This week’s guest post comes from Roisin from Adventures of Sheen. Roisin explains ‘A few years ago, I decided I wanted to travel. Easy right? Except I had no money. Like, NONE. So I figured out ways to work and travel at the same time. As of now, I’ve worked in 6 countries and visited 25, spanning 6 continents.’ She add that her blog ‘is about my (mis)adventures along the way, and how you can do the same if that tickles your fancy.’
1.What is your name and where do you come from?
My name is Roisin, pronounced Ro-sheen. Where I come from is no less complicated. I’m from Fermanagh, on the border of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, so I’m sort of British-Irish. At the moment, I’m living in Beijing, China.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
At the moment I’d say I’m a part time traveler with ambitions to make it full time.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
I haven’t quite reached that point yet where I’ve embraced the whole digital nomad thing, so I spend a few months every year chained to a desk working to fund my travels. You know, living that dream. I used to teach English as a way to see the world, and have vowed countless times never to do it again, which suggests that it’s probably something I’ll return to in the future. The aim is to increase my freelance work so that I can travel full time.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
I went to Japan for two weeks in autumn this year. I’d wanted to go to Japan since I was a kid, and first became obsessed with Japanese games, cartoons and culture. Needless to say my expectations were pretty high, but Japan was one of the few countries that actually exceeded them. Everything is spotless, runs on time and works well; the people are friendly and polite to a fault. In Tokyo, I spent hours mesmerised by the arcades and the flashing neon street signs; in Kyoto, every corner you turn is like a postcard – just stunningly beautiful. I’d go back there in a heartbeat.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
My first experience in China wasn’t altogether pleasant. I was working in a second tier city called Kaifeng. When I first arrived, I’d never seen a squat toilet before in my life and stood for a few seconds staring at it, trying to work out how I should use it. I was shocked by the amount of dirt and poverty I saw – wasn’t China supposed to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world? There were no tourists and so it was a bit like being a minor celebrity for a few months. I even had people wake me up on trains so they could take selfies with me.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
I tend to just see where I end up, rather than making a list or anything. Ecuador, Mexico and Brazil are just a few I’d love to see in the near future.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
Some form of sleeping pill. Take a couple before a long journey, and suddenly you wake up and you’re there. It’s like teleporting. An iPod is an obvious choice, not only because it can block out whatever fresh hell is happening outside your headphones, but I also feel that music has a weird way of restoring my sanity. I’m tempted to say my iPhone for the last one, but I guess that’s kind of boring. So I’ll go for fireworks, because if nothing else, fireworks are a conversation starter.
8. What makes you happy and why?
That’s a broad question. I really don’t think anything can beat the sensation of peeing after you’ve been holding it in for a really long time. Apart from that, probably fireworks.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I used to blog about books and poetry (under the aptly titled “Finding the Lit in 5 Easy Steps”). This most recent travel blog I’ve been writing for a couple of months or so. I started because I like everything about blogging – writing, researching, editing, web design – and it seemed like a good way to feed my passion for travel whilst sitting in a dimly lit office.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
I think it’s very easy for bloggers to say everything is INCREDIBLE or LIFE CHANGING or WOW. In my blog I try to be honest (I’ve basically declared war on the exclamation mark). Not everywhere is great. Not everywhere is going to give you the tingles. And that’s a good thing, because if everything was as amazing as the guidebooks suggest, you’d become desensitized to it all. Considering how much investment goes into travelling, I think it’s important for people to be completely informed about places, and the potential pitfalls as well as those wow moments. In a broader sense, I try to focus on part-time and budget travel, mostly because I’m skint and so writing about luxury travel would be a bit of an odd move.
From ESLT – thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Roisin. Wow you really do love fireworks, don’t you? 🙂 I love how honest you are and that certainly comes across in your writing. It is very refreshing. I love Japan too, I spent a bit of time there when I was younger and would love to return with Mr ESLT in tow as he has never been. I’ll be checking out your blog when we do. It sounds like you love blogging (which is always a bonus when you are one) who can turn her hand to writing about anything she has a passion for. I love the name ‘Finding the Lit’ it made me snort out loud in the middle of my open plan office 🙂 I hope you do get to travel full time one day and I’ll be checking your blog for updates along the way.