Featured Blogger: Jenna from Give for Granted

This week we’re meeting Jenna from Give for Granted!

1. First of all, what are your website and social media links?

Website: http://www.giveforgranted.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/giveforgranted
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/giveforgranted
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/giveforgranted
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/giveforgranted

2. How did you come up with your website name?

Originally, I had started Give for Granted not as a travel blog but as a apparel line to help support northern Canadians living in poverty. One boring Sunday afternoon I cuddled up in front of the TV and watched a long documentary on how often we as humans take things for granted. After several attempts at making a catchy name, I finally realized that Give for Granted would work. Instead of always taking things for granted, I wanted to raise awareness of the poverty in northern Canada and have people ‘give for granted”. It sounds as cheesy as it was back then, but today it’s still as catchy as ever and many people understand my blog philosophy – Travelling the World | Making a Difference.

3. What more can you tell us about your blog? What are your goals or intentions for it?

I still ‘Give for Granted,’ and I still support northern Canadians living in poverty, I just took a different approach on the business plan. I decided instead of putting all my efforts and hours into one pot, I’d divide it up by doing A. what I love, and B. what I want to achieve in life. I have a passion for non-stop travel and I have always wanted to help make a huge positive impact in northern Canadian societies. Today, I focus on philanthropic travel whether it be eco-travel, volunteer travel or simply just travelling as sustainably as possible.

It is my intention and hope that I will be able to grow my blog through travel experience and content creation while helping make a difference not just in my own country, but across the world. I hope to teach others and inspire others how to travel sustainably, and I want to show the world that you can take your annual (or monthly) vacation you usually take and make it sustainable at the same time.

4. Can you provide us with a Throw Back Thursday picture of one of your favorite travel memories with an explanation?

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Here is my Throw Back Thursday picture, back in 2012 while I visited Machu Picchu with a Sport Development class from Brock University in (St. Catharines) Niagara Falls. It was a short trip to Peru on a course project in which we taught government officials, teachers, and coaches how to implement social justice awareness into sport and games on the field and in the classroom. This was my first trip where the ‘travel bug’ really hit, and I always go back on these photos remembering where I was then, where I am today, and how proud I am that I have still be able to follow my dreams.

5. Which are your favorite and least favorite cities you’ve traveled to? Why?

All dependent on the situation, who you were with, what you were doing, how much you had to spend, etc. So don’t mark my word on this that you will love or dislike one particular city, but here is a pretty accurate review on my experiences:

Loved Cities:
– Freiburg, Germany: I spent nearly 8 months living here with my boyfriend who studied at the university nearby. Situated in the Black Forest, with cobble stone streets and a lively city vibe, who wouldn’t love it here?!
– Kanchanaburi, Thailand: I studied in Thailand for 4 months and found my little oasis to be in Kanchanaburi. Less-travelled, super affordable and has one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls.
– Patan, Nepal: A little outside of the busy Kathmandu backpackers village, but still just as beautiful and so close to unique cultural sites. Though I can’t give just you one AMAZING place in the area, I can tell you that every where I looked there was another incredible photo opportunity. This is by far, the #1 photographers paradise!

Disliked Cities:
– New Delhi, India: Some people love it, some people hate it. I arrived at the hottest time of the year alone, with a broken suitcase and strapped on cash. I was ripped off on taxi fares, hotel fares, entrance fares, pretty much any fare you could imagine. Travelling solo, I was gawked at around every corner and felt extremely unsafe if I even thought of stepping outside after 5pm.
– Johannesburg, South Africa: My first stop on my ‘backpackers tour’ and my first real ‘backpacking’ experience. I think at this point in my travels I needed something a little more young and touristic. The streets were filthy and filled with sky high business offices, it was my first look at Africa and I remember thinking ‘what did I get myself into?’ Luckily the rest of the trip was absolutely breathtaking.

6. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Where?

Strangest thing I’ve ever eaten… I’ve gotta be honest here, I was a vegetarian for most of my ‘travel life’ and had a hard time ever getting my hands dirty in foreign grub. I love adventure, I love risky business, but when it comes to my health, I am never willing to try weird foods that will more than likely have me sick in bed and missing the best sights of the city. Though… I did sit in on a feast of guinea pig in Cusco, Peru, that was pretty strange.

7. Who are your travel idols?

You know what, I never really had travel idols before I started blogging. I had read a few blogs, watched a few vlogs and all-in-all never really went back on one in particular. However, after attending my first blogging conference in Athens, Greece in 2014, I was able to meet some incredible people and really get to understand the personality behind the social media faces.

I fell in love with these travel teams – so well-travelled – so kind hearted – so filled with life, happy life.

– Jess & Arua from The Gap Year Guru [www.thegapyearguru.com]

– Greg & Gui from Slow Spirit [www.slowspirit.com]

8. What’s your best travel tip?

Pack Smart. That would be my most useful travel tip in the world. I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t pack smart and it cut into my travel days and exciting plans. Hauling a bag around while you’re about to go bungee jumping for the first time in your life, there’s nothing exciting about that. I am bothered when I have to worry about my luggage, when it’s too heavy, or when I have to leave it somewhere I don’t feel comfortable with. The times where I’ve packed smart and light, I feel lighter on my feet and more open to new opportunities!

9. Which is your favorite post you’ve written?

100% my bucket list post. >>>>> http://giveforgranted.com/about/the-bucket-list/ <<<<<<
I always like having a little something special that I can focus on for each trip. I don’t force myself to complete it, I just simply wait for inspiration to pop up. If it happens, it happens, if it doesn’t… maybe next time. This is my baby, I always go back on it and try to choose my next few to complete!

10. What advice would you give to someone new to travel blogging?

Connections, connections, connections. I even still don’t have nearly enough connections as I would like to. Knowing people in the travel blogging world will really give you that step up and edge that you’ve been looking for. Meeting other bloggers has helped me see where I want to go, and what paths I want to avoid. So much inspiration making these connections!

One thought on “Featured Blogger: Jenna from Give for Granted

  1. Hey Samantha and Jenna,

    A month and a half after this amazing interview has been published (sorry about that, we were in the middle of the Amazonian jungle!), here I am to praise it and I cannot do so enough! =] !!

    Having met Jenna in person at TBEX 2014 in Greece with my brother and later on at the WTM London, I’m proud to see her receiving the spotlight she deserves.

    We share the passion for sustainability and definitely for travelling light. Our conversations were always peppered with laughs and funny stories — even some scary ones, you have to ask her!!

    It was flattering to have the Slow Spirit mentioned here with such kindness and after knowing a bit more about Jenna’s life, we’re definitely even more die hard fans!

    We’re going to be in the UK for the summer and then attending TBEX Asia, any chance of meeting again!? =] !!

    Keep spreading the love! (Haha)

    Gui and the Team

    PS: Great blog and great taste Samantha, well done!

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