This week’s guest post comes from Laura, travel blogger behind Wander with Laura Travel Blog. She explains ‘I’ve always loved flying away to explore foreign lands but it wasn’t until I took the scary leap of a group tour in Europe that I decided I wanted to travel ‘properly’. This trip changed my life and after this amazing summer two years ago, I decided to properly document my adventures on Wander with Laura, an evolution from my terribly named first attempt ‘Laura’s Haven’.
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
My name’s Laura and I’m from Liverpool! That just made me feel like a contestant on Take Me Out. In reality, I’m from just over the Mersey – the Wirral.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
In July 2016, I left my job to spend a year backpacking around Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. But now, I’m back home and getting back into full-time working life so I’ll be taking as many trips as possible around work now! I’d go on a city break every weekend if I could!
3. How do you fund your travelling?
Before my big trip, I saved up for months while taking on the odd bit of freelance work along the way to tide me over. Now that I’m based at home again though, I prefer to spend my money on holidays rather than clothes or nights out! So you’ll find me chilling out or getting vouchers to eat out with friends so that I can jet away to explore another country.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
The impossible question for travel lovers out there! For the landscapes and scenery, New Zealand and Switzerland absolutely blew me away while I loved the stunning islands of Croatia. Most surprising? Krakow for its beauty and Malaysia because it has a bit of everything – gorgeous hills, amazing beaches and thriving cities.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
While I’ve never been anywhere that I’ve really hated, there have been places that haven’t enthralled me so much. One of these places was Phuket in Thailand: I love the country on the whole but I felt like Phuket was really trashy and over-touristy which completely ruined the beauty of Patong Beach for me. If you’re going to visit the south of Thailand, I’d recommend Krabi and some island hopping over Phuket itself.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
I definitely do and despite travelling often, it never seems to shrink! At the moment, the top three places are Budapest, New York and The Philippines. I’m actually jetting off to Budapest for a city break in August so I think this spot will probably be replaced by Iceland…or Japan…or Hawaii…
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
These days I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to travelling after spending months living out of a backpack! However, I’ll always have a camera on me – whether it’s just my iPhone, DSLR or GoPro if there’s the opportunity for underwater shots. My portable charger comes in useful, especially on big days out or long journeys. And finally, the most diva-ish thing that I never travel without is my hairdryer – unless I want to walk around with a huge halo of frizz anyway!
8. What makes you happy and why?
Travelling is the obvious choice here – I’ll never get bored of exploring new places and being on holiday somewhere sunny never fails to put me in a great mood! But aside from this, I love finding great places to eat: I recently turned vegetarian and it’s been an awesome way to get more interested and experimental with what I’m eating. I’m also partial to a gin and a giggle with my closest friends.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve been blogging since 2012 but my blog initially started as ‘Laura’s Haven’ a beauty and lifestyle blog. Five years on and I shed the terrible name, updated what I was writing about and I’ve never loved my blog more. I started out of a pure love for writing and wanting to create something that I can be proud of but the community has been an amazing part of this that I wasn’t expecting to discover.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
My niche of affordable travel means that I can talk about how to budget alongside how you can really treat yourself without spending a whole heap of money. But most importantly, I like to think that putting my personality into everything that I write is the most important thing and lots of my readers say they like my honesty and how ‘real’ it seems! With so many travel blogs out there now, it can be easy to compare yourself but you just have to remember that everyone has their own take on how they see a country! If you want to see beautiful places and read about my adventures with a sprinkling of lifestyle and foodie bits, head over and say hey!
From ESLT – thank you Laura for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels 🙂