This week’s guest post comes from Suzy travel blogger behind Suzy Stories. She explains ‘Suzy Stories started in its humble beginnings as an easy way to document and share with friends and family the inevitable travel stories and memories collected during a gap year exploring the world. My blog aims to encompass my favourite interests of philosophy, culture, photography, and food (girl’s gotta eat!) to give an honest and realistic view of the sights to see in the world around us.’
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
My name’s Suzy and I’m from Surrey in the UK! I find the Suzy from Surrey alliteration always gets a few chuckles… I was born and raised in a town called Woking, famous for its railway line to London, The Jam, and the setting for H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds!
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
I think as long as we’re exploring we’re travellers! One can discover new things in their home as much as away so I wouldn’t like to assign myself to any particular travel category as there’s never a right or wrong way to discover the world. Having said that, for definition’s sake, I was previously backpacking (gotta love that budget life!) but since returning home and working in London I travel part time. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work remotely occasionally so take the chance where I can to squeeze in more adventure time! The part time travel life is much harder, of course, I’m always thirsting for longer trips where possible!
3. How do you fund your travelling?
In order to backpack long-term I saved by living at home, working as much as possible beforehand, and saving and scrimping every penny. While abroad on my backpacking trip I’d WWOOF, Couchsurf, stay with friends, even sleep in the car if it meant saving money for more sightseeing! There isn’t much I wouldn’t consider doing to help fund my trip. Now I’m travelling part time I’m pretty good at watching and managing my money, I don’t mind saving up because if you want it badly enough you’ll find a way and it certainly takes the stress out of travel knowing I can afford it and can enjoy the trip that much more.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
There are so many wonderful places! My favourite country is without a doubt New Zealand. I adore everything about it there; the people, the culture, the landscape, the outlook on life. It’s pretty tough to pick a specific spot because there are so many beautiful places that I’ve been fortunate to explore but a fond favourite has to be the area of Otago. Spreading across much of the South Island it contains stunning places such as The Remarkables, Queenstown, Lake Wanaka and so many more… I always want to stop at every spot because each destination has value and beauty, it’s really a dream to road trip around the area (if a bit of a winding drive!) so that’s the way I recommend you see it.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
I try not to say that any place is the worst, everywhere can teach a new lesson whether that’s good or bad! One place I didn’t enjoy, however, is Vang Vieng in Laos. The country is so peaceful and preserved, but here in the middle of the remote countryside is fluorescent backpacker chaos. It wasn’t in keeping with the surroundings and I felt it was a shame to spoil that. Hearing a little more about the problems the backpacker industry is causing on the landscape and people was disappointing, as I think tourists have a duty to uphold accountable and moral travel. The valuable lesson I learned from Vang Vieng was to practice responsible travel and acknowledge my surroundings and the impact of travel on them.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
I do! There’s no particular order to mine as I’m so indecisive. At the moment the top spots are taken by:
Alberta (Canada) – I love mountains, lakes, and expansive nature!
Seville (Spain), – for the history, exquisite architecture, and sunshine.
The Geirangerfjord (Norway) – it’s been a dream to visit for as long as I can remember. I adore the twisting tunnels of water and towering mountains above, and I’m a sucker for waterfalls.
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
A Sudoku book! I find reading sporadically hard to remember where I left off so puzzles can be easily dropped when you’re hurriedly getting off a train.
A spoon. It’s the most useful eating utensil and has performed many multifunctional purposes, from avoiding spoonless yoghurt incidents to being a handy way to help new friends in need.
A note from my mum. We are both big softies and she’ll often write a small note to wish me well on my travels. It’s a small thing but means a lot!
8. What makes you happy and why?
Many things for different reasons! Being out in nature, exploring the unknown, and being met with a view of the world in all its untouched glory while in the company of someone dear. You just can’t beat that!
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I’ve been writing about travel for around 2 years, initially to document my backpacking trip as a diary of sorts for friends and family. I only really transitioned to blogging as I do now about a year ago and have since tried to develop my writing style.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
I like to think my blog is unique because I try to find deeper thoughts in travel. I have a degree in Philosophy so try to incorporate those concepts and contemplative ideas into posts and provide a more reflective view of world exploration. I also love storytelling so will probably share embarrassing anecdotes of when I make a complete idiot of myself for a humorous twist!
From ESLT – thank you, Suzy, for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels 🙂