This week’s guest interview is with Carmen, travel blogger behind Wellington World Travels. She explains ‘Wellington World Travels is a travel and family website where we share our world travels, family adventures, product reviews and expat adventures’.
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
I am Carmen. I am a citizen of the Philippines, a resident of the United States of America, and an expat in Doha, Qatar 🙂
2. What sort of traveler are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
I was a full-time traveler until I had my first child. When my son started going to nursery and we had a second baby, we become holiday travelers. We travel only during holidays – spring break, Ramadan, summer break, Christmas, or winter break. I would like my kids to know that it is possible to have the best of both worlds – study inside (school) and outside (travel) the classroom. That’s why I travel most of the time alone with them even if it’s a little bit challenging.
3. How do you fund your traveling?
For my first travel abroad in 2006, I signed up to be one of the delegates of my country to an all-expense paid Asian Youth Congress in Seoul, South Korea. That’s when I realized the beauty of traveling and seeing the different culture. So after I got my bachelors degree, I worked as a flight attendant for one of the international airlines in 2010. I was able to travel to more than 50 countries across six continents (except Antarctica) in three years.
Now, being a stay-at-home mom, I have to give all the credit and appreciation to my husband. Because of his work as a pilot, we get unlimited standby or staff tickets to travel anywhere. I can fly economy, business class and first class on ID90 or ID50 tickets. I also get employee discounts on some hotels.
Moreover, I am a member of several Frequent Flyer programs, Marriott Rewards, Chase and Amex Rewards, etc. I use the miles and points I earned to pay for my travels and hotel stays.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
Kyoto is and will always be my favorite place, and the best place I have ever been so far. I like Japan in general. I like their food especially sushi. I like their culture, the traditional houses, traditional clothes, and the people. I even watch and read anime sometimes. If only there was a job opportunity for me, I could totally live there as an expat.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
Believe it or not, in my 8 years of traveling, I have never been to a ‘worst place’ yet. Maybe because I am easy-go-lucky sometimes or I just roll with it. I’ve been scammed several times in Bangkok, but I don’t consider it as a worst place. Thailand is a beautiful country. All countries have its good and bad.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
The top 3 places on my bucket list depend on who I am traveling with. Antarctica will always be the number one on my bucket list no matter who I am with. That’s the only continent I haven’t ‘conquered’ yet.
If I am to travel solo again, my other 2 top places are Jordan to explore the Ancient Ruins of Petra, and Israel.
As a couple traveler, I would like to visit Cappadocia, Turkey and Neuschwanstein castle in Germany with my husband. I think watching the sunset and the hot air balloons in Turkey and seeing the castle with my husband will be very romantic.
As a family, I would like to take my kids to Japan and Italy. I have been there several times, and I would like my kids to see their beauty, history and culture. But maybe they are still a bit too young to appreciate them. For the meantime, I’ll take them to theme parks like DisneyWorld, Disneyland, Universal Studios, etc
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
Again, my top 3 things depend on who I am with. If I am traveling alone, I always travel with my iPhone, lipstick and extra cash. I use my iPhone mostly on everything. I need to bring lipstick all the time since I look pale without it. As a solo traveler, it makes me feel reassured knowing I have an extra cash, that if something bad happens, I have an escape plan.
When I travel with my husband, I carry with me my iPhone, lipstick and laptop. I rarely bring my laptop. Even with MacBook Air or the latest MacBook Pro, it is still heavy for me. But whenever my husband studies Law, I can work with my blog on the laptop.
When I travel with my kids, iPhone/iPad, baby wipes, and blanket are a must. I have some apps and games in my iPhone to keep them distracted, in case I forget to bring an iPad. Kids touch anything and everything. So I use baby wipes to clean them up and the table trays, seats etc in a plane. Blanket is multi-purpose. I could use it as a cover, as a shade, as a cushion, as pillow, and many more.
8. What makes you happy and why?
My happiness is so simple. As long as I see my family happy and healthy, I am happy and content. I don’t ask for much.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
Since I have become a stay-at-home mom, I wanted to do something aside from taking care of our home and our kids. That’s when I decided to start a travel blog. Well, I always knew it will be travel-related since I came from a family of travelers and aviation enthusiasts. I have been blogging since January last year.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
With the rise of travel blogging world, my blog may be minute and insignificant. But I would be glad if people will read it. I share our travels, family adventures, and photos. I also share my views as a passenger and as a flight attendant. I only make reviews we sincerely used and paid for. I don’t make posts for the sole purpose of adding affiliate links, so rest assured our reviews are honest and based from months of usage or experience. I also share our expat experience and conduct an Expat Life Interview Series so others will get an idea on how to live as expats in different countries.
From ESLT – thank you, Carman, for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels 🙂