Hey everyone, this week I’ve got Gabby from Packs Light! Check out her interview to learn more about the wonderful Gabby!
My name is Gabby Beckford, and I started my blog in August! I’m a 20 year old, biracial, sorority woman who is getting a Mathematics degree. And I also happen to be completely obsessed with travel. I grew up with a travel agent for a mother and a Marine father, so travel has been in my family ever since I can remember! I’ve been to 5 continents and 12 countries so far, and I have many more to go.
1. First of all, what are your website and social media links?
2. How did you come up with your website name?
It took a long time. My previous blog name was “No Matter Where You Are”, and I realized that was way too long. I wanted something meaningful, short, simple, and a catchy verb. And I wanted to be complex! So I eventually came up with Packs Light (“Pack Light” was taken, LOL)– it has two meanings to me.
1) A person who packs light doesn’t put too much value on material excess, and only travel with what you need. Literally pack light.
2) A person who packs light never brings the baggage of their past into their future. Figuratively, pack light.
3. What more can you tell us about your blog? What are your goals or intentions for it?
I try to keep minimal expectations for my blog as far as popularity or presence. No one can know when or if their blog will become extremely popular or get sponsored. All I want for my blog is to influence individual lives. If a single person reads my articles and it influences their life in a positive way, that’s the greatest success I could ask for. And getting young travelers like me out there is also one of my goals!
Basically I want to post unique and interesting content, that inspires people to travel more and be happier!
4. Can you provide us with a Throw Back Thursday picture of one of your favorite travel memories with an explanation?
This photo is from my first trip to Australia when I was 18. I went with my friend and her mom, and we were in Sydney for New Years Eve. This is us our first time at Sydney Harbour! I love this memory because I remember how I felt. I kept thinking, “This is crazy!” and I could just feel the potential for the trip in the air: all the people I would meet, the things I would do for the first time, the surprises in store.
This picture is everything I love about travel: the ever-optimism and energy!
5. Which are your favorite and least favorite cities you’ve traveled to? Why?
My favorite city I’ve traveled to is Sydney, AU because the weather was awesome, the men were beautiful, and everything was very clean and happy. Of course, I went around New Years Ever so everything was abuzz! But it was an amazing city with the harbour, Bondi Beach, the gardens… It had everything I asked for!
My least favorite city has probably been Reykjavik, not because it’s a bad city in any way but because it didn’t have the warmth, or charm that other cities I’ve been to have had. The people seemed a little cold (pun intended), and it didn’t have a very upbeat energy. I still loved it, but not as much.
6. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Where?
I think it’s a tie between fermented (rotten) shark in Reykjavik, Iceland, and kangaroo meat from Australia! I love eating new things wherever I go! I’ve also had cow tongue,
7. Who are your travel idols?
Gloria Atanmo and Jo Franco are my travel idols, not only because they’re African American female travelers as well but because they engage with their audience full-heartedly and always make them laugh, even when they address tough or controversial topics. They are what I want to be: average women who just happen to have travel blogs! They don’t need to try hard, they just are great.
8. What’s your best travel tip?
My best travel tip is to be present. Take the time to put down your phone, forget about your boyfriend or your job, and just be present in the moment wherever you are. Use all of your senses and really just experience travel. There’s nothing worse than running through the motions, taking amazing pictures and then not having an answer when people ask what your favorite part of your experience was or what you learned.
9. Which is your favorite post you’ve written?
10. What advice would you give to someone new to travel blogging?
Ask questions, and listen! Ask as many questions you can to whoever you can, whenever you can. Ask dumb questions and complex questions. And when people answer them, listen to them! Wisdom from experienced travelers is invaluable!