Travel is one of the greatest ways to meet new friends and to learn from people all over the world, so I decided it would be great to include a collaboration post as part of this travel series. I reached out to bloggers and YouTubers on twitter to give a few insights on travel to help any newbie travelers like myself.
Photo from Charline
Meet my travelers
Charline | Charline is one of the first bloggers I started talking to, a musician and beauty blogger from Belgium who is currently living in Manchester. Shes has such a lovely spirit and I had to have her as a guest! Check her out on ‘Charline has a blog‘ and her Twitter.
Alex | Alex was the first to answer the call when I asked for travel bloggers for this post! I’m very excited that blogging allows me to find new people to get to know and work with! You can see him over on ‘Green who writes‘ and his Twitter.
Abbie | Abbie was another blogger who eagerly reached out! I love twitter connections! She is an eager traveler studying abroad at the moment! Read her blog ‘A FabABulous Life‘ and her Twitter.
Kate | I knew I had to ask Kate to join this collaboration, I weirdly don’t follow many travel bloggers but Kate is part of the few I do! She is very sweet plus I had to have a fellow Aussie take part! Read her blog ‘Katey Adventures‘ and her twitter.
Jackson | Jackson is a YouTuber I recently discovered who makes awesome videos. He has traveled A LOT and captures it all on film. He has lived in plenty of countries Australia being one but is now studying in London! Plus he knows French so I’m making him my new best friend haha. Watch his stuff at ‘Jackson Lana‘ and his twitter.
Kalee | Kalee is another lovely travel blogger I have been following for ages! She makes awesome travel guides and lifestyle posts that are great for new travelers like myself! Read it all on ‘Voyageur Kalee‘ and follow her twitter.
Abby | Abby is another lucky one who is studying overseas! I’ve been going heart eyes over her Europe snapchats at the moment. I met Abby in the bdibNA chat like most of my fellow twitter mutuals. She is down to earth and has awesome hair see her over on her YouTube and her blog ‘The Achromat‘ plus her twitter.
Naomi | Naomi is a lifestyle and travel blogger living and working in Japan! She is an aspiring writer, who has a passion for travel and a good cup of tea. Follow her on the blog ‘Teatime with Naomi‘ and her twitter.
1 | What is your advice to beginner travelers?
Charline: I always follow one rule and that is: BE PREPARED! There’s noting worse than ending up in a situation you are not prepared for. Always make sure you have some cash on you in case your credit card gets blocked or stolen, make sure you check prices/opening hours/advanced bookings for things you want to visit, as it will save a lot of time and money.
Alex: Be organised. Not only is this cost effective but it also makes the whole journey run smoother. Yes, there is a certain appealing element to living in the moment and winging it when you’re so far away, but leave that to when you‘re there. Also speak to others who have done similar trips or have traveled in general.
Abbie: Traveling for the first time can be daunting but also exciting. I suggest traveling with someone you know well and who is just as keen to travel as you are. Do your research into the countries you are traveling to, take notes of things to watch out for on the trip. Be careful when choosing accommodation. Go for recommended hostels/hotels. I know a few people who were led towards dodgy hostels and it put a damper on their trip. Apart from that hostels are great to meet new people all around the world and you tend to join forces to go on adventures all together.
Kate: Don’t expect it to be all sunshine and roses, expect that it‘s going to be hard at some points! Have self care strategies that you can take with you; calm down playlist, colouring book or yoga. If you‘re traveling for a while in a lot of different places, have a morning routine that you can use everywhere. It will help you feel more settled and energized.
Jackson: My advice is book a ticket, stop putting it off and stop worrying about not having enough money. As a solo traveler I‘d say be confident, more easy to say, but force yourself out of your comfort zone. Do things you wouldn’t normally do, start conversations and make connections. Book Hostels! They are the best way to meet new people and friends. Finally be a Yes man/woman, you’re traveling, be open to everything.
Kalee: Be completely open minded and go where the wind takes you. Sticking to a schedule can get boring and close yourself off from all the adventures waiting for you. Get lost exploring.
