This week’s guest post comes from Justine, travel blogger behind Wanderer of the World. She explains ‘After graduating from the University of Plymouth, I found myself seeking work in Bristol as my Mum was based in Gloucester – as all Graduates know, we need to stay close to home until we can save up enough money for a place for ourselves. 3 months of work later and I find myself once again packing my bags for the hipster city of Bristol; this time to rent my own apartment. Anyone with even a remotely nomadic lifestyle will understand when I say that my feet, hands, arms and legs all became rather twitchy again. This settled life in Bristol was not familiar to me. So, I packed my bags once again and found myself trekking around Italy (alone) using their fantastic rail network. Before you know it, my love of travel, discovery and new experiences was rekindled. From there, the rest they say, is travel history with a goal to visit 3 new places abroad every year.’
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
Hi, I’m Justine. Originally born in Germany but I’ve been living in the UK for most of my life.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
I travel part-time and would class myself as a “frequent holidayer”. Although I work full-time for a software company, I always find time to explore 3 new places abroad each year (whether it’s for weekend city breaks, week-long jaunts or 2 week adventures).
As for a style of travelling – I really don’t have one. I’ve backpacked, stayed in luxury villas, camped night after night… For me, it’s all about just going with the flow and fitting my travel style with the type of place I’m visiting and making the most of it, no matter what.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
I work full-time for a software company, which pays me a decent salary. But before I was earning that much money, I was travelling using my savings.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
This would definitely have to be Hawaii. I’ve been fortunate enough to explore both O’ahu and The Big Island – there really was so much to see and do! We hiked through active craters; watched lava bubble and flow at night; explored tranquil Buddhist temples and marvelled at the sunset and stars from 13,000 ft up Mauna Kea mountain. These moments in Hawaii have been some of my most favourite memories from my travels but there’s more to it than that. I really did fall in love with Hawaii and everything it stands for. A hui hou (until we meet again) Hawaii…
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
Brace yourselves – this may be a very unpopular answer! I’m sad to say this was Venice in Italy. I’d heard so many fantastic stories about Venice and I’d seen magnificent photos showing how beautiful it is. When I arrived, it was in the height of summer, which really was a mistake. I cannot put into words just how many people were there and when you throw in tiny alleyways, narrow bridges and a city built on water into the mix; it can really become quite a claustrophobic place. Having said that, I did see a lot of beautiful sights and I’m not the kind of person to let just one visit put me off for life so I will try going back someday. At least now I know, I should avoid Venice in the summer!
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
I definitely have a bucket list and yes, it’s growing everyday! If I had to pick the top 3 places on it, they’d be:
- Bali — for meditation, relaxation, turquoise oceans and private islands
- China — for marvelling at wonders of the world, amazing temples and exquisite food
- South Africa — for a safari, of course!
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
- My camera (you must have expected that answer)! I must confess I started off with a tiny little digital camera and my iPhone but I’ve recently purchased a snazzy new camera. I would be lost without some kind of camera as they help me retain so many perfect memories!
- My journal — now that I’ve started blogging, my journal comes with me on every trip. I use it to jot down notes for each day I’m travelling as well as new blog ideas for older trips.
- A book — I’m an avid reader and so I really would be lost without a book to read in the evenings, on the beach or on flights.
8.What makes you happy and why?
You may get this kind of answer all the time, but this really would have to be travelling with my other half. Not only do I fall in love with new places when travelling but it’s an absolute joy to be able to share this with my partner and make amazing memories together.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’m a fairly new addition to the blogging world after launching my blog in October 2016. I initially started it as a way of documenting my travels so that I would always have somewhere to go to reflect back on memories, experiences and photographs. Although this is all definitely still true, I have also received notes from my readers telling me how they’ve been inspired to go to a place that I’ve written about. So now, my blog has a more established purpose of aiming to inspire others to see the world as well as a way of documenting my experiences.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
My blog is unique because it’s completely unplanned. When I started blogging, I’d read so many articles about having to find your “niche”, planning blog articles and scheduling social media posts. I tried this and found that I was just not being myself.
My personality can be a little scatterbrained at times so one day I might really want to write about a day in an Italian city and the next day, I might want to write about adventures in Hawaii. This is exactly what my travels are like as well – I have my bucket list but that’s about as planned as it gets. I decide when and where I want to go and I just make it happen. Likewise, I think of a topic to write about and just write it – writing makes me happy and I wouldn’t ever want it to feel like a chore or feel boring.
My social media channels are also unplanned – everything I tweet or Facebook about is just what I felt like messaging in that moment. So yes, I went against everyone’s advice and I couldn’t be happier for it!
From ESLT – thank you Justine for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels 🙂