It seems timely that as I commit to this Travel Therapy section, I’ve been given the chance to get a bit more personal about my own motivations to travel.
I’ve got Isabel from the blog Nanjing Nian to thank for the opportunity; she has nominated my blog for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. She’s also hit me up with ten questions about my travel passion. Here they are, complete with my answers:
What inspired you to start travelling?
When I was ten years old, I went to the UK and Kenya for my first ever overseas trip. I think it was Kenya that did it.
Though memories from that age turn hazy with time, I still remember standing by my tent amidst an animal stampede during an African Safari in the Masai Mara.
I remember sharing a car with a heavily-beaded Masai woman and her bawling child.
I remember the young boy in the slums who stuck his hand through the car window to steal the cap off my head.
I remember discovering this whole other world out there beyond mine, filled with people living these completely foreign lives yet going through the same essential human emotions. I was hooked and I wanted to see more – in fact, I essentially dictated the destinations of every overseas family trip thereafter.
How did you come up with your blog name?
I never intended ARoamerTherapy to be my blog name. I needed to think up a title quickly and emailed my uncle, renowned for his punabilities.
This was his best offering so I chose it on a whim, planning to change the name at a later date but, well, as you can see it kind of stuck.
What has been your WORST travel experience?
The dark side of travel is rarely seen or spoken of but I have plenty of down moments when I wonder what I do it all for … And then I visit somewhere incredible like Machu Picchu or The Alhambre and the high always has me seeking more!
But back to the question, probably my worst experience was taking the return bus trip from Bolivia’s capital La Paz to Rurrenabaque in the Amazon Basin.
It is renowned for being a dodgy route, with wheezy old buses and tight roads frequently inundated with landslides. On the return trip I found myself in a seat that barely reclined and with no room to stretch my legs before me for the 24 hr journey and though I maintained a calm facade I was screaming inside for the driver to just let me out on the roadside.
What are the top three places on your travel bucket list?
Too hard! Since my first foray into Latin America, I’ve been dying to discover Cuba and Guatamala for myself. I also crave seeing the Great Wall of China with my own eyes.
What were you doing before you started blogging?
Many many things. Blogging has always just been a hobby for me, a natural extension of the dozens of journals I’ve written about my trips since I was ten. Pre-ARoamerTherapy I was putting all my energy into my university studies (International Studies) and fictional writing.
What is your favourite quote of all time (doesn’t have to be travel related)?
I actually have a notebook of favourite quotes at home – alas I’m several thousand kilometres from that source of inspiration. One of my favourite though is Von Goethe:
Live each day as if your life had just begun.
If you could pick anyone (dead or alive) to sit next to on a long-haul flight, who would it be?
I’m gonna have to go with Charlie Chaplin in the hopes he is as quiet in real life as he is in his movies.
Travel time – bus, train, plane or whatever – for me has always been reflection time. Any travel companion can attest to my grouchiness if anyone tries to barge in on my travel down time.
The next best thing would be my little sister, with whom I travelled around Asia. She at least knows my strange peccadillo and keeps quiet. She also provides a healthy supply of junk food throughout any journey.
What is your most popular blog post?
People seem to like My Massage by a Thai Ex-Convict, which I have to admit I had a lot of fun writing.
What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
My wonderful, wise mother has always encouraged me to follow my dreams. She has shown me that the conventional lifestyle isn’t for everyone and that I should follow my own path instead of sticking to any socially-prescribed one.
OK, so now is my turn to nominate ten gutsy solo female travel bloggers. Here are my pick of the crop:
1. Sher at Ageless Traveler
2. Janey Mae from Little Wanderlust Stories
3. Maria at The Tropical Dog
4. Hannah from Eat Sleep Breathe Travel
5. Alexa from She Tells Travel Tales
6. Andreja from Adventurous Journeys
7. Alys from The Wild Life
8. Claudia Looi from Travelwritingpro.com
9. Nancy from Aperture Of My Soul
10. Marissa from Postcards To Seattle