Abby: Relax, you’ve done all the prep work so have a fancy beverage on the plane and don’t be too stressed. As long as you have your passport, boarding pass and a credit card you’ll be ok.
Naomi: Learn some key phrases in the language of the country you are going to. You don’t have to be fluent to be able to have a nice conversation or show your gratitude. People generally like to see foreigners try their best and appreciate the effort. Also research the place you are going, there are so many fun and awe inspiring places off the neaten track and you don’t want to miss out on them!
2 | What are your traveler must haves?
Charline: One thing my gramps always used to say to my parents before we set off for holidays is: “Did you take your money? Good, then you have everything.” Of course always make sure you also have passports and (flight) tickets, everything else you can always buy abroad if you happen to forget it.
Alex: Try and have a basic knowledge of the place you’re going to, like what currency they use, exchange rate, a map is always handy as wifi is not always available, cheap phone for emergencies, a small medical kit and a folder for paperwork (flights/visas/emergency contacts). On a less serious note I always bought along several books because traveling is a lot more waiting around than you think.
Abbie: My camera has to be my number one priority. My beauty bag, this doesn’t necessary mean make-up but also my toothbrush, hand gel, hair brush and a few products for photo opportunities. Sunglasses, also sun screen as the weather can always take you by surprise. My final must-have when traveling is my music and headphones.
Kate: A scarf/jumper as they double as a blanket and pillow where ever you are. Headphones, sometimes you just need to block the world out for a while. Hand sanitizer is a lifesaver that you’ll use a million more times than you though you would.
Jackson: As a film maker my camera is essential. A big backpack because suitcase with wheels are just tragic if you‘re planning to move from place to place. Apart from that; hiking boots, phone, a good book and a deck of cards (handy whenever you and a few people you’ve met are having drinks).
Kalee: I’d have to say my iPhone and GoPro! It takes amazing videos and pictures. Also my 40L backpack it‘s super helpful and carries a whole lot of stuff. Also if you are a journal-er, like myself, bring along a journal for the downtime during your travels.
Abby: Always bring a scarf! It can be a pillow, a shade, a blanket, something to sit on, even a skirt in a dire beach emergency. Tie it on the handle of your bag and the worst case scenario you’re already well accessorized.
Naomi: Personally I love taking pictures, so a camera of any kind is a serious must. I also like to keep a notebook on me to store all my tickets and business cards from places I visit, as well as writing down fun memories. Again a language app or book is always worth having.
3 | What has travel taught you?
Charline: Traveling is very stressful, but it’s worth it once you’re at your destination!
Alex: That the world is a much bigger, crazier and more wonderful place than I ever imagined. There are millions of different and unique lives going around you all at once. It’s taught me that in order to do what you want, you absolutely have to take risks and enjoy taking them. Travel puts things into perspective and showed me that not everything was as serious as I always made it out to be. But overall, I think that it’s taught me about who I am as a person or at least who I’m becoming.
Abbie: It caught me by surprise how little I needed from my parents and that I was more independent and mature than I first thought. Travel with someone who shares the same personality as it works out perfectly as we enjoy the same things, never argue and the trips are always a laugh. Don‘t take anything for granted and you don’t need to spend loads to get the best experience.
Kate: Nothing is ever as bad as it seem, you can cope with a lot more than you‘d realize. Also it’s amazing how much communication can happen without being able to speak a word of each others language!
Jackson: Traveling has taught me more than any school, book, advice or anything I‘ve ever received. I’ve grown so much as a human, I traveled for 7 months after school and came back a different person, I was open to everything that is out there. You learn to appreciate your own company and deal with your mind. You accept yourself for who and what you are. You deal with feeling homesick/sad and learn to to push through and see life isn’t so bad. You can sometimes fall in love for a week (just like I did in Paris). People are often scared of change, but change is good, you don’t become different, you become better through traveling.
