This is a new feature that will be popping up every now and again in the coming months… I’ll be asking all my favourite travel bloggers to answer a few questions about themselves and their travel experiences, trying to find out what makes them tick (and travel the world)!
First up is Emily from InnocentNomad. Take it away Emily!
HI, CAN YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF?
1. Name: Emily
2. Age: 28
3. Travel Blog: innocentnomad.com
4. Twitter: @innocentnomad
5. Home Town: Perth, Australia
6. Current Location: In flight – somewhere in the middle of Australia
7. Tell us a bit about where you are at the moment and what you’re doing there:
Currently actually somewhere over the Nullabor, flying from Perth to Melbourne. I have my best friend in the world sleeping on my shoulder, and she’s drooling. We have grand plans to eat lots, drink more, and restock our wardrobes. Typical girl holiday 😉
8. First ever travel experience:
Family holiday to Tasmania, I was 5. This is the first trip I remember, and I remember it being pretty cold, but sitting on the back steps of my aunt’s verandah and watching the kangaroos while eating ice cream. In winter. In shorts. I was a strange child.
9. Where’s next in your travel plans?:
I never really know what could be next, since I sometimes get offered work trips at the last minute. But at this stage, I’m heading to the UK and Russia in May 2014, and then I’ll do the Trans Mongolian rail from Moscow – Beijing.
10. Give me the top 3 places you’ve visited and why:
The entire African continent still gives me goosebumps when I look at my photos. I get truly homesick for Africa at times. The West Coast of Australia, for it’s simply stunning and breathtaking scenery. If you haven’t been yet, you need to go. We have the best coastline in the whole of Australia. I grew up in Melbourne, and I truly appreciate Perth and WA for what it is. I love it here. There’s nothing like home J
And lastly, London. Not because it’s London, but because I spent so many years there. I lived there for almost 4 years in my early 20s and it’s still my second home. I miss out on milestones in peoples lives when I’m here in Australia, but then when I’m in the UK, I miss milestones here. No one, except those who have lived abroad, really understand the problem with having a split home. It makes life interesting, but difficult.
11. What 5 countries do you want to visit that you haven’t yet been to?:
Belize, for the diving.
India, for the food.
Madagascar, for the lemurs.
Russia, because I’m a history nut obsessed with revolution history in Europe.
Canada, for the everything. It looks like a freaking postcard.
12. If you could avoid going anywhere where would it be and why?
I try not to limit myself by avoiding countries, but I am trying to NOT go to Indonesia again. I’ve been five times, because it’s so close to Perth, and you can get sale airfares for under $300 (return). It’s cheap, it’s close, and it’s always fun. But I need to stop, and save that money for places I haven’t been yet!
13. What are your top 5 travelling items?
Without listing the obvious, passport/camera/visas/insurance/music thing…
Tinted lipbalm (it doubles as a lipstick), my sense of adventure, notebook and pen, a great pair of walking shoes, and photos of my friends and family at home (they make for good stories when you’re chatting to local women. For them to see you as just another woman, just like them, it opens up way more conversation than normal, it makes you more approachable for them.)
14. Best bit of advice you’ve ever been given:
Just go. That’s pretty much it. Literally. Just go.
15. Worst advice?
“Don’t go to Nairobi! You’ll get mugged!!”
I went. Nothing happened to me. I didn’t even get stared at as much as I did when I was in Egypt. I did get proposed to at the airport, but I didn’t feel uncomfortable when that happened. More that it was pretty hilarious. I tend to stick out in countries where the locals don’t have blonde hair and green eyes. But Nairobi, I felt pretty comfortable, more so than when I’m in Sydney!
16. What do you miss most when you’re travelling?
It used to be my own bed. But now I can sleep mostly anyplace, I’ve learned to ignore my body clock and I’ve trained myself to sleep when I tell myself to. Anywhere, anytime.
Now, I miss my godson. He’s two, and he’s a bundle of precious. When I’m away for extended periods, I miss so much of him growing up and I always worry he’ll forget who I am when I get back. But so far, he hasn’t. I always get massive cuddles and then the “Where’s my present?” question when I see him.
NOW FOR THE RANDOM QUESTIONS
17. Hostel, Hotel or other:
I usually aim for a mix of both. When I was younger it was hostels all the way, because of the cost. Now I have more money, and am more financially secure, I still enjoy hostels, but I need my space as well. So I mix it up. I also love a good couchsurf now and then – I’m actually couchsurfing in London when I come in May and I’m staying with some friends I made through Twitter.
18. Favourite food from another country:
From a country I’ve been to? When I was in Thailand I had the most amazing pad thai. And I love pad thai. But pretty much any street food will do it for me, which is why I cannot wait to go to India. The vegetarian options will be heaven!!
19. Favourite mode of transport (plane, train, bus, tuk tuk etc):
Being from Australia, it has to be flight. We just HAVE to fly EVERYWHERE. Even within our own country. Once I’m on the ground though, I try not to fly – I love getting trains. Especially in Europe. So cheap, and easy!
20. Guilty pleasure?
Reading. The only reason I bought an iPad was so I could download a library’s worth of books! I will literally read anything. I read cereal boxes while I’m eating my breakfast.
21. Best travel app?
Tripit. I use it to keep track of all my flights, and itineraries. Syncs to my iCal as well so on my Mac, iPad and iPhone, I have everything.
22. Favourite travelling soundtrack/What are you listening to at the moment?
A Twitter follower got me onto The Guild League recently, an Aussie band with one of the guys from The Lucksmiths (another Aussie indie band). I love their sound and the fact that a lot of their songs are travel themed. I have an entire travel playlist that I update and theme according to where I’m going. At the moment, Guild League, The Whitlams and Passenger are starring.
23. Favourite travel movie?
Don’t make me choose one! Anything by David Attenborough, Gorillas in the Mist, Hotel Rwanda, any documentary by Simon Reeve or Anthony Bourdain, The Lion King, The Beach…. The list is literally endless. This is a trick question!
24. Favourite travel book?
Another trick question! I’m currently reading Paul Theroux’s “Ghost Train to the Eastern Star” in light of my upcoming epic train jaunt. I love his writing; he cannot write a bad story. I also loved “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy, “Me, Myself and Lord Byron” by Julietta Jameson (which I much prefer to Eat, Pray, Love – which I HATED for Elizabeth Gilbert’s uppity, holier-than-thou, preachy, self absorbed style).
If I had to pick just one though, it would be “Tales of a Female Nomad” by Rita Golden-Gelman. She inspired my first forays into the world, and I read this every year. Each year she inspires a new sense of adventure in me.
25. Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions. Now please take a few lines to tell everyone about your website…
Innocent Nomad started during a break in my travels. I was working toward a fifty-before-thirty (entering 50 countries before my 30th birthday), and then my mother became very ill (cancer). I wasn’t able to travel for about 18mths, because I was caring for her. So to combat my sense of wanderlust and itchy feet, I started retrospectively blogging my past travels. It has grown from there, and now I have a monthly readership of 2000 people, a Twitter following of approx 1200, and a small supportive Facebook and Instagram family as well. I love hearing from my followers, and while I tick off the last remaining countries on the countdown, I’m open to hearing their suggestions of where I should go next.