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.
I first met this delightful and quirky travel blogger in person in Dublin for our TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) Conference. We had been chatting on twitter for a while, and we absolutely hit it off. So good that I’ll be visiting her in her adopted hometown of Manchester this month. She’s definitely the one to watch with her take on short trips on a budget in the UK while writing about her MISadventures in Europe. She’s funny, memorable and I know she has a huge crush on a Budget Travel blogger! Without further ado, I give you Mia of UK Travel Room!
2. Twitter: https://twitter.com/uktravelroom
3. Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/uktravelroom
4. Blog URL: http://www.uktravelroom.co.uk/
5. Where are you originally from and where are you now?
Originally, I am from Romania but nowadays I call myself an adopted Mancunian. I live and work in Manchester and travel during the weekends and holidays.
6. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Ambitious. Tireless. Addictive.
7. Tell us about your blog. What makes your blog unique from all the other bloggers out there?
My blog is my little project and ambition. It’s kinda my baby. (Ed Note: Who’s the father?!) I’ve put so much work into it and will always find something to improve it. I was writing about my misadventures throughout Europe, which I still need to catch up with, and next year will be short breaks throughout the UK on a budget. It’s different because I don’t know any other person that can get lost as well as I do. (Ed Note: is it because you’re a woman? 😛 ) I was thinking that I should write a guide on how to get lost while travelling.
8. Why did you start writing a blog? And did you find it easy to set up?
It started as a mini project. I wanted to see if I can manage a blog, if I can be organised enough to write often and document all my travel adventures. It was fairly easy to set up as I worked in Digital Marketing and PR. On the technical side I still have issues and get lost amongst the coding but it’s a process and you learn as you go.
9. If you had to travel with 3 other travel bloggers who would they be?
That’s a tough one. Hmm, I would love to do a road trip with Theresa from Independent Traveller because I think we have similar travel styles. And of course with Auston and David from TwoBadTourists. I would love that actually. If I manage to someday travel with these three bloggers my life would be so much better. However, if David and Auston count as one there’s also Turner (Around the World in 80 Jobs) because he is absolutely hilarious and love his concept. (Ed Note: Not me?! 😛 )
10. What’s the best advice you can give for new bloggers?
I consider myself a new blogger so I reckon work hard and never give up. It seems impossible at times to make it work but patience and perseverance are highly valuable qualities in this industry.
11. Other than a job, what’s the easiest way to make money for travels?
I don’t know if it counts as a real job, but freelancing. When I did my six months trip beginning of this year, I freelanced for different companies. Writing, consultancy and campaign management. It’s so easy nowadays to find freelance jobs. Saved my life, honestly. Otherwise I don’t know as I would never ask my parents for money or take a loan to travel. I find those ridiculous at my age plus, I am too independent.
12. Where have you been in the world? And which was the best, worst, funniest, most random and scariest?
I’ve travelled mostly in Europe because I always seem to find another city I really want to explore.
Best city has to be Barcelona so far.
Worst – and I know people will disagree with me on this one, Berlin. Just had a bad experience and never got over it.
13. Naughtiest experience on your travels?
A girl needs to have her own secrets. Shhhhh (Ed Note: What is wrong with you travel bloggers!)
14. Luggage or Backpack?
15. Top 3 items that you would save from your backpack if it was about to be sunk in shark infested waters?
My wallet, phone and laptop. I am a geek.
16. Skydiving or Bungee Jumping?
It would have to be skydiving. When I think of Bungee Jumping I just picture the rope breaking and me slamming into a brick wall or falling flat on to the pavement. It’s probably totally inaccurate but that’s how I picture it. Skydiving, on the other hand is on my to-do list.
17. Best travel idol (aside from me, of course) that you would want to sit next to on the plane?
Is there anyone else beside you? (Ed Note: You charmer!)
18. What’s your party trick to show to other backpackers in hostels?
Do drinking games count? I don’t have a party trick. I’ve always relied on puppy eyes and good chats. And most of the times it’s the others showing off their tricks so it’s best for me to watch and learn from the pros.
19. Hostel, Guesthouse, Hotel or Couchsurf?
Hostels all the way. You wouldn’t catch me dead traveling with CouchSurfing ever again and hotels are too impersonal.
20. Day Trip, Backpack or live? UK, Australia or Vietnam?
I do backpacking when I have the time but I am mostly focused on short breaks and day trips now. Easy, UK! No, really, I love the UK. It’s a gorgeous piece of land and there is so much to do and see. And the people are lovely. I can’t really speak about the other two without ever being there.
21. Lonely Planet or Rough Guide?
Neither really. I never plan that much when travelling and I like it that way. Lonely Planet is the one I go for though if I need to research a destination.
22. Will you go out with me, a sexy, tall, dark and handsome god?
I wish! The god would never go out with a mere mortal like myself. (Ed Note: Hahahahaha!)
23. Did you find love on your travels?
I don’t have time to fall in love. I am always too busy doing other stuff. I had love and it wasn’t pretty so decided I can love to travel and that’s what I did.
24. Would you go on I’m a Celebrity and eat pig’s testicles?
You know what? I would! I am always up for a challenge and pushing boundaries so why not? It would definitely be a life altering experience.
25. And possibly, the most important question…Neighbours or Home and Away?!
Sorry to disappoint: The Young and the Restless. (Ed Note: GET OUT!)
26. Which 3 songs have you played the most on your ipod on your travels?
I have my Spotify playlists which I shuffle round. When I travel I rarely listen to music. I am mostly in Awweeee from staring at what’s around me. (Ed Note: Which is mostly me, right?)
27. 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 just leave home alone cause once I get there I make friends instantly. I’ve never really been by myself except a couple of days here and there. Besides, it’s impossible to not make friends in a hostel. The atmosphere encourages it, the people are there to socialise and we all love a good chat about our adventures. If push comes to shove, there are always pub crawls.
28. What are your next travel plans?
I am settled down at the moment in Manchester working and saving money, building on my career and experience so I can start travelling again and freelance and ask for more money basically. And I really do feel the need to stay still for a while. I call it the 25 crisis. Getting old, I’m telling you. Will travel during the weekends though so I can keep the readers happy and help other Brits enjoy and explore their homeland. It’s not all about me.
29. What’s the best advice you can give to first time travellers?
Be confident and try be part of the culture. Don’t go to Maccas and believe everything that the press says about a country. I found that most are just stereotypes. Be bold, be adventurous, don’t say no to new things and go beyond the top ten things to do. There’s so much more than that.
30. Finally, tell us a funny travel story.
Oh dear, which one should I go for now? Well, there was that time in Bratislava when the pub crawl guide ditched us in a pub that looked like a public toilet. So, it was April, a cold Tuesday night in Bratislava that I arrived at the hostel. I didn’t know anyone obviously as I travel solo. Being off season and during the week there wasn’t much going on anywhere. Like I previously stated, if there is nothing else to do, go on a pub crawl. I got my room mates and found the only one available in town. It started off quite well till the guide made us walk for 30 minutes to take a bus for another 30 minutes to get to where we were meant to be the best area to party in Bratislava. The tour guide helped us get in (we were five lads and three girls) so we got in the public toilet club where there was a Czech rock live band playing and crammed with 18 year old kids. Five minutes later we realised the guide ditched us, no one around us spoke English and we had no idea where we were. So we did what any responsible tourist would do: took red absinthe shots and danced till daylight when we managed to get a taxi back to the hostel. Great memory! (Ed Note: Great story!)
Thanks Mia 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!