Ø Who are you?
I’m Emily! I’m twenty-five, living the dream.
Ø Where are you from/Where’s home?
Home is Chicago. I’m LA born, Chicago raised and real midwest girl at heart. I even have a great lakes necklace that I wear daily.
Ø What type of traveller are you? Backpacker, full time traveller, luxury traveller?
I’d say I’m a budget traveler with a taste for the finer things in life. I won’t spend a ton on accommodation, but I LOVE interesting culinary experiences, outdoor adventure activities and going out (which are all not very friendly to the wallet).
Ø Where was the first trip you took?
Wow that’s a loaded question. I think when I was five my parents put me on a flight from LA to Phoenix to visit my grandmother by myself. I’m not sure if that was my first trip or just my first solo trip!
Ø Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
I guess it depends on what you consider bad. Most of my ‘bad’ experiences turn into epically adventurous stories. I’d say the most annoying thing that ever happened was having my luggage permanently lost on my way home from Spain (someone out there has a very cute polka dot lesportsac tote). There’s also the sociopathic Argentine boyfriend – but that story is for another time.
Ø Do you have any funny or crazy travel stories?
Every traveler has some story about how their bowel movements got the best of them. Mine came when I was two days into my four-day hike through the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. After torturing my tent-mate with the most foul smells imaginable, I so intelligently accepted an unidentified white pill from my tour guides, praying it would make everything go back to normal. As you can imagine, this saga ended with a frantic squat hustle to the nearest hidden corner of the mountain, immediately followed by the most awkward encounter with a local Peruvian family who was getting a real chuckle. You can read the full story here.
Ø What is the worst place you’ve travelled to and why?
Ah, who can say worst. Each place in the world is special to someone, so I don’t think it’s fair for me to say whether a place is good or bad. There are places that didn’t leave as much of a mark on me. Florence is one of them (I’m already hearing gasps from the audience). And there are places that have forever captured a piece of my heart, like Buenos Aires. I don’t like to feel like a tourist – so that tends to impact how I feel about a place.
Ø Where is your favourite place in the world?
Probably Chicago. It’s home, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t many places out there that each hold a little bit of me. Buenos Aires, Cuzco, Sevilla, Jerusalem.
Ø How do you fund your travels?
The dream is to one day have a location independent business where I can work, and travel, from wherever. I’m not there yet, so over the past few years, I’ve taken shorter trips using money I saved. I’m quitting my job in December to travel for five months, but have spent the past eight months saving up for this trip. I’ve cut daily costs, worked over time, and made it a real priority! I save for travel just like other people save for buying a house. In addition, I’m an amateur travel hacker, meaning that I used points to book my one-way flight to BKK (points + dollars, to be exact) and I plan to use all points for my trip back home. I found a combo Manila – Tokyo – Chicago – Puerto Vallarta (I have to be in PV for a wedding at the end of April) for only 57,000 miles. This includes a week in Tokyo and a week in Chicago! I’d rather spend money on other stuff, and get my flights, my biggest expense, for free :).
Ø What is your most fond memory from your travels?
Too many to count. The first that comes to mind is sitting on the beach in Malaga, Spain eating the best paella of my life with a group of girlfriends.
Ø What would you be doing if you weren’t travelling?
Thinking about traveling. Seriously. And exploring wherever I’m living! I’d say I’m a happy traveler even within my own hometown.
Ø Have you ever experiences any cultural faux pas?
Oh goodness, I’m sure countless, but the gracious people of the world don’t call me out on it. As a loud American who loves to drink and dance I’m sure I’ve pissed off a person or two. Let’s see…I didn’t let a Moroccan man buy me with camels for his sone…is that a faux pas?
Ø What is your Favourite airline?
I love flying and hate all airlines.
Ø Where are you off to next?
Southeast Asia! I’ve never traveled alone and I’ve never had to curate a long trip like this for myself. Follow along to see how I plan and execute it!
Ø What is the name of your travel blog and why did you choose this name?
Let’s Roam Wild. I chose it because I think it embodies who I am. My mother told me that when I was younger, we’d go on hikes and I’d always try to pave my own trail and go off path. I like to think that I’m inclusive, people lover – let’s – and value my freedom -roaming wild.
Ø When did you start blogging?
In January! It’s been up and down and I’m still finding my voice. I’ve never considered myself a writer, so this is really new territory for me. I just love being creative, owning something that’s truly mine and having something to remind me about what I love.
Ø Where did you start blogging?
I’m still in Chicago. My blog now has a few stories from previous trips, but will follow me throughout Southeast Asia.
Ø Why did you start a Travel blog?
I wanted a place to record stories for my upcoming trip. And, I wanted an excuse to take more pictures and edit them! Now, that’s changing a little. Those original reasons are still true, but I’ve decided that I want to focus my blog on experiential, educational travel. I’m hoping to start providing more content that will help readers really connect with the places and people they visit, so that they feel like their travels have had a meaningful, lasting impact on them.
Ø What are you tips for new Travel Bloggers?
Oh jeez. I am a new travel blogger. What are your tips for me!? I’d say – don’t start if you don’t like writing. And don’t start if you’re trying to get free stuff. Do know the reason you’re starting and be open to that reason changing along the way.
Ø Do you wish you did differently when you started out?
I just wish I started earlier! There’s definitely some earlier pieces that are cringe-worthy, but I feel like you gotta keep ’em up so you know where you started. Started from the bottom now we here.
Ø What has been your most successful blog post and what was it about?
This one. It was about how I saved money for my trip. It’s funny – I think people really don’t think that longer trips are possible. The fact that I quit my job and saved up enough on my not so large salary has really shown people in my life what’s possible.
Ø What do you do to help make your articles successful?
Since I’m a very new blogger, success means that people are actually reading my posts. Posts that are useful to readers are my most successful, so I’m trying to find a balance between narrative and factual.
Ø What social media platform is the most helpful for you and why?
Facebook – mostly because I get the most clicks from it. I enjoy twitter (because I get followers the quickets) and instagram (because I like images best) much more though!
Ø Have you worked with any “big name” sponsors, if not who would be your dream to work with?
I have not, and to be honest, I’m not sure I even know who the “big name” sponsors are. However, I took a trip with Intrepid and absolutely loved it. So maybe them? I’m really into the “go local” travel movement, and actually hope to work with companies like Vayable one day!
Ø Which travel bloggers do you admire?
Alex in Wanderland is my idol. I could only hope that my readers are even half as an engaged as hers are. And that I learn to take better selfies, like her.
Ø Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
JUST GO. The scariest part is making the decision to travel (long-term, at least). And if you can’t go for a long time, just go for a few weeks!
Ø What is your Travel Motto:
Let travel change you.
Website url: www.letsroamwild.com
Google+ profile: letsroamwild