This weeks travel tales interview is with Anna from Global-Gallivanting.com
Anna left her job in the UK in Dec 2012 to pursue her dreams of a life of travel and adventure. Her only regret is that she didn’t do it sooner! Since then she has travelled extensively across India, South East Asia, Australia and Europe – traveling slow, independently and on a budget. Anna often immerses herself in the destinations she visits by working, volunteering or living abroad and her blog Global Gallivanting to inspire others to make travel their lifestyle choice too.
Anna travels because she believes that “We travel not to escape life, but so that life does not escape us”
Tell us where you’re from, and a little about your blog?
Hi, I’m Anna, originally from the UK but in December 2012 (after much planning and saving) I quit my job to pursue my dream of a life filled with travel and adventure. My blog – Global Gallivanting shares my experiences traveling independently, slowly and on a budget across much of India, South East Asia and Australia and I want to show and inspire readers how they can also make travel their lifestyle by showing that travel is not as expensive, difficult or dangerous as you might think.
You’ve been travelling for quite some time now, where did you start your journey, and where are you currently?
I’ve been traveling for over 2.5 years. I started my travels in Jan 2013 in India because I wanted to discover a culture very different from my own and I certainly got that! It was a challenging but life changing trip. I then explored a lot of South East Asia, before spending a year on a working holiday in Australia and then going back to India again. I’m now visiting some parts of Europe and making plans to return to Asia again once the heat and rains of the monsoon ease off.
You’ve stayed in some cool spots along your travels – which one stands out the most for you?
I’m a budget traveller so the places I stay in are usually not that memorable – once I stayed in a shack with a local family who fed me caterpillars – that sure was memorable! http://www.global-gallivanting.com/the-kindness-of-strangers/
India has definitely been the most incredible destination I’ve ever visited and there is so much more that I want to see there – it’s so diverse too from the snow capped Himalayas to tropical beaches, deserts and chaotic cities – I think I could travel in India for a lifetime and never get bored.
Probably my most favourite accommodation on my travel was the house we rented in Goa – it was one of the happiest times I ever spent and allowed me to really immerse myself in this place that I love so much. I really miss it now and can’t wait to return. Plus its so cheap to live here. http://www.global-gallivanting.com/live-paradise-less-10-day/
Is there any country you’ve not yet visited that’s a must see destination for you?
So many! This list is way too long. I want to explore more of China, visit Myanmar, Africa, Latin America. I want to go everywhere really but now I’m so in love with India I’m spending all my time there and I like to travel slow so it will take me a while to get around to visiting all of these places. Good job I quit my job – I don’t have time for it with a bucket list so long.
What first made you want to travel?
I just felt that there was so much more to life than the 9 – 5. I felt disillusioned with life in the UK and felt like life was passing me by and I wanted to discover other cultures very different from my own and learn from them. I believe that ‘we travel not to escape life but so that life does not escape us” Through travel I am able to experience the beauty and diversity of the world and to constantly learn and discover.
If you had to choose your favourite destination so far, what would it be and why?
India for the reasons I mentioned before, – diversity, discovery of a different culture, friendly locals, amazing food and its super affordable and can be truly life changing. India for me is the ultimate travel destination. My other favourites are Cambodia and I also have really fond memories of my time in Australia – especially the outback.
Name two personal items that you can’t live without while travelling?
My smart phone and my bank card – you learn that you really don’t need that much and that too many possessions really weigh you down. There’s not much that you can’t buy on the road ( and often for cheaper than you find at home anyway) but I’m attached to my smart phone and always get local sim cards so I can stay connected wherever I am and I always carry a couple of bank cards so that if one card gets lost or stolen I’ve always got access to funds, what else do you need!
What’s your most epic travel story to date?
I have 2 standout highlights. The first is the time when we were invited into a family’s house in a rural village in India to celebrate a wedding anniversary party – I was overwhelmed by the colour, joy, laughter, sound and spectacle of the party and the warmth and love show between the family and to us – 2 strangers. Another memorable experience that proves that most people in the world are kind and not so different from us is when we got lost while motor biking in rural Vietnam and a local family who spoke no English sheltered us over night in their shack and fed us caterpillars. I also had fond memories of my time working in an outback pub in Australia – it really was able to get immersed in the culture and feel part of the community as well as saving heaps of money to travel onwards! I find that the best experiences are often unplanned and spontaneous and happen when you travel slow and independently.
Was there a specific moment when you realised that travel was a lifestyle you wanted to pursue?
I went on a inter rail trip around Europe the summer that I graduated and when I came back I knew then that I couldn’t settle for an ordinary life – I knew there was so much more that I wanted to discover so I started planning and saving and honestly I couldn’t image going back to that life now.
What motivates you to keep travelling, and do you have days where you think a more settled life back home is more attractive?
The more I travel and the more I discover the more I want to see more! Although I miss friends and family at home I don’t think I could settle back home – the thought of buying a house, a stable job, marriage and kids sounds like a nightmare to me!
During your travels, what’s the best travel tip you’ve received?
I think traveling in India taught me a lot – to travel slower and to not worry so much. Things have a way of working themselves out and the slower you travel the more you can soak up the country and the more meaningful it becomes. I think not worrying so much is also something that has helped me to be happier and more carefree in all areas of my life.
Connecting with locals can be one of the most rewarding things about travel. Do you agree?
Totally yes, when done in the right way its incredible to get to know local people – another reason for traveling slowly and independently because it’s very hard to get an authentic local experience if you are rushing through on a luxury tour bus. Getting off the beaten track allows you to connect with people that are not jaded by tourism. Also, I find that not planning too much allows you to be open for those spontaneous experience and meeting people that turn into the highlights of a trip.
Is there any one country that you’ve been to that you didn’t like, and would make you not want to return?
No not really! Every place has good and bad aspects and all are different, that is the beauty of it. Most counties I visit I want to return too.
In order to sustain a life of travel, you need to have some sort of income stream. How have you funded your travels?
I saved for 18 months before traveling, travelled in cheap countries where my money went a long way and then I spent a year working in Australia. I worked in a remote outback pub and saved lots of money to buy a campervan and also to continue my travels around Asia. I’ve actually just written an e book guide to a Working Holiday in Australia to help others enjoy and travel Australia on a budget, find a job and save money. You can get it free here http://www.global-gallivanting.com/a-backpackers-guide-to-a-working-holiday-in-australia/ Next time I run out of money I’ll probably try teaching English in Asia or a working holiday in New Zealand, failing that I can always do a few months temping back home to top up my travel funds again.
What are your travel plans for the future?
I’m spending the summer in Europe and already making plans to return to India and South East Asia in the fall. I’m not very good at travel planning though to be honest – I just like to pick up and go when I feel like it’s time to move on hence why I like to travel on one way tickets. I love the freedom that travel gives me and planning too much takes that away abit. Next year, if I can prise myself away from Asia, I really want to visit Latin America and Africa.
Favourite travel quote?
“The most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”
You can keep up with Anna’s adventures by connecting with her via:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/globalgallivanting