Featured Blogger: Lauren from The Student Travels

This week we’re talking to Lauren!

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

Website: http://thestudenttravels.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/thestudenttravels
Twitter: http://twitter.com/studentrucksack
Instagram: http://instagram.com/thestudenttravels

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

I had the traditional ‘gap yah’ before university and ever since I’ve had a bad case of itchy feet. Through 3 years at university I couldn’t keep still so had to juggle a student budget and my need to travel. It was here that The Student Travels was born. I wanted to show that, although it is difficult, it’s still possible to travel when you’re a student, you’ve just got to be savvy about it!

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

Now that I’ve graduated the blog has moved away from traveling alongside study. Instead it’s become a diary of my life as a graduate and my new traveling adventures. I recently left home to try and pursue a ‘gaplife’ – think never-ending gap year and you’re on the right tracks! I started in the Philippines and now I’m based in Melbourne. Who knows where will be next?

I want to prove that you don’t have to follow that boring path of getting a job and a mortgage after graduating. I want to live a life which is inspired and interesting. Why can’t every day be an adventure?

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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It’s not much of a Throwback as this picture was only taken a few weeks ago in the Philippines. My boyfriend (a fellow gaplifer) and I trekked to this deserted beach in Palawan and were rewarded with the complete ‘Robinson Crusoe’ style experience. The beach was beautiful with perfect white sand, crystal clear sea and lazy palm trees. Some places are worth making the effort for!

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

My favorite city has to be London. I know it’s a cop-out as it’s practically on my doorstep back home but I can’t beat it. There’s always something going on and you can’t help but to be inspired by the buildings and the history. Everyone should visit at least once in their lives!

My least favorite city is Manila, which was the first stop on my ‘gaplife’ adventure. I really wanted to like it because everyone always gives it a hard time but the pollution and the chaos was all a bit too much. I suffer from very mild asthma but I was a coughing mess when I was in Manila!

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

The strangest thing has to be scorpions at Dong Hua Men Night Market in Beijing. I would recommend them, they taste just like crisps! To be honest, most things I ate in China were strange. The trick is to not ask what it is. Ignorance is bliss.

7. Who are your travel idols?

Bill Bryson is my absolute hero. I’ve loved him ever since I read all his books as a child. I even named my pet duck after him (I’m sure he’d be honored…) I met him briefly at the Wanderlust Travel Guide Awards and even scored an autograph. I was grinning all night long!

8. What’s your best travel tip?

Just to relax. When I travelled on my gap year I freaked out about everything. If you’re travelling somewhere with a language barrier, it’s easy to panic or stress if you can’t communicate when things go wrong. But panicking always makes things worse. Now I’ve learned to take a deep breath, smile and just go with the flow.

9. Which is your favorite post you’ve written? Please provide a link.

http://thestudenttravels.com/2014/11/17/the-swiss-alps-grindelwald/

I loved the Swiss Alps and it is definitely somewhere I’d visit again. It was the first trip I’d taken with my new ‘relaxed’ attitude and it really paid off. It helped that Grindelwald was stunningly pretty as well!

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

To interact with the blogging community. Everyone I’ve met through blogging have been so lovely and happy to help out with recommendations or blogging tips. Take the time to comment on other blogger’s content and get to know people. You never know what you might learn!

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