Kalee: Travel has taught me so much about myself and the world. We live in a society now where the negative outweighs the positive and I’ve seen first hand that there are still good, honest and amazing people in this world. Be open to new experiences, cultures and foods. It’s taught me to stay calm in the most intense situations and how to be a great problem solver. I believe it’s one of the best ways to learn and grow as an individual.
Abby: Travel has taught me to make lots of plans – but be willing to let them change. The Lourve will still be there in 50 years, don’t panic if you don’t see it all on your first trip.
Naomi: Travel has taught me respect. Respect for people, places and the life I live. I have met so many people during my travels, people I never would‘ve met otherwise. I even met the love of my life! Nothing is set in stone and anything can happen. This world is so beautiful, with sights you can’t even imagine, so don’t miss them.
4 | What are your best/worst experiences?
Charline: Flying is a bad experience for me most of the times. Just once I had the most amazing flight from Manchester back home to Belgium. The weather was good and there were little to no clouds. I was sat in the window seat so I could see London from the sky! Such a unique experience for me.
Alex: There has been some times where I’ve felt a little anxious when I’ve become lost in a city at night without internet or money but other than that I’ve always prepared myself. As for best experiences, my favourite part of traveling is the people you meet. Either the friends you stick with or the complete strangers you meet on the subway, in a bar or just on the street. I‘ve met countless of people who have started conversations with me and before I know it, they’ve gone off to their own lives. It’s these people you remember the most I think, those who are just happy to talk to a weary traveler.
Abbie: There will be part of your travels where something is bound to go wrong. However, there are also the moments when you don’t want them to end. That is the part I enjoy about traveling; the fact that you don’t know what will come your way. My worst experience was missing a flight from Colorado to LA, it was very distressing. The best was when I biked the Golden Gate Bridge. Even though it started as a mess (took a 12 mile detour) we eventually got there and it was an experience I will ever forget.
Kate: I know it’s cliche but it’s the people you meet and the friends you’ll make that’s the best experience. I’ve found people who truly understand me better than most people I have in my life back home. These friendships last a lifetime. The main thing I’ve struggled with is not speaking the language in a country, at least not well enough to keep up with a conversation. It’s so frustrating to not be able to show your true self because you can’t communicate.
Jackson: Climbing up an active volcano in Lombok Bali, after 2 days of trekking, and waking up at 2am to reach the summit to watch the sunrise. It was the hardest yet most rewarding 4 hours of my life. I’ve also sky dived and one shark diving in Hawaii, seen the glacial Fjords of New Zealand and been bungee jumping.
Kalee: Best experience was renting a scooter in La Spezia, Italy and riding through the Cinque Terra! This was at the top of my bucket list and so to make that dream a reality was unreal. I probably smiled the entire trip despite a few setbacks. Worst was buying new hiking boots and getting so many blisters. I had 10 more days on that trip and was miserable because of the shoes. Lesson learned: break in your shoes.
Abby: Worst travel experiences are few. Most of the time I think that a bad event can make a great story later so you have to look at things with a bit of perspective. Once I dislocated my knee about 12 hours before a flight to Ital, got delayed in New York and had to sleep on the floor. After all that, when we got there our luggage was missing (rough at the time, but as you can see, a great story now)!
Naomi: It’s hard to choose, perhaps one of the most impacting trips was my one to Norway, where I went with my primary school and took part in a home stay. It showed me how amazing the world is and how just flying 2 hours on a plane can take you somewhere completely new. Another favourite was going to Yakushima. I’ve been fortunate enough to go twice now, but I will never forget the first time I set foot on that magical island. I remember crying for how grateful I felt to be able to have such an amazing opportunity, I will never forget that feeling.
I loved everything about this post (Maybe except the 5 hours it took putting it all the answers together). I learnt so much from all these exceptional people, a lot of what they said I will take note of and apply in my travels. Plus there was something exceptional and lovely reading their experiences. Each one left a smile on my face.
Alex finished his email with this; Helen Keller once said that life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing, so please, go adventure as much as you can.
I’d love it if you all shared your own experiences and tips in the comments!