Before I went on my RTW travels, I could be often found stalking other travel blogs but what really interested me was the travel blogger behind the witticisms of their writing. Who are they? Are they real? Are they fit? So hence, for a long time coming, I wanted to do some travel blogging interviews and crack them open for their rawness inspiration of travel inside. Think Michael Parkinson.
This week’s interview is no other than the most inspirational female travel blogger around. She’s just about to head on an epic trip to Australia and New Zealand later on this year and what’s more, she’s gonna empower all you women out there through inspiration, love, laughter and especially solo travelling. Without much further ado, I give you Toni of Reclaiming My Future!
- Name: Toni
- Twitter: @toniwonitravels
- Facebook Fan Page: ReclaimingMyFuture
- Blog URL: www.reclaimingmyfuture.com
- Where are you originally from and where are you now? Born in Jersey (Channel Islands just off France) and now live in Devon, Southwest UK.
- Describe yourself in 3 words. Thinker, writer, listener.
- Tell us about your blog. What makes your blog unique from all the other bloggers out there? I write a travel and lifestyle blog so I use travel as my base to write about tips, personal experiences and travel stories but then I also write about personal development, inspiration to get you going in life and all things great and wildlife-like because Africa got into my soul!
- Why did you start writing a blog? And did you find it easy to set up? Back in 2009 I set it up just so my friends and family could keep tabs on me (and I didn’t want to shove my travels in their face) but I truly started blogging in January 2011 and haven’t looked back!
- If you had to travel with 3 other travel bloggers who would they be? Hannah from Furtherbound.com, Nicole from Bittenbythetravelbug.com, Lauren from Nefootsteps.com and I’m totally cheating here but Mel from Mellybooproject.com. You can’t ask me to pick 3 when I have 4 amazing girls in my life so deal with it Mr Rex haha (Ed Note: My dream come true!)
- What’s the best advice you can give for new bloggers? Be yourself and don’t listen to anyone else’s opinion. Do want you want to do, write what you want to write about and people will appreciate you for it.
- Other than a job, what’s the easiest way to make money for travels? Cutback. It’s simple things such as reducing the amount of times you go out in a month or not spending quite as much on drink or ‘stuff’. It’s not always easy to hold back but a little bit here and there soon adds up!
- Where have you been in the world? And which was the best, worst, funniest, most random and scariest? Fortunately quite a few places so I’ll simply say Asia and Africa. The worst was Japan (I wasn’t in a good place in my head so I was miserable), the best was my whole Africa trip through the sub-Sahara countries because it changed me in ways I can’t describe. The funniest would be my last two weeks of my Asia trip in Bali where I met two British girls and we travelled around together and couldn’t stop laughing. The most random was Hong Kong – I had so many plans for my 5 days there but met a British guy on my first day and we spent all weekend together (just as friends) having the most random but fun times! And the scariest would be Asia because it was my first backpacking trip AND my first solo trip and I was travelling with a broken heart so it was terrifying but I’m so glad I got on the plane!
- Naughtiest experience on your travels? Getting jiggy with my dive guide on a boat in the middle of the Andaman Sea in Thailand, coming out of the shower at 3am butt naked and being caught by the captain!! (Ed Note: Very Saucy!)
- Luggage or Backpack? Backpack for ease but luggage if I can because I’m a girl that can’t pack light to save her life! I want options when I get dressed each morning!
- Top 3 items that you would save from your backpack if it was about to be sunk in shark infested waters? My journal, MacBook (because I’m surgically attached to it) and my camera because those three items altogether would allow me to remember all the amazing travels I’ve had for the rest of my life!
- Skydiving or Bungee Jumping? Skydiving! I’m quite happy to freefall to earth but you want me to dangle on a bit of elastic string? Ummm, no thanks! (Ed Note: Go on…..)
- Best travel idol (aside from me, of course) that you would want to sit next to on the plane? Peter Allison. He arrived in Africa when he was 19 years old and ‘never left’. He is now a well-respected wildlife photographer, author and safari guide; my idol!
- What’s your party trick to show to other backpackers in hostels? Turning off the dorm light switch so we can all get a good night’s sleep! (Ed Note: Amen to THAT!)
- Hostel, Guesthouse, Hotel or Couchsurf? I like a good mix of all of them. Hostels are great for socialising etc but hotels are fantastic when you want some peace and quiet and a little luxury. Likewise, couchsurfing is a great way to meet local people and get shown the ‘secret local side’ to a destination.
- Day Trip, Backpack or live? UK, Australia or Vietnam? I’d like to live in Australia! Oh wait, I AM going to live in Australia in 3 months time – ooooh yeah! (Ed Note: Can’t wait to see your blog posts about it!)
- Lonely Planet or Rough Guide? A little of both. It’s always good to get varied opinions and viewpoints and each have their own pros and cons to them.
- Will you go out with me, a sexy, tall, dark and handsome god? What’s the phrase? Call me?! (Ed Note: Maybe.. 😉 )
- Did you find love on your travels? I wouldn’t say I found love but I made deep connections along the way and in my book that’s sometimes just as magical.
- Would you go on I’m a Celebrity and eat pig’s testicles? No. If we were meant to eat pigs testicles, we wouldn’t have evolved as humans but we have evolved which is why the only pig going into my mouth is ham or a chocolate piggy!
- And possibly, the most important question…Neighbours or Home and Away?! Neighbours? Never heard of it 😉 Home and Away all the way baby – have you SEEN the scenery they work in?! (Ed Note: Nothing to do with the toned actors on it?)
- Which 3 songs have you played the most on your ipod on your travels? I Remember by Kaskade (a beach chill out dance track), I Shot the Sheriff by Bob Marley (because, trust me, when you travel, you’ll hear this song everywhere and fall in love with it)
- You travelled on your own, how did that go for you and did you find it easy to make new friends on the road? I do think it’s easy if you class every drinking buddy as a friend but for me, friends I make when travelling are the kind where you can spend all day together and talk non-stop without making an effort and in that sense, I’m thankful that over my travels I’ve made a handful of those special connections. Travelling on your own is really hard emotionally because you have no one and nothing to distract you but for that very reason, it was one of the best things I have ever done!
- What are your next travel plans? In October I head out to Australia to begin four years of living and working in Oz and Nz. After that? Who knows but I’d like to keep going for as long as possible.
- What’s the best advice you can give to first time travellers? Just do it. Plan everything or plan nothing but get on the plane even if you’re crying your eyes out with fear because it’s never as bad as you feared it would be.
- Finally, tell us a funny travel story…When you’re overlanding through Africa, toilet stops are frequent but toilets are nowhere to be seen so you really do have to pee by the side of the road. It’s pretty funny to begin with but soon becomes the norm until you go for a wee, alone, thinking no one else is around then find yourself mooning an entire family of Namibians and instantly stop peeing because of ‘stage fright’ then realise as you walk back to the truck that there’s a little bit leftover currently dribbling down your leg! Thank god for baby wipes is all I can say! (Ed Note: Such a classy bird)
Thanks Toni for doing this interview! If you would like to know more about her journeys, click here.
If you would like to have an interview, please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you featured on here!