Hey everyone! This week we’ve got the lovely Brianne!
I’m Brianne, and I’m based in Boston (USA). By day, I am a communications consultant to nonprofits and start-ups, and on nights and weekends I talk about how to balance a career with a life of travel on my blog, A Traveling Life.
1. First of all, what are your website and social media links?
2. How did you come up with your website name?
I’m a super late bloomer as far as blogging is concerned (I only started my blog within the past year), so basically every name I had wanted was already taken – most notably, The Wandering Bean, which is used by a coffee cart in Australia (Bean is my childhood nickname). I don’t have a good story for how I came up with A Traveling Life, but as soon as it popped into my head, I knew it was “the one” since travel has always been a huge part of my life.
3. What more can you tell us about your blog? What are your goals or intentions for it?
I’ve managed do a significant amount of traveling during my adult life – all while going to graduate school and building a career in nonprofit management (and now, running my own consulting business). My goal for the blog is to show that you don’t have to sacrifice your career to travel – you just have to be a little creative and willing to compromise – and you don’t need to be independently wealthy – you need just decide to make travel a priority and plan your budget accordingly. I have a series on my blog that profiles other travelers who living this lifestyle to hopefully provide some encouragement to those who feel limited by their 9-to-5 jobs.
4. Can you provide us with a Throw Back Thursday picture of one of your favorite travel memories with an explanation?
Sure! One of my most memorable trips was the five days I spent in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, two years ago in September. For some reason, I always had it in my head that I wanted to go there, so I decided to swing by after a friend’s wedding in the French Alps. It completely exceeded all of my expectations – it’s an incredibly beautiful city with a lively café culture, and miles of walking and biking trails. I also had the pleasure of staying with a lovely couple through AirBnB, and we became fast friends. I actually extended my trip by a few days!
Which are your favorite and least favorite cities you’ve traveled to? Why?
Hands down, my favorite cities around the world have been Stockholm, Sweden; Hoi An, Vietnam; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. They all are very different, of course, but all were quite memorable experiences during different parts of my life.
I probably don’t have a least favorite city. Of course, I’ve had some frustrating and downright unpleasant experiences while on the road. But overall, when I arrive in a new city, I really just try to appreciate being somewhere new and different, and not compare it with anywhere else.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Where?
I’m a vegetarian, so I usually don’t get too adventurous with food. But in Cambodia, I took a little nibble of a fried tarantula leg at a roadside snack stand (It just tasted like a barbeque chip).
Who are your travel idols?
I have a lot of travel idols – both bloggers and writers here in Boston and around the world – that I regularly turn to for advice and inspiration. Going back many years to high school, however, my original travel idol was Christian Amanpour, the CNN correspondent. In addition to seeming so worldly and wise, I remember her being completely fearless. She inspired me to go to college to study journalism and work internationally.
What’s your best travel tip?
Don’t try to control everything. The best moments I’ve had while traveling have been unplanned, so be sure to leave time to duck into a shop or sit and have tea with someone you meet – don’t schedule every minute. And if something goes wrong, as it inevitably will, just take a deep breath and collect your thoughts before reacting. Be confident that everything will work out – and you’ll have some great stories to tell later on!
Which is your favorite post you’ve written?
I spent the summer during graduate school volunteering as an English teacher in Pokhara, Nepal. When the devastating earthquake hit in April, it provided me with the bittersweet opportunity to reconnect with friends I met there – fortunately they were all OK – and relive the beautiful memories I made. I dug through my photos (I was there in 2003, so most of my photos are on film!) and put together a few posts to share my experiences. Here is the first one, “Memories of Nepal: My First Days in Kathmandu.”
What advice would you give to someone new to travel blogging?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’ve found bloggers to be an incredibly supportive community, and I frequently rely on my blogger friends for advice on everything from the intricacies of WordPress to what the heck to do with Snapchat (I’m still figuring that out!). Especially given that I have a demanding full-time job, I know I can’t do it all on my own.