday tourist. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being either of these and you can even be both at the same time without compromising your morals (I know shocking!) My main aim is to just make people realise that travel is achievable in their life on whatever scale and to just go get outdoors!
From ESLT – thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Lucy. Nice to meet another part-time travel blogger from England although you take to the next level by quitting your job to do it 🙂 You’re not the first person to say Chicago as their favourite place. This city sounds amazing – I must visit soon, the talk of pizza has done it for me! I love the fact that you list an eyebrow pencil as one of your three essentials, I’m the same with eyeliner! Just because you’re travelling doesn’t mean to say you can’t look fabulous whilst doing it! I agree with the snobbery completely and I’ve mentioned previously that surely it doesn’t matter how you get somewhere, where you sleep or how long you get to spend there – being there is the most important thing and having the memories that will last a lifetime and having the stories to tell.