This week’s guest post comes from Zoe, blogger behind jugglingonrollerskates. She explains ‘I’m a Mum, Teacher and love having adventures. My blog is a family focused blog featuring events, days out and short breaks. We are based in East Sussex but love to roam.’
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
My name is Zoe Holland. I’m originally from Solihull in the West Midlands but I now live in East Sussex with my family.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
I did most of my travelling in my twenties when I was avidly into winter sports and spent a number of years chasing the snow. I’m pretty restricted by family duties these days so travel tends to UK based with the occasional visit to Europe. I’d describe myself as a retired Seasonnaire with a passion for home grown family adventures.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
In the past I always loved working as I travelled. I think that you get a real taste for local life by temporarily becoming a local yourself. It’s also a great way to pick up practical language skills….I’ve spent time working in New Zealand, the French Alps and on a Kibbutz in Israel. All of which paid for my rent and nights out whilst getting a real sense of local life and culture.
Life’s very different now…it’s not just me I have to budget for but a family of 6. Holidays are very rare and precious things at the moment. Last Summer we stayed in a friend’s beach house in Saunton Sands, Devon so accommodation was gifted through friendship! I have won a number of short breaks through photography and writing competitions including a week in a cottage in Somerset last February and a long weekend at Camber Sands. Mostly we embrace the environment around us and make the most of what’s right on our doorstep for next to nothing. We are very lucky to live in a wonderful part of the country…we can spend the day on the beach at Camber Sands, or walk in the hills on the South Downs. We spend a lot of time exploring local woodland like the Ashdown Forest and enjoying local National Trust properties.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
I absolutely love New Zealand. I’ve visited maybe 10 times over the years and have lived and worked on both the North and South Islands. I spent a lot of time in Wanaka when I was into snowboarding. It’s a beautiful town surrounded by both Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps. Over the years it’s become a hotspot for adrenalin sports but in the off season it’s an unassuming little town that’s just established itself in the most glorious setting you could ever imagine. I also absolutely the Coromandel Peninsular up on the North Island, it’s like going back to Jurassic times!
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
I have sat and thought about this question long and hard and I honestly can’t think of one place I really didn’t like. There have been bad experiences like being stranded on my own in Linz, Austria without a way home and no knowledge of the language. I have visited politically volatile places like Bethlehem in the West Bank where war and segregation are a striking reality. There have been trips where I’ve spent more time on the loo with a poorly tum than seeing the sights, like my visit to Dahab in Sinai. I have been to destinations that are dirty and littered…like surfing in a rubbish strewn sea on Kuta Beach in Bali..but I would never class any of these as being the worst place I’ve visited. I genuinely see every travel experience as a positive, perhaps only in hindsight sometimes but even the bad places have their highlights!
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
Japan is definitely at the top of my bucket list. I would be making sure I head up to Hokkaido for some snowboarding first before catching the Bullet train to head down to Tokyo and Kyoto.
Canada would be next. Canadians are incredibly friendly and have a great, laid back sense of humour. I’d make sure I tick off Vancouver Island, Whistler and Kicking Horse before visiting Montreal and the rest of Quebec.
Finally I’d really like to see all of Scandinavia but especially Sweden. I have a few good Swedish friends who talk about spending Summer’s in their lake houses in the middle of no where. It’s sounds idyllic and so simplistic.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
My camera – I love taking photo’s of the places I visit. Looking back at the images I’ve taken over the years triggers a lot of memories and emotions.
Guide books – I really like to learn about a location. It’s so easy to miss great aspects of a country. I take at least two guides but also like to read literature based on the area as well.
Photocopy of my passport – it’s the one thing I really don’t want to lose! I keep a photocopy separately from the original just in case!
8. What makes you happy and why?
I know it’s a cliché but it really is seeing my family happy. Watching our children play together, laughing in the sunshine is probably my ultimate happy.
Why? I think that’s what we programmed to aspire towards as parents. It’s true fulfilment, although often only fleetingly so!
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
Only about 6 months. I started because I wanted to record some of the experiences we have as a family. I love writing and photography so it made sense to diarise our days out as a blog. I’m still very much a beginner but I feel I learn something new with each post I write.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
I’m pretty certain there are very few bloggers in the area that I live so at lot of the local spots I’ve featured haven’t been written about by other bloggers. I try to write about days out that don’t cost much, we have 4 children so it’s become key working out which places stimulate our little ones without costing the Earth. You should read it if you are a family that loves alternative days out and adventures, particularly if you live in or are visiting Sussex or Kent.
From ESLT – thank you Zoe for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels 🙂