Feature Friday: Meet Bianca M.

Feature Friday- Meet Bianca M.

Happy Friday everyone! As we know, today we have a featured guest. This week, we have the honor of Bianca joining us here. Bianca is a fellow travel blogger over at It’s All Bee, which is play on her name, by using her nickname. She enjoys adventures and exploring different cultures. Aside from blogging, she is also an analyst that works in many different areas of the field! What a renaissance woman 🙂 Continue reading to learn more about Bianca’s travels!

1. Thank you for deciding to be a part of Feature Friday. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog?

Hong Kong Lantau Island Big Buddha - Bianca
Hong Kong Lantau Island Big Buddha

I am originally from Lusaka, Zambia and now live in London, England. My blog is mainly about travel. From city getaways for the weekend and longer to road tripping around Europe and Africa. It’s all about inspiring other to get out there and see the world their way, because you don’t have to be rich to see the world. I am living proof of that. I am nowhere near rich but because travel is a priority for me so I make it work for my budget.

2. Why did you decide to become a travel blogger?
I have always wanted to travel and after one too many trips posted on Facebook, I wanted to be able to add more of a story telling aspect to pictures I was uploading and inspire people to travel. Blogging was born out of a need for me to want share my pictures and stories of where I had been while providing details of what people can do in the places, cities and countries I visited should they wish to visit as well.

3. What do you love so much about travelling?

Bayon Temple In Cambodia Siem Reap - Bianca
Bayon Temple In Cambodia Siem Reap

Discovering new places. Hidden gems in already popular cities as well as meeting new people. So much of what we know about places stems from what we read or hear about from others. I love being able see things and places for myself. So, hearing scary stories about a place doesn’t necessarily put me off from visiting. With all that is written about Africa, my beloved continent and just how many out there have been scared off from visiting because of what they have read and heard I don’t want be that person that can be easily discouraged because of a few stories. Because of that and knowing how the truth about this vast and beautiful continent is distorted, I would rather see places myself and make up my own mind than just go off someone’s scary stories. One of the reasons why if I have a bad experience somewhere, it does go on the blog with reasons why I did or didn’t like a place as well as making it clear that my experience  shouldn’t necessarily mean they should be discouraged from visiting unless it’s an utterly dangerous place. Even then if there are safe precautions they would need then I put that out there for them to make an informed decision. I also advocate for people to do their own research than just go off a few stories.

4. Have you ever regretted doing something while travelling?
I can’t say I have. Yeah their things sometimes I have done that turned out ok but sometimes look back and think had some situations gone left I would have been in the thick of it. I guess you can say there have been some near misses which I am thankful for.

5. What’s the scariest thing you’ve done while travelling?

Livingstone Victoria Falls Devils Pool - Zambia - Bianca
Livingstone Victoria Falls Devils Pool – Zambia
Trolltung Hiking Norway - Camping in Trolltunga - Odda - Bianca
Trolltung Hiking Norway – Camping in Trolltunga – Odda

 

 

 

 

 

I love a bit of adventure and many things I get up to my sisters or friends would be too chicken to do. I guess the scariest yet would be sitting on the edge of both Victoria Falls’ Devil’s Pool in Zambia and the edge of Trolltunga in Norway. Hopefully these are not the last as I would love do more sky diving someday. As adventourous as I am there are things that freak me out like white water rafting as I have a fear of drowning, but will happily jump out of a plane of bungee jump.

6. What is your most embarrassing travel story?

Cambodia Pub Street - Siem Reap - Bianca
Cambodia Pub Street – Siem Reap

Hmm, I have quite a few but I guess nothing tops arriving a whole day late for a flight having made the mistake of thinking that our flight from Cambodia’s Siem Reap was leaving at 30 minutes past midnight on the 1st January instead of just after midnight 31 December. Well we at least managed to ring in the new year in Cambodia’s famous Pub Street before we realised the mistake was going to cost us at least a thousand pounds to sort out. We were still in high spirits from the relaxing spa treatments and exploring of temples we did during the day having thought we had plenty of time. Considering I am planner all way down to what, when and where we are doing activities, so it was rather an embarrassment to arrive at the airport, queue forever to check in bags only to be told that our flight took off the day before. I laugh now but wasn’t laughing then when we were stuck at the airport trying to figure out where we were going to stay for the night, when our next flight was and having to cancel a trip to Paris, losing the money spent on accommodation already booked there not to mention missing ringing in the new year in the city of lights. Yeap, my boyfriend and I were pretty bummed but we had spent a lovely month in Asia so were then just looking forward to getting home to our bed after end the trip on a less than sweet note.

