This week’s guest post comes from Vicki Make Time To See The World. Vicki is originally from the UK, but settled in Melbourne, Australia after 4 years of traveling around the world.
In that time she worked for Walt Disney World in Florida, USA, ran 5 different hotels in the French, Swiss & Austrian Alps and spent any spare time she had exploring the globe. She met her partner, Gavin (a chef) in her first winter season back in 2008 and they have been traveling the world ever since. Together they have visited over 30 countries across Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania – and have no plans to slow down! They are skiers, scuba divers and foodies with a passion for travel – and they love to share their adventures.
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
My name is Vicki Garside, I’m originally from the Manchester in the UK but I migrated to Melbourne, Australia 3 years ago.
2.What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
I find it hard to categorise what kind of traveller I am. I’d say almost exclusively part-time traveller – but one who takes extended trips of 6-12 weeks each time (rather than weekends away). As for style of travel I’d say I was part backpacker – in that I carry a backpack, but more flash packer and ultimately an experience hunter with an unquenchable desire to try everything!
3. How do you fund your travelling?
From 2008 to 2012 I worked mostly seasonal jobs – first, a 6 month stint at Walt Disney World in Florida –which allowed me time to travel around the USA during and after my program. I then took a 6-month role as Hotel Manager in the French Alps and guaranteed my winter employment at various properties throughout France, Switzerland and Austria until I left Europe in 2012 when I moved to Australia. Having short term contracts allowed me plenty of time to travel in between seasons! Since I arrived in Australia my life has been a lot less chaotic. I have now been in the same 9 – 5 role for almost 3 years, which gives me less freedom – but also more disposable income for when I’m planning big adventures. If you’d like the complete run down of my travel life please check out my ‘Why I stopped Traveling’ Post.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
Oh, this is a tough one – I don’t think I can give only one… I loved Chiang Mai, but doesn’t (almost) every traveller. And I love Vegas – so much so that I have a slight case of ‘Vegas Tourette’s’ where I let out a slight squeal and repeat ‘Vegas Vegas Vegas Vegas’ in a sing-song voice whenever I see anything Vegas related. This has made watching CSI particularly difficult!
Anyway, back to my favourite place – I’ll pick one per continent:
North America – Vegas (obviously)
South America – Santiago, Chile
Europe – Barcelona, Spain
Asia – Chiang Mai, Thailand
Oceania – Melbourne (I love my new hometown!)
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
Vang Vieng in Laos is categorically the worst place I have ever been to. Its dirty, it smells and ultimately, its beauty has been smothered by party hungry backpackers which descended on the town from 2006. As you walk down the street all that can be seen are the cafes advertising ‘happy pizza’s’ and replaying episodes of Friends on a loop as hung-over westerners sweat out the alcohol/drugs from the night before – its sad to realise that the town have sold their soul to the Backpackers and got so little in return.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
I have two bucket lists – one for experiences and one for countries. Both of which I am constantly adding to it all the time. I’m heading to Africa for 6 weeks later this year so that will cross off ‘Overland Safari across Africa,’ ‘hot air ballooning’ and ‘cage diving with great white sharks,’ (to name a few!) on the experience list.
My country list is more stable – Myanmar & Cuba (before they become touristy and too commercialised) and Iceland (I know, I know, predictable right?! Top destination for 2016 anyone?)
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
- My camera – which I haven’t upgraded for a while so I predominately the one on my iPhone (I will be rectifying this before Africa);
- A book – which I then swap at hostels/hotels along the way; and
- A pashmina – great for an extra layer when cold, as a blanket and for covering your head/shoulders in culturally sensitive or religious places.
8. What makes you happy and why?
It sounds cliché – but travel. Planning travel, talking about travel, reliving travel, and of course, actually travelling. It’s a major part of my life – and as for the endorphin’s released when I engage in any travel related activity – I think it would be detrimental to my health if I ever stopped.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I set up my blog last April – but didn’t add any content until November last year. I started blogging to have a space to record and share my travel memories – and prep for the ones I haven’t had yet. Although it’s predominately a place for me to store my travel history, secretly, a little part of me hopes that maybe something I write inspires other people to take a step back from their busy lives and make time to see this awesome world that we live in.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
I suppose my blog is unique in the sense of I don’t have a niche. When you start thinking about a blog all the web advice says to pick a niche as it will help you target your audience. That’s just not me. I’m completely in the love with the world and everything in it. I thought long and hard about how to describe myself and at one point came up with ‘I’m a skiing, scuba diving, temple loving adrenalin junkie who has a penchant for cooking classes, wine tasting and trying every style of massage available across every country.” To be honest, I felt it was a bit wordy!
I write about anything and everything I have experienced on my travels – primarily so my partner has a cheat sheet for when he can’t remember where we’ve been. (Every now and then I test him and try and get him to recite itineraries..) but aside from that, if only one person reads something I write and thinks: ‘I’m going to go and do/see/experience that”, I’d feel like I’ve achieved something.
From ESLT – thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Vicki. I must admit I’m very jealous that you live in Melbourne. We visited a couple of years ago and I instantly fell in love with the place (even though it was freezing!). It reminded me so much of England 🙂 Ha ‘Vegas Tourette’s’ that’s so funny and I imagine sometime quite awkward, but it is an amazing place so I can understand why. Your six weeks in Africa sounds amazing. I hope you have the best time and manage to tick loads of your bucket list. Can’t wait to read your posts! Safe travels 🙂