My name is Lauren Marinigh and I am a Toronto, Canada based travel blogger who runs, Twirl the Globe. I currently work full-time in social media marketing in Toronto, and am a part-time traveler, blogger and freelancer. I have written for sites like HostelsClub and Hostel World, and also write freelance in the marketing industry. People ask me all the time why I don’t work abroad, but despite my love for travel, I’m infatuated with Toronto and have no intention to leave for the time being.
1. First of all, what are your website and social media links?
@twirltheglobe (twitter & Instagram)
2. How did you come up with your website name?
I recently just re-branded my blog with a new name. Formerly my blog was called Wanderlust, and I was never overly happy with that name, it kind of just floated with me when I built my new website, and to be honest, I was too lazy to try and think of a new name. Finally I took the leap and tried to come up with something more original for my blog, that’s where I got Twirl The Globe from. My friend who is also a blogger, helped me think of it when we were brainstorming one night. The world “twirl” was inspired by my love for dance and how I grew up dancing my entire life, and it fit perfectly in “Twirl The Globe” as not only does it have the meaning of physically spinning a globe and traveling around the world, it also has a more personal meaning to me and my passions!
3. What more can you tell us about your blog? What are your goals or intentions for it?
My blog started as just a fun way to keep my family in the loop when I used to travel in college, since then I’ve really worked to grow it and provide more useful content for everyone (not just my family). Since most of the travel I do is budget travel, mostly all my content and suggestions are created with a budget traveler in mind. Since I just officially re-launched and brought my blog into the public’s eye in January, my goal is really to continue to grow it and make my mark in this industry.
4. Can you provide us with a Throw Back Thursday picture of one of your favorite travel memories with an explanation?
This image is a MAJOR throwback Thursday to a trip I took to Mexico in 2005. My family and I were on a safari tour around Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and our tour guide decided to make a stop at a local school, an opportunity that was outside of the tour itinerary. We got to see the school and go into a classroom to meet some of the kids. Always fun and interesting to see how other people live and learn, it really puts your own life into perspective.
5. Which are your favorite and least favorite cities you’ve traveled to? Why?
My recent favourite was Siem Reap in Cambodia. I fell in love with this place, and it’s not because there was an excessive amount of things to do here (other than Angkor Wat), but I just loved the people, culture, food, and the hostel we stayed at (Mad Monkey) also contributed to an awesome stay there.
My least favourite was Hanoi in Vietnam. I just found it a very unwelcoming and intimidating city. It also didn’t help that when we went it was freezing and rainy and we didn’t pack proper clothes, but we found the locals there just were very disinterested in helping tourists or even giving them the time of day, which made it a struggle to like it here.
6. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Where?
To be honest, nothing to wild, but probably frog legs when I was in California! I refused to eat all the bugs and creepy crawlies in Asia.
7. Who are your travel idols?
Brooke from World of Wanderlust and Robert from Leave Your Daily Hell are definitely some of my idols. I find their content extra useful, and since they’ve been so many places I always know I can go to their sites to find info on almost any place I want to go!
8. What’s your best travel tip?
Go into each new place with an open mind and remember that it’s okay not to like everything. If you keep yourself open to learning about a new culture, and place, you’ll find your experience valuable no matter what. If you’re quick to judge, and don’t bother to learn anything about the place you are visiting, you’ll find you’re missing out on one of the most fulfilling aspects of travel.
9. Which is your favorite post you’ve written? Please provide a link.
I think one of my favourites (and most popular) was my blog post on selfie sticks, and why I’ve joined the movement and why other people should too. You can read it here: http://www.twirltheglobe.com/other/selfie-stick/
10. What advice would you give to someone new to travel blogging?
Since I’m relatively new to travel blogging, I don’t know if I’m in the place to provide advice, but I guess one thing that has really helped me as a new blogger, is to stop looking at other bloggers as competition, and team up with them. The travel blogging community is SO welcoming, and it’s amazing the things that can happen when you collaborate and turn to one another for advice!