7. Have you ever travelled solo? Would you do it again? If you haven’t, would you ever do it?
Yes, I have and I say go! For those that have yet to travel solo, it will be the best thing you will do yourself. I travel a lot for work so solo travel for leisure is just a natural thing to do now and then when I need to get away. Although these days I don’t do as many solo trips as I used when I started blogging. This is simply because my travels are usually a nice way to get away and catch up with soon-to-be husband because we both travel separately for our jobs. Solo travel is a perfect opportunity for a little selfcare. Do what you want to do, explore at your own schedule and just have fun without thinking about what your travel companion would like to do and when and budgets and all that. It’s just you and your needs. It’s wonderful! Just do it as Nike says.

8. Out of all the cities & countries you’ve visited, which did you like the least? Why?
I wouldn’t say I found a city I disliked and hope it stays that way. The only thing I would change about some of my visits to India, China, Malaysia Australia are the staring. I get that many people may not have encountered black people before but the staring to the point where you have people sneaking in selfies with you in them. Yeah, I can do without that. Most of these experiences were not done with malice, but I just want to be able to travel without feeling like I am not display sometimes.

9. Out of all the cities & countries you’ve visited, which did you like the most? Why?

Victoria Harbour Symphony of Lights Hong Kong - Bianca
Victoria Harbour Symphony of Lights Hong Kong

I have a soft spot for Hong Kong. Most of my solo travel had been around the UK and part of Europe. Hong Kong was the first time I had taken on a trip so far away from home. The city is beautiful and I have beautiful memories of solo wanders to Lantau Island, exploring Kowloon’s hustle and bustle and Hong Kong Island’s evening walks in beautifully lit streets. I have fond memories of just being totally comfortable with enjoying dinner on my own and wondering the city in the evenings while the city’s colourful skyline is lit in neon colours.

10. If you had to choose one place to live for the rest of your life, where would it be, and why?
London! I haven’t been everywhere yet but out of the places I have been too, London is the one place I would happily live for the rest of my life. It is multicultural, the level of freedom and of course access to many European destinations is a bonus. The people, the food the sights, what more can one want in this world that one cannot get in London, albeit via crazy import taxes. I currently live in London and haven’t found any place that can beat it. The only thing that would make it even better is if we had decent weather or a consistent summer.

11. Are there any social norms or practices you’ve encountered on your travels that you wish were normal in your native culture?
Nudity and talking about sex. Scandinavian countries seem to have that nailed down. Talking about sex isn’t taboo and body confidence too. People don’t seem so shy about being naked. While you are busy trying to cover your virtue at a spa or public baths they a just seem to go about there business because nudity isn’t a big deal. That’s how it should be. I have found both the UK and Zambia where I come from, those two topics make for uncomfortable conversation for many.

12. Is there anywhere you would not visit? Where, and why?
Syria, USA and Perhaps North Korea. It’s a very short list. I am open to seeing this world, as crazy as it is. Syria is only on that list simply because of the current situation with war. Yes, I would even consider visiting parts of Iraq simply because I have friends who travel in and out of there that I went to university with. My ex while at university was from Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi-Kurdistan.  North Korea only joined the list since they sent back Otto Warmbier on his death bed having been jailed for stealing a poster. I am all for respecting local laws when you travel but my views on visiting NK changed a little after that. I know a few people in travel groups that have been, now I am not sure if would visit but knowing me if I was in that region again I probably would. Another country on this short list is the USA. I have seen way too many painful videos of police shooting black people that I have decided to add USA to my banned travel list. This is meant to be a developed nation and yet you have police shooting black people for sport and are acquitted left right and centre like they didn’t commit murder. I have family in the USA and I have been to the USA before but refuse to spend a penny there right now while I continue to see daily videos on my Facebook feed of yet more and more unjustified killings of black people. Yes, there is racism everywhere but when you have institutionalised racism rotting away at the core of the country and deep in the justice system it is disturbing. I cannot spend my hard-earned cash anywhere near the country.

