Welcome back to Feature Friday! Today we have the pleasure of having Emma stop by and share some of her story and travel adventures. As you continue reading, you’ll learn why Emma decided to quit her job and travel, and what her blog is all about.
1. Thank you for deciding to be a part of Feature Friday. Could you tell us a little about yourself and your blog?
No problem at all. At 29 I decided to quit my ‘real job’ in digital marketing and advertising to travel the world. There was no one thing that pushed me to do it. I just felt I was getting a little too close to the wrong side of 30 and had nothing holding me back. So took the plunge. My blog notsobudgetbackpacker.com is written for people like me. I’m really focusing on scrimp vs splurge activities so you can design your own trip to match your budget without missing out on all of the awesome more expensive activities. When I took my first trip to Europe at 19 we had to skip over a lot of awesome activities, as we just simply didn’t have the budget to do it. We also slept in 20 bed dorms and partied a hell of a lot. Now that I’m older, and traveling with a few more dollies in my pocket I’ve got different priorities. I want to travel for as long as possible, however I also want to experience everything a city has to offer. From fantastic food to next-level activities. And I want to sleep in smaller dorms, private rooms and even a hotel or two. It’s about getting the balance right. Cooking yourself a $3 pasta one night, so you can take an incredible cooking class the next.
2. Why did you decide to become a travel blogger?
For the two years before I packed my stuff and left Australia I was the Marketing Manager at a digital lifestyle publication which told you all the best experiences to have in cities around Australia. In this job I learned tonnes about digital publish, content marketing and social media. I also learned that I quite like writing. I’m not great at keeping a journal so I thought I’d put my new found skills to use and also keep a record of my trip by starting a travel blog.
3. What do you love so much about travelling?
The thing I love about traveling is waking up in a different place almost every morning and having different and unique experiences every day. I’m also traveling solo and I’m absolutely loving it. I love the freedom to just do whatever the hell I want every day!
4. Have you ever regretted doing something while travelling?
My biggest regrets traveling have been the things I didn’t do. Which is one of the things my blog aims for people to avoid. When I was traveling Europe at 19 we didn’t end up making it to Turkey as we didn’t have the money or the time really. And now with the world in the state it’s in, it’s quite dangerous to visit now. I really want to get there one day. But we shall see.
5. What’s the scariest thing you’ve done while travelling?
Going down a working silver mine in Bolivia. We got about 20 meters into the mine and suddenly were hearing dynamite exploding around us and dust was starting to fall from the walls. It was super hard to breathe even through our face masks. That was when I had the thought ‘why am I down a working mine in one of the poorest towns in Bolivia of all places? I’m going to be that stupid dead Australian on the news tomorrow’. Luckily I survived and made it out of the mine alive. But definitively one of the scariest experiences of my life.
6. What is your most embarrassing travel story?
Do you know, I honestly can’t even think of one. I’m not that easily embarrassed. However I’ve probably done many embarrassing things after a few too many vinos.
7. Have you ever travelled solo? Would you do it again? If you haven’t, would you ever do it?
I’m traveling solo now. It’s the best! However you are never really traveling solo if you’re staying in hostels. There’s always someone to talk to and keep on traveling with.
8. Out of all the cities & countries you’ve visited, which did you like the least? Why?
My least favourite city would have to be Rio. Unfortunately the city and the country is going through some really tough times. And the recent Olympic Games in Rio has made it much worse. There’s a large amount of violence towards tourists. With muggings happening every day. It’s really the only city is South and Central America where I have felt genuinely unsafe.
9. Out of all the cities & countries you’ve visited, which did you like the most? Why?
My favourite country has to be Cambodia. It’s a country that has gone through so much with the genocide only 30 years ago. Yet they are the loveliest friendliest people. And the food is incredible.
10. If you had to choose one place to live for the rest of your life, where would it be, and why?
I’d have to say Melbourne. My home town. It’s been voted the world’s most livable city numerous times. And you’ve got a mixture of pretty beaches, excellent food, coffee and wine and awesome nature experiences just an hour out of town.
11. Are there any social norms or practices you’ve encountered while travelling that you wish were normal in your native culture?
I guess just generally the openness of people while they are traveling. I find at home people are in their own cliques and will very rarely welcome someone else in. I love the fact that it’s just normal to strike up a conversation with someone you’ve never met in the commonroom of a hostel.
12. Is there anywhere you would not visit? Where, and why?
At the moment I’d have to say Venezuela. The political and economic situation over there is quite unstable. And I feel you’re actually hindering the people there by traveling and taking away resources that they need.
13. What is one thing that is too large or impractical that you wish you could bring with you when you travel?
A coffee machine. Haha there’s no where in the world that does coffee as good as Melbourne.
14. Do you think there’s a difference between people who deem themselves tourists vs. travellers? What do you consider yourself, and why?
I don’t really like to get into that argument. I feel that people who consider themselves travellers like to judge so-called tourists. You gotta just do you. haha
15. What does home mean to you?
Home means my family and friends and a strong safety net.
16. What advice would you give an aspiring travel blogger?
Before you start doing anything do a tonne of research. SEO, branding, social media. You actually have a huge amount of stuff you need to take into consideration before writing one blog post, if you want your blog to be successful.
Thank you Emma for sharing your stories and your travels with us! It’s always great to connect with other who enjoy travelling, and I genuinely enjoyed reading what you had to share, and seeing your fabulous pictures! I especially love the one where you look like you’re flying in that swing! Safe travels as you continue to venture around the world 🙂
Did you enjoy what you read? Get to know more about the blogger!
At 29 Emma quit her ‘real’ job in digital marketing and advertising to travel the world. Since then she’s made her way through most of South and Central America all the while writing about her experiences in her blog – the ultimate scrimp vs splurge travel guide so you don’t need to miss a thing. Connect with Emma at the following: