It can be easy to forget that behind the beautiful images you see in your Instagram feed is a person - especially when you are following travel accounts. For some, maintaining a sense of anonymity while exposing others to the beauties of the world is the perfect combination.
But peel back the cloak and what do you find? A wide array of people from all walks of life who have one thing in common, their desire to find a deeper connection to the world and the people in it.
Join me once a month as I highlight those who have decided to make travel their full-time passion, and others who have expertly balanced their wanderlust with there professional life. Some I've known for years, others came into my life more recently, and some I just discovered. The connections I've been able to make and the friendships I've forged through a simple social media platform make every day and every post worth it.
Open yourself up to their experiences, their journeys and who they are at their core. You'll come to find we're not all as different as you may think.
MAINTAINING THE PERFECT WORK / TRAVEL BALANCE WITH
LAURA FROM SHE WHO WANDERS
As this "goes to press" our first interviewee is preparing to leave her home in Canada and begin her travel journey across the pond in the UK. Raised in Montreal, with stints in Australia and Vancouver, BC, Laura knows to take full advantage of the working holiday visa.
1. LET'S START AT THE VERY BEGINNING...WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START SHE WHO WANDERS?
Hmmm, tough one. Basically, it was to help keep my travel passion when I couldn't be traveling. I started blogging about seven years ago as a way to keep my family up-to-date on what I was getting up to on the other side of the country, which lead to more blogging and moving overseas [to Australia], shifting to a way to share my experiences and photos with everyone online. When I came back to Canada two years ago years ago I found myself wanting to share even more, ultimately creating a space to engage with other like-minded travelers or people who really wanted to but hadn't taken the plunge.
I'm hoping through my blog I can share both my practical and personal travel tips and experiences.
2. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO MAINTAIN A 9-TO-5 IN ADDITION TO TRAVELING, AND HOW DO YOU BALANCE THEM BOTH?
As sad as it is to say, I keep the 9-to-5 for the money. I haven't won the lotto yet, and I'm still looking for the money tree.
When I returned from living overseas in 2015 I knew I would need to find a job, and hoped by living in Vancouver it would also give me more opportunities to explore the West Coast. Luckily I was able to find a job that is both flexible and in an organization that promotes travel - especially when you want to take an extra day for a trip.
I make sure to take advantage of long weekends and use my vacation days every chance I can. I'm a big advocate of filling my travel days to the brim, seeing everything I wanted to see and then some, when I'm on holiday so I can make the most of even a three day trip.
3. WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOU?
Oh wow, okay. You might be surprised to know that at 27 years old I don't actually know how to drive. I know, I know, what am I waiting for?! When you have lived in a big city most of your life, always took public transportation, had friends who were willing to drive you, and experienced two big moves [one being overseas] time flies by and you can't find a free second to learn. It's definitely on my list of things to accomplish, at some point. Anyone want to give a girl a lesson?
4. HAS YOUR BLOG IMPACTED YOUR CAREER AT ALL?
It definitely has, and in a good way. Working for Hosteling International I've always been in a supportive environment and have been able to share my posts with coworkers. Because of hostel locations I've been able to visit a bunch of places in British Columbia and the surrounding areas, which has given me more opportunities to create content and connect with people all over the world.
She Who Wanders has allowed me to listen to peoples' relatable experiences, which is something I've always loved about traveling. When I'm at work and get a call from a staff member in another location we can chat about the new activities they have going on in their hostels - adding even more to my bucket list.
5. WHAT DESTINATION IS AT THE TOP OF YOUR BUCKET LIST?
All of them! That's a cop out, I know. But every day I find a new place on Instagram or through a blog post that I want to visit. I would say my top three destinations at the moment would be: Iceland, Belize and Cappadoccia, Turkey.
6. WHAT IS THE MOST ADVENTUROUS THING YOU'VE DONE?
I'd like to think I'm up for almost anything! Except for bungee jumping or skydiving, my mom would probably have a coronary if I did either of those.
Two things that stand out to me when it comes to being adventurous are volcano boarding in Nicaragua and parasailing in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Hiking up the side of an active volcano with a wooden toboggan strapped to my back in 30 degree (Celsius) heat and then shooting back down at almost 50 mph was unreal! On the flip side being 1400 feet above the ocean being pulled by a tiny speedboat was the best experience ever!
7. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHERE TO TRAVEL TO? AND WHERE ARE YOU OFF TO NEXT?
My travel style involves long-term travel and weekend getaways. My main concern for long term travel is "can I work there"? I like to be fully immersed in a country and being able to also work gives me the opportunity to travel more slowly, and bonus, take advantage of paychecks!
Weekend trips are usually a mix of where the cheap flights/buses/trains are going to, and whether they are within a couple hours of my current location so I can make the most of my limited time.
My next trip is actually another long-haul trip as I'm headed to the UK this summer on a working holiday visa!
8. IF YOU COULD TIME TRAVEL TO ANY DESTINATION / TIME PERIOD WHERE WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
You're really getting my brain working! I would love to travel the world 30 or so years before travel was a common thing. Before the tour buses unloaded hoards of people at the pyramids, and you hostels in popular locations were all sold out.
I would love to take advantage of the being the only person to have seen the Sydney Opera House, or have been to New Zealand. Being back in a simpler time is what appeals to me.
9. WHAT HAS BEEN THE BEST MOMENT OF SHE WHO WANDERS SO FAR?
This interview? :)
But seriously, the fact I've met so many people I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to meet. I've been able to connect with people from every corner of the globe, and found them to be a great source of encouragement and support in this whole new age of blogging. I don't claim to be a pro so it's amazing how much of a community I've found through blogging and social media. When I do get to meet these people in real life it makes it that much better!
10. WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR BLOG IN THE FUTURE?
I hope to still be traveling. When I started She Who Wanders it was never solely based on how I could make money. If the day comes where my blog and Instagram account were a source of income that would be amazing, and I would be forever grateful, but that isn't my end goal. My aim is to see more of the world, it's hidden gems, the places people dream of, and be able to share them with the world.
At the end of the day I think every travel blogger, or just travelers in general, dream of being able to live life on the road for as long as possible - and I can't disagree with that way of thinking.
BONUS (and probably the most important) QUESTION
Which Chris...Pratt, Evans, Hemsworth, or Pine?
HEMSWORTH all the way <3