This week’s guest post comes from Two Tickets To. Two recent graduates from the UK whose whose favourite travel memories include climbing Kilimanjaro and ‘wandering around Dubrovnik Old Town at 3am when it was absolutely deserted – we basically had the whole place to ourselves which was incredibly exciting.’ Not forgetting a very wet family holiday to Venice – ‘St Mark’s Square had flooded earlier that day, but by the evening the water had retreated leaving huge puddles. All I can remember thinking it that the atmosphere was magical as people wandered around, listening to the orchestra which was playing in one corner of the square and skipping through puddles.’
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
We are Matt and Lucy from the UK! Lucy is from the South and Matt is from the North, which makes for an interesting mix of accents! We both recently graduated from University, are in our early 20s, and are currently working/studying in England….
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
If only we were full time! At the moment, we’re probably still in the ‘student budget’ phase – so I guess that makes us backpackers! We do tend for go for private rooms rather than dorms when we’re choosing accommodation, but cut costs wherever possible. We’ve been known to deliberately opt for a night bus to get us from A-B since it saves us a night’s accommodation!
3. How do you fund your travelling?
Somehow?! It’s not always pretty, but we manage it. It used to be a combination of work, savings and student loans – but the student loans have now long since gone, and the savings are looking quite low, so I think more emphasis is going to be have to put on the ‘work’ side of things from now on. That’s quite a depressing sentence to write. Ah well!
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
For Matt, it would have to be Kilimanjaro/Tanzania. Such an incredible experience that Lucy is probably (definitely) tired of hearing about! But it combines adventure, nature, scenery and wonderfully friendly people – so what’s not to love?!
Lucy can confirm that she is tired of hearing about Kilimanjaro and can probably tell the stories as well as Matt can… As for the best place I’ve ever been, it’s a really tricky question. I’m going to go with Yosemite National Park because it is somewhere that I’d always heard amazing things about and the reality was even better than I’d imagined it being. The scenery was absolutely spectacular and so varied, from forest to meadows to the iconic Half Dome.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
Matt: Purely just on travelling experience, I’d actually have to say Frankfurt! We were only there for a few hours before catching a flight, but it really did seem like the most soulless city imaginable. It was at the weekend when all the finance sector had gone home, so it felt like the city (or at least, the area around the train station) had been taken over by prostitutes and drug addicts. It just wasn’t a pleasant atmosphere, and it’s the only time in any of my travels that I’ve deliberately crossed the street because I didn’t feel safe.
Lucy: Much as I love Germany, I’m going to go with Munich train station. I had to wait there for an hour or so, by myself, and had a few ‘interesting’ encounters. Hopefully I was just unlucky!
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
Matt: I don’t have a bucket list as such, I think there are far too many things to see and do! My top 3 places to visit though…that’s doable! Machu Picchu, Everest, and Lake Banff . 3 dreadful clichés in there, I know. But they’re popular for a reason!
Lucy: I am also without bucket list, but I do have an extensive list of dream destinations. I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland and see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, to Tromsø and see the Northern Lights, and to take the Trans-Siberian Railway.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
A camera! This is an absolute essential. Or, at least, a smartphone with a decent quality camera on it. The quicker it can be whipped out and a photo can be taken, the better (as long as it doesn’t compromise too much on quality!)
A headtorch. After experiencing power cuts, missing bathroom lights and very dark streets whilst travelling I (Lucy) love my headtorch.
And finally…a small fabric bag (this is Matt speaking) which can be easily stuffed into main luggage during flights, but which can fit water, maps, food etc. during the day. This means I can leave my big bag behind in my room, but am still able to carry stuff around. It’s basically a fabric handbag. But I love it.
8. What makes you happy and why?
For us, it’s definitely experiencing other cultures and other ways of doing things. There’s no right or wrong way – there’s only what we’re used to, and what’s we’re not. We love the organised chaos of road systems in countries like India, or the old Germans who happily drink schnapps in the morning on a train up a mountain. It’s brilliantly foreign to us!
Learning a bit of the language and putting it into practice successfully is also a great feeling – and often makes for some amusing situations and stories along the way…
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
Our blog, twoticketsto.com, has only been going since early November 2015. This is Matt’s first foray into the world of blogging and he’s having a great time. Lucy has quite a bit more experience, having done a ‘year abroad’ blog whilst in Germany and been nominated for a Blog Award last year!
We started this to combine our love of travel and writing. Having memories written down lets you live them again and again. Writing about some of our trips months later has let us recall things that we’d probably otherwise have forgotten! It’s also nice to have something fun to work on whilst we get on with our ‘real’ work
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
There are hundreds – nay, thousands of travel blogs out there. That much is obvious. Ours isn’t pretending (or trying) to be anything particularly groundbreaking – but that gives us the freedom to write what we want, and how we want to. We’re not going to sugar-coat anything just for the sake of it, because we see this as a creative outlet for our memories rather than a review/tip website (although we’ll write the occasional commentary if the mood takes us!)
We both tend to write with quite a dry sense of humour and enjoy making observations about the places we visit – so people should read on if they want honest, easy reads about travels. We do hope that our blog makes people smile when they read through it, and maybe encourages people to think about visiting places they might not otherwise have thought about going to!
From ESLT – thank you Lucy and Matt for taking the time to answer our questions. As part time travellers ourselves who work to fund our travel I agree it’s difficult but in a lot of ways very satisfying. When you are experience new countries, cultures and cuisines it nice to think ‘we earned this’. Saying that though we are certainly not opposed to a massive lottery win 😉 I’m loving Lucy’s head torch idea, I’m quite a wuss when it comes to the dark so I think I need to invest in one of those myself. I can completely understand why Matt’s favourite place was Kilimanjaro, it looks amazing and to have climbed it is insane – I’m very jealous. I love your open and honest blog posts and hope other people will too.