This week’s guest post comes from This FP Planet. She explains ‘I’m a keen traveler; there’s nothing quite like finding your way around a new place. Having caught the travel bug not that long ago, I have since been making time to go and explore more of Europe. My home city of London is the perfect hub for international travel. I’ve been to 20 European countries so far, but who’s counting!? I’m not a full-time traveler, I currently have a full-time job in London, and us lot work the 9-5 and only get 28 days annual leave (!), but it’s about making the most of that time, so at every opportunity you’ll find me Googling new places, nosying through others’ travel blogs, seeking out the budget flights and jumping on a plane. It’s surprising how much of the world you can see on the odd long weekend… or five. Oh, and the name? Flipping Perfect. Because let’s be honest, it kind of is, isn’t it?
1.What is your name and where do you come from?
I’m Michaela, I’m originally from a small but pretty gorgeous town in England called Lincoln, but I currently split my time between my home in Nottinghamshire and London where I work full-time.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
I’m a part-time traveller, living for the long weekends and squeezing as much as I can out of my annual leave. This type of travel requires a lot of planning and researching so I can make the most of the short time I have in each place. Last year I managed to take a total of eight breaks, and this year I plan to take at least five (including my wedding abroad in Iceland – beyond excited!). People do wonder how I manage to ‘always be off somewhere new’ but really, my London base makes European travel cheap and cheerful and totally do-able.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
I bring in a modest graduate salary from my full-time job in London and then I work to strict budgets; opting for low-cost airlines and no-frills or budget boutique types of accommodation to make it work for me. There are so many different travel styles, but personally, my main focus right now is to visit as many places as possible and fill my life with experiences, valuing sightseeing and immersing myself in destination over luxury dining or swish spa hotels.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
Hands down, Iceland. I’m not one to go back to a destination, because I’m always itching to head someplace new, but Iceland totally captured me from my first trip two years back, and I have a third visit booked for this year. This northerly country won me over with its chilled out, friendly residents, out-of-this-world landscapes, glaciers, waterfalls, fantastic food, and superb swimming culture. And the Aurora Borealis? Watching this stunning natural phenomenon transform the night sky above me was the single best moment of my life to date.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
I wouldn’t say the ‘worst’ place, as I’m just going to put it down an unlucky me suffering a series of bad experiences over the few days I was there, but I didn’t love my time in Rome. Sorry! I know Rome has a very vocal fan-base and for many it’s a big bucket list location, and it was great, the history, the sightseeing, the architecture! It was pretty mind-blowing. But sadly there were quite a few things that niggled me which meant I wouldn’t rush back. Sadly we had serious complications with our hotel, suffered rude service across the board and because it was August, it was dusty, dirty and so damn hot. Throw in the fact that Italy isn’t that cheap, and I felt a little miffed about paying over the odds for an experience that fell short of my expectations. Perhaps I need another trip back there to have my mind changed?
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
This is a difficult one, because the entire world is on there, obviously! Currently, I’m obsessed with New Zealand (I’ve heard the landscapes are quite Iceland-esque, so I feel sure I’d love it!), Canada (nature, landscapes, moose!) and South Africa (Cape Town looks incredible, and I’m also keen to get on a Safari!). When I finally break out of Europe, these are the first few places I’ll be heading to.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc.) do you always travel with?
I pack light, as I hate lugging huge bags around with me, but three things that I’m keen to include on my packing list would be 1) Wet Wipes – always handy, and perfect for a quick re-fresh after a flight. 2) Small travel pillow; I’ve always discounted this one but it’s been a life saver on those 6am flights. 3) My camera; can’t live without this one. It’s a bulky DSLR but I always make room for this over everything else.
8. What makes you happy and why?
I’m a big believer that we all make our own happiness; happiness is a state of mind, not about a situation. But saying that, I’m happiest when I’m sharing my experiences with my fiancé. When I’m doing something new, or just simply in a new city with a plate of something delicious and a pint of the local brew. So lush.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
My blog was born in January 2016, so as it stands, around six months. So far, I’ve been working on getting my content sorted and building my social following, which has been super fun! I started because it seemed a natural next step; I love travelling, I love social media, I love taking photos and I love writing and finding like-minded people. I had been reading blogs for a while as I find them the best help when researching a new place, so when I thought, ‘Hey, uh, why can’t I do this too?’ I just slapped away all of those niggling insecurities went for it!
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
I’d like to think that my blogging style is laid-back and personable, which should make my travel blog an easy and fun read. I’m also keen on demonstrating that despite having a full-time job, and no ‘magic pot’ of money, that travel is totally possible; it’s so much more accessible that it once was. At the moment, and for the foreseeable future, I am focused on European Destinations so I’d hope that anyone who loves this continent as much as I do would like to follow my musings and we can start a conversation!
From ESLT – thank you Michaela for taking the time to answer our questions. As part time travellers ourselves we are completely on board with the using annual leave wisely proving you can have a full time job and still gallivant around the world. Love your bucket list, Mr ESLT has been to all three but I’m lagging behind and would love to explore them myself, with him of course. I’m so glad that you shook off your those niggling insecurities and ventured into the world of travel blogging, it’s lovely to have you here 🙂 plus I now have my go-to girl when it comes to all things Iceland! Safe Travels!