Hey everyone, this week I’ve got Lauren on here!
Howdy guys, I am Lauren, also known as LJO, and a co-creator of The Traveller’s Guide By #ljojlo. At this stage my partner, JLO, and I have decided to stay semi mysterious and hence we go by our acronyms LJO & JLO. To remain anonymous we also like to represent ourselves with Lego figurines I created while in Copenhagen, Denmark, the home of Lego. These characters will travel with us and be the faces of our blog as we embark on many adventures over the years of ‘16 and ‘17.
We also have a tendency of rhyming (lame I know but my partner loves it ha ha):
It all starts with a couple from Aus,
Completing a travel blog simply because.
This time a year ago it seemed only dream,
For both LJO and JLO distant they seemed.
As time past they called each other mate,
A relationship beckoned it must have been fate.
Now the trip of a lifetime is booked,
With one read we hope to have you hooked.
Lego figures to symbolise who we are,
They will travel with us, here and far.
In case you didn’t know we are off overseas,
Where we will write this blog in order to please.
First of all, what are your website and social media links?
Twitter – twitter.com/ljojlo_trvlblog
Instagram – instagram.com/ljojlo_trvlblog
Pinterest – pinterest.com/hashtagljojlo
How did you come up with your website name?
Funny you ask and for anyone wondering we pronounce it la-joj-lo. LJO are my initials, while JLO is my partner’s nickname. When my partner moved in with me back in 2014 he had a tendency of moving the wooden decorative ornaments I had stating my initials and rearranging them to state his nickname instead, he thought it was hilarious. From there while travelling through NZ in January 2015 we created the hashtag #ljojlo for all our photos we placed on social media. From there it stuck and became the name of our travel blog.
What more can you tell us about your blog? What are your goals or intentions for it?
Originally the blog was created as an ‘out’ from my day job, which is teaching. I am a senior school maths and physics teacher in Australia and pedantic in nature. Therefore I was finding myself spending a ridiculous amount of time working and having no ‘me time’. I decided this was not sustainable and started to explore my passions. Travelling was and still is certainly the top of my list when it comes to things I love and hence the blog was born.
Now that the blog is established I would love to create a website where all my travel adventures and knowledge are stored in one place and shared with the travel community. Down the track I would love to be able to proudly show off my travels to my children simply and easily via the blog their parents created.
Can you provide us with a Throw Back Thursday picture of one of your favorite travel memories with an explanation?
Gerupuk or Grupuk on the island of Lombok, Indonesia is the setting for this incredible photo. Having just learnt to surf in Australia I was keen to try surfing while visiting Indonesia. Travelling with a friend whose swimming ability was not very good we assumed we would be surfing on the beach….wrong. Apparently we were surfing out in the middle of the ocean after a short local boat ride and we all LOVED it including the non-swimmer. Having an experienced local surfer between two of us meant we all felt safe and all had a great chance of standing up while surfing in Indo.
Taking a moment to appreciate the surroundings while sitting on a surf oard in a foreign country is one of the worlds greatest feelings and why it is one of my favourite travel memories.
Which are your favorite and least favorite cities you’ve traveled to? Why?
Favourite City: totally tough to narrow it down to one city and hence I will name a city and an Island. Favourite city is Copenhagen, Denmark for it quirkiness and character. I have never experienced such a beautiful city with such charm and incredible people. Definitely worth a look if you are in the area and don’t miss out on enjoying Tivoli, the second oldest amusement park in the world and what Disneyland was modelled after.
Favourite Island is Lombok, Indonesia (Bali’s neighbour). This quieter island is my special place for relaxation. With its laid back vide and the lack of hectic nature, unlike its big brother Bali, I have experienced this island on many occasions to get away and have more ‘me time’.
Least Favourite City: hmm….again another tough decision because I haven’t actually been anywhere I hated. The one place that does come to mind is the small city of Whangarei on the North Island of New Zealand. In fairness we did not spend enough time in this city to see it in its glory but through passing by it seemed somewhat dirty. It is a place I don’t wish to return to and hence would have to be my least favourite city.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Where?
I am the fussiest eater ever and hence I haven’t really eaten many strange things. People find this amusing considering I love to travel and most people who love to travel love to eat exotic food. Unfortunately I am one of those ‘bad’ travellers that sometimes will go to a McDonalds if I can’t find anything ‘normal’ to eat. In saying that I will be making it my New Years resolution to attempt to eat more exotic and strange foods. Mind you eating a tarantula like they do in Cambodia may be pushing it.
Who are your travel idols?
The Broke Backpacker, Will Hatton, was in fact the person that started my passion to begin a travel blog. While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed I came across an article about him travelling to Venezuela. I loved his take on the country and not believing everything he heard in the media. I already had the passion to travel and have in fact used my passport every year since I was 18 but hitting the beaten track and sharing it with the world was not something I had considered until reading Will’s blog. Hence, he would have to be my travel idol that gave me the passion.
Other travel idols that I have include:
Millie, from MillieGoes an English based blogger who I have become very close with through our shared passion of travel.
NOMADasauraus because well they are NOMADasaurus and are awesome
The Nomadic Boys for being themselves, seeing the world and putting their quirky spin on everything.
What’s your best travel tip?
Fly with budget airlines but be prepared! No doubt this is probably not a popular tip but if you are organised budget airlines are fine and can save you heaps of dollars. What I mean by organisation is prebook luggage if you know you are going to need it and don’t skimp. If you are going to have 17kgs don’t take the 15kg option, pay the few extra dollars when you book for the 20kg option instead of paying ridiculous fees at the airport. Also either pay for food and entertainment when you book or come prepared with plenty of entertainment i.e. a good book, an iPad or laptop with movies/tv series while also buying snacks in the airport before boarding. Airport snacks are expensive but are still cheaper than airline food.
We followed these rules on our recent trip and had fantastic experiences flying with Tiger, AirAsia and Jetstar.
Which is your favorite post you’ve written?
‘The Maldives: On A Budget’ which I did in collaboration with The Nomadic Boys. I love this article because the Maldives is on most people’s bucket list but it is one expensive destination. Therefore we found it important to share how we both saw the Maldives on a budget and still loved it.
What advice would you give to someone new to travel blogging?
Enjoy the travels while you are there and write about it after! That way you get the full experience!