OffAtEveryThing recently interviewed Sonja, a Travel blogger from New Zealand settled in Scotland. Read her interesting interview here.
Let us start with your formal introduction and your interesting story on how you developed interest for Traveling?
Hi! I’m Sonja, originally from New Zealand but now living in Scotland, by way of several other countries! I’m a bit of a serial expat, and I’ve lived abroad on and off since I was 16 years old. I caught the travel bug young, when my parents would take me on my brother on road trips around New Zealand, and I absolutely love exploring places I’ve never been before.
How often do you travel?
A lot! Although recently I’ve decided I need to slow down a bit. Travel doesn’t have to be far, it can be just going away for a weekend. But I’ve done both long trips and lots of short trips this year, and next year I think I’ll go for fewer but longer trips, to allow me to have more time at home in between.
Whats your travel style?
Honestly, a bit of everything. I’m more budget than luxury, but I’ll splash out when I think it’s important and I won’t have the opportunity to have that experience again. It’s all about balance I think!
What is that triggers you to travel to an entirely new destination?
Usually I’ll see a picture or read someone else’s post about somewhere, and then I’ll start looking into it and it’ll become somewhere I really want to go! There are places I’ve spied in movies as well that have made me want to visit them.
What you like the most about traveling?
The feeling of freedom it can give you. Exploring a new place and learning new things. The constant stimulation of the senses is a such a great feeling!
What you dislike the most about traveling?
That I can’t do it all the time?! But honestly, I’m not sure. Probably when I discover a place I know my husband, friends or family would love and they’re not there with me, and I wish they could be.
How do you plan your destinations?
A lot of it comes down to cost and convenience. There are places that have been at the top of my bucket list for years but I haven’t had the opportunity to go because of work, or the cost from wherever I was living has been too much. I have so many places I want to go that I’ll look at when I can go, and then what the cost is and decide from there.
What are the 3 destinations you loved the most?
Such a hard choice! I’m going to go for whole countries because I can’t narrow it down to less, but probably Spain, where I was living last year, Scotland, where I live now, and Iceland, where I’m returning to next month!
What 3 destinations were opposite to your expectations?
Barcelona was a city I thought I would fall in love it, and while I enjoyed it and had a great time I didn’t walk away feeling like I had to return asap or I wanted to move there like other people have told me they have felt, or like I have felt when I visited other places too. The other two I’m not really sure. I loved Lisbon and Porto, and I didn’t do a huge amount of research into either. So it wasn’t they were the opposite to what I expected, they were just amazing and I didn’t know they would be!
Which 3 dishes from around the world made you fell in love with food?
I love the food in Vietnam. The rice paper rolls, the soupy noodles, the pancakes. So good! I also love the tapas in Almeria, where I lived in Spain. I really think they’re the best! Lastly, I really enjoyed the pierogis in Poland, especially at this whole in the war 24 hour place near the main square in Krakow. They were so delicious and you could get them savory or sweet.
How do you manage to get perks/upgrades/etc based on your traveling life-style?
I don’t necessarily get anything based on my travelling lifestyle. I’ve never had an upgrade in a hotel or on a flight. As a travel blogger, I do complete work in exchange for experiences sometimes, but that’s work, not really a perk!
How do you finance and manage your trips?
I worked in several different countries like Australia and the United Kingdom in normal office jobs, then I taught English in Spain for awhile, and now I work online freelancing and on my own blog.
How do you save money while traveling? Can you share any 3 tips?
I usually go for budget or midrange accommodation because I don’t spend much time there. I take local transport or find out if there is an app like Uber where I get can cheaper transport. I also try and get accommodation with a kitchen or at least a fridge, and I don’t eat out every meal. I find out what the cheap food option in the place is (like a bakery in Dubrovnik, a gyros in Santorini, etc) and I have that for at least one meal and then I don’t feel guilty about eating out for another!
Have you tried travel discount (or promo codes) such as Thomas Cook Discount codes ever?
No I’ve never used these.
If ‘Yes’, how was your experience? If ‘No’, do you plan to try these travel coupons and promo codes for budget traveling?
I don’t usually have a loyalty to any particular airline or program because I just choose the cheapest option for me at the time!
How do you manage when interacting with people without speaking their language?
I try to learn a few phrases like hello and thank you, and then body language can go a long way!
Any worst incident while traveling which you will never forget?
I’ve been scammed and lost my luggage for awhile and that sort of thing, but I tend to forget about it and remember the good parts!
What is the funniest story you experienced while traveling?
Honestly, I don’t know! There’s far too many now…
Any ending note for travel lovers?
If you want to travel, then it is possible to find a way to do it. Travel close to home, move abroad, take a break from work for awhile to go on a big trip, there’s so many different ways to make travel happen!
With this final question, our interview session came to end with Sonja.
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Image Courtesy: Sonja Facebook Page