This week’s guest post comes from Kariss, travel blogger behind Shy Strange Manic. She explains ‘I started my blog in the summer of 2013 when I was feeling a bit lost in the world and lacked confidence. Since then this vintage inspired Yorkshire lass has moved to London, got a job in book publishing and started to travel the world! I want to share my adventures, my finds, my fails and my favourites with my readers!’
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
I’m Kariss, originally from South Yorkshire in the UK, currently living in London.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
Part-time, I am all about trying to use my holiday days from work to the fullest, and fitting in as many trips as possible around a full-time job and blogging! Usually on a limited budget too!
3. How do you fund your travelling?
The smaller trips I have funded by saving the little cash I have left over from my day job, and more recently from the money I make from my blog. I have two big trips planned for next year as I hit the big 3-0, Japan and California, and as these are both expensive trips I am using savings I built up from when I was living at my parents a few years ago. Originally that money was to buy a house but I know I’ll never be able to afford to buy in London so I’m spending it on travel instead!
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
This is a really hard one, the child in me will always have a piece of my heart in Disney World Florida but from a more grown-up point of view, it’s got to be a European city. I’ve been doing a lot of European city breaks over the last couple of years and the one place I can’t seem to stop thinking about is Krakow. It has a fairytale-like quality which I think is actually superior to that of Bruges and the food there is amazing and great for a budget traveler. The transport there is fantastic too, it’s easy to get to nearby places such as Auschwitz and the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine or even places like Warsaw if you are looking for something further afield. It’s also not too touristy just yet and the city is pretty small so you can take it at your own pace without trying to squeeze too much in unlike some of the more well-known cities like Rome or Paris.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
I’m lucky in the fact that I don’t think I’ve been anywhere yet that I’ve truly hated. If I had to pick somewhere I just didn’t love I’d say Dublin. I’ve been twice now and both times it’s had it’s plus points but it’s missing that certain magic for me that leaves me desperate to return.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
I’m not really one for pre-planning in that way so not exactly but I am heading to San Francisco and Japan this year which are two places I’ve wanted to visit for a long time!
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
Powerbank- I don’t know how anyone travels without one these days. Phones have become essential for travelers as they can be your phone, map, translator and tons more. No one wants to be lost another country with a dead phone.
Mirrorless Camera- I love taking travel photos! When your phone just won’t cut it you need a proper camera. I traded my DSLR in for a mirrorless camera a year and a half ago as it was more compact for travel while still doing everything I need it to do.
Comfortable trainers- I like to walk as much as possible when traveling, I think it allows you to see more of a place and often a more authentic side. I will always reach for my well worn comfortable shoes even if they have got a hole or two over anything more fashionable. You don’t want to ruin a trip because of blisters!
8. What makes you happy and why?
Knowing I have travel plans on the horizon! The planning itself I sometimes love and sometimes hate depending on my mood and how busy I am, but just knowing that next trip is coming is a real motivator to get you through any work day!
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started blogging 4 and a half years ago when I was at a low point in my life. I’d moved back to my parents in a town where I knew no one and wasn’t getting much work and I needed an outlet. I’d seen people I knew make friends through blogging so I thought it would be a good way of meeting people. Although I’ve been blogging for so long I actually only started making travel one of my main focuses around a year and a half ago, as soon as I did this I felt like everything I’d wanted my blog to be finally clicked. I love writing about travel more than anything else.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
I squeeze my travel in with a limited budget around a full-time blog and volunteer work, I want to show people that it can be done. I used to be a nervous traveler but the more I’ve adventured, the more all that has left behind me and I’d love to see my readers taking confidence in that and doing the same. I’m also often known as ‘that 50’s one’ due to my love of vintage style which I think makes me stand out.