13. What is one thing that is too large or impractical to travel with that you wish you could bring with you when you travel?
Usually it’s my handbags that tend to be larger than life, which doesn’t help when you are trying to about that carry-on only life. By the time I add my DSLR, lenses and photography equipment I wish I could be one of those with a little across the chest handbag. I think I have learned to live with the fact that will never be me. For starters, my Samsung phone is bigger than most little bags.  I still manage carry on only for most trips so its cant all be that bad.

14. Do you think there’s a difference between people who deem themselves tourists vs. travellers? What do you consider yourself, and why?
Not really. I think at different times in our lives or even for just different trips through the year we are both of those types of traveller. For quick and dirty weekend getaways, I sometimes don’t have time for “deeper and meaningful” travel. It is simply a trip to relax enjoy without diving deep into the people and culture of the place with perhaps if I have my “traveller” hat on I would want to do on a trip.

15. What does home mean to you?

London - Shoreditch - Bianca
London – Shoreditch

Comfort. It is simple as that. Being somewhere where you can be yourself, relax and just feel safe. London is just that for me. I have yet to see every country out there but there no place like home and no place like London.

16. What advice would you give an aspiring travel blogger?
Stop talking about it and just do it. Don’t worry too much about your niche and all the other staff that people seem to place so much importance on. I have also noticed that now a lot of new bloggers the moment they start blogging they want to find out about how to score hotels and freebies. Well to each their own but I don’t think that is what you should be focussing on so soon after starting. Work on quality content and your style of storytelling because what can you offer a branding partner other than a canvas? Do you have an engaged following; do you know how to market the brand that you are hoping to working with? You are simply going in with how much you can get out of it than thinking about what it is you are offering in return. That is what builds those relationships with brands you work with. Majority if not all of my travels on the blog are paid for by me. That then gives me more freedom on what posts go on my blog and not feeling compromised because I am being sponsored.

Thank you Bianca for taking the time to share your story with us. It was interesting to see your amazing pictures, and to hear your experiences. Also, it was interesting to hear that the USA is on the list of ‘would not visit’ countries. As a black female living in the U.S., I’m always curious to know how other people in different countries view what’s going on. Again, thank you for sharing your adventures, your thoughts, & opinions, and thanks for being a part of Feature Friday! Safe travels on your next journey!

Did you enjoy what you read? Get to know more about the blogger!

Agra-Taj Mahal-India-Tours-New Delhi BiancaBianca is a firm believer that travel doesn’t have to be expensive. It also starts right from at home, so you will naturally find travel tips from both home and away on her blog. From my birth country in Zambia to my second home in London and as far and wide as Hong Kong, India, Namibia, Egypt and many parts of Europe. She loves an off-grid adventure as much as she loves getting lost in city alleyways. Her blog is a gateway to all those seeking inspiration on exploring the world, whether in heels or hiking boots. Connect with her at the following:

Blog | Twitter | Instagram

10 thoughts on “Feature Friday: Meet Bianca M.”

  1. Really interesting interview, and as a white, very blonde (and tall) girl in Asia I COMPLETELY understand the staring thing. It’s so weird and intrusive! My kids hate it too, so you’re not alone Bee!

    1. Thank you! I’m headed to Japan next month, so I’m prepared to experience it myself. I’m grateful to note this in advance so it’s something I can mentally prepare for!

  2. Such a great interview. I wish I could travel that much. I understand the staring because I am a tall, female and I wear all blank wherever I go and I look like a giant next to most people that I am with.

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