This week’s guest post comes from Sophie’s Suitcase. She explains ‘Sophie’s Suitcase was founded in 2010 whilst on the road volunteering in Vietnam and since then I have visited over 26 countries on nearly every continent. From planning my next trip abroad, to forging new relationships with companies across the globe, I am always working on a new project or offering advice to share with my readers. When I am not attached to my laptop I enjoy long hikes in the countryside, reading travel magazines, cooking pasta carbonara and drinking wine. Possibly all at the same time’.
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
My names Sophie, and I am the founder of Sophie’s Suitcase, a travel and lifestyle blog which begun five years ago after a backpacking trip around South East Asia. My brought my passion for travel and for writing together by launching my blog. I live in the UK and I am currently working full time in Milton Keynes.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
I am currently a part-time traveller as I work a 9-5 job in marketing and PR and only have enough time to travel 19 days a year. It is really important when you work full time to make the most of your annual leave and most importantly bank holidays as they give you more time to travel the world.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
My job funds my travelling, I make sure that I save as much as I can each month, but it is tough with rent and bills to pay. And of course life! Socialising and seeing friends can cost a lot but it all comes as part of life. Every little counts is what I say! £20 can get you on a flight to Copenhagen after all…
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
My favourite country in the world is New Zealand, it is such a beautiful country and around every corner is something that will surprise you and leave you speechless. I went on a four week trip around the south and north island last Summer and I cannot wait to go back! Also, one word: Hobbiton!
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
I wouldn’t say anywhere has been horrible, every destination I have been to has been a learning curve. Of course there are places that scare you, are dirty or you come across horrible people but that can happen anywhere in the world, and can happen at home. South East Asia was a shock to the system, and Australia was a pommie’s heaven but all have been beautiful in their own right.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
Next up on the bucket list includes: Morocco, to which I am visiting in May, and after then I would love to visit Iceland (its beauty reminds me of New Zealand) and then South America.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
My iPhone, talcum powder and rose water. iPhone to catch those wonderful memories on photo, talcum powder as there isnt always enough time to wash those locks and rose water for keeping your skin hydrated.
8. What makes you happy and why?
Being happy within myself. I have suffered from anxiety and depression over the years but travel has helped me deal with a lot of my anxiety and in turn has made me look upon myself and the world differently. It makes you a more rounded person who can tackle the world.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I have been blogging for five years now, however only properly for three years. I initially begun Sophie’s Suitcase as a way for my parents to keep track of where I was in the world after Sixth Form. Now my blog has grown to a huge following from all over the world and I love the fact I can now help other people going off on their travels with the experiences that I have had.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
My blog is unique because of my 9-5 travel limit and my belief that everyone has the right to enjoy luxury when they travel no matter what your budget. There is always a way to achieve affordable luxury! I also offer top tips on how to make the most of your annual leave and the best locations around the world for weekenders and week-long breaks.
From ESLT: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Sophie. A girl after our own hearts – using your annual leave to the most! I’m super jealous that you have been to New Zealand, Mr ESLT used to work there but said he’s not in a rush to go back not because he hated it but because he’s ‘been there, done that’. I’m sure I can work my magic on him and change his mind because I for one NEED to see Hobbiton!!! It is easy to see why you are an award winning blogger – your posts are ace! I love reading them and can’t wait to read about your upcoming adventures.
Sophie writes for Huffington Post, Elite Daily and The Culture Trip in her spare time. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.