Hello lovelies! Happy Thursday. Today, I’d love to introduce you to Anna a travel blogger at Slightly Astray. I was able to ask Anna a few questions and she’s obligingly given me some fabulous responses.
1. What motivated you to start blogging?
I’ll be perfectly honest and say that I started a blog in hopes of making some money. My boyfriend (D on my blog) had asked me to travel the world with him, and I was terrified of quitting my job and not having income anymore. I started looking around online a bit and learned that people actually make money from blogging (I didn’t even know that was a thing), so I started one too.
But now, over a year later and not making one cent, I learned: 1) being a soulless travel blogger is not my style, and 2) the friendships I’ve made through blogging have been the most valuable! So now, I’m just a regular blogger sharing my life and heart. 🙂
2. What’s the one thing that really surprised you about blogging?
I guess I kinda answered this in the last question! For the first 6 months of blogging, I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t talk to anyone. I wasn’t even on social media. Then I decided to take it more seriously and started commenting and striking up conversations with bloggers I felt like I could connect with. Those slowly turned into blogging friendships. I never thought that I would met (virtually!) so many like-minded girls from around the world who support and understand. If it weren’t for them, I probably wouldn’t be half as motivated to continue blogging!
3. What inspires you personally?
Just doing things I enjoy inspires me! I’m a big believer of “blogging around life” as opposed to “living to blog”. I don’t go out of my way to do something just so I can blog about it. And I don’t force myself to write if I’m not feeling it at the moment. Instead, I’ll just step away and spend time doing things I enjoy until the words come to me. I’m also a voracious reader and reading other people’s writing (whether that be other blogs or really good books) will inspire me to write better.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully we will still be traveling and living around the world! Honestly, while I do love moving somewhere new every month or so, I think I’m ready for some normalcy soon. I love the idea of settling down somewhere we love and making a home for a bit. Maybe in 5 years, we will have found that home!
On a more personal front, I hope to have achieved something in life. This past year, since quitting my job, I struggled a lot with the loss of purpose. It’s hard to feel like that I’m no longer contributing financially to our life. But at the same time, I’m also not sure what it is that I want to be doing (or could do). I hope in 5 years’ time, I will have figured that out. Basically, I want to be successful at something.
5. You’ve traveled all over – do you have a favourite destination?
This is so hard to choose! I think for me there is a difference between favorite destination and most special destination.
One of my absolute favorite European cities is Wroclaw, Poland. It is so unbelievably cute and often, I dream about returning to eat at Pierogarnia, where they make the most amazing pierogis in the world! But I also found my paradise on Koh Chang, and I found my foodie heaven in Vietnam.
However the place most special to me is not the prettiest or with the best food. I love Santiago, Chile because of how it made me feel. It was the first place we lived in when we started this traveling lifestyle. Forever, it will be the place I found freedom and happiness.
6. Do you have any upcoming travel planned? If so, to where? Or if you don’t have anything booked in, what is your top future destination?
Yes! We’re currently about halfway into our month on the little island of Boracay. After that, we’re headed to Taipei for two weeks, before going to China for two months. I’ll be introducing D to my relatives in China so I’m super excited/nervous about that! After that, our plans are still up in the air. We can’t decide where to go!
7. What was the hardest part of leaving “home” for you?
The hardest part is that my family doesn’t support my travels. (Except for my mom, she’s been amazing.) My dad was really upset that I was quitting my job to travel with my boyfriend. He still hasn’t forgiven me and we are still not in a good place. I hope that someday, he will be happy for me and we will reconcile.
8. What advice can you offer to those about to leave and embark on a long traveling adventure?
I would say to not expect long term travel to be the magical solution to happiness. I wasn’t happy at my job, and I thought that travel would fix everything I wasn’t happy about with my life. For a while, it did. I felt so freed from all the stuff that boxed me in. But then, I learned that it is entirely possible to get depressed while living this fabulous life. I’m realizing that freedom without a purpose isn’t enough. Long term travel may make you feel like you’re losing focus, so I would advice to go into it with goals in mind. (But hey, if your goal is to just have as much fun as possible, then that’s perfectly okay too, and you will have the adventure of a lifetime!)
But that said, if you have the opportunity, do it. Even though I do panic sometimes wondering what the future holds for me, I don’t think I could ever regret taking this risk.
9. What are your travel necessities?
I’m pretty low maintenance on the road! Aside from the necessities like toiletries, clothes, and electronics, I travel with a foldable yoga mat for exercising on the road. I also travel with my 22-year old teddy bear (a gift from my first Christmas in the States!).
10. What’s your favourite form of social media? (Instagram, pinterest, twitter, facebook, etc)
Oh gosh. I kinda hate all that stuff. I’m secretly like an 80 year old or something. I didn’t even have a personal Facebook page until I started blogging. Everyone is all into Pinterest now, but I don’t understand it at all! I guess I would say I like Twitter to chat with other bloggers and I like Instagram to see what everyone’s up to. But seriously, don’t get mad at me if I forget to respond. I’m not very good at keeping up with them!
I hope you enjoyed getting to learn a bit more about Anna!