Today’s travel blogger feature is Eileen from Pure Wander and Crooked Flight. Pure Wander is geared towards family travel adventures and Crooked Flight is a travel site for female and couple travelers. Both blogs offer some great resources for planning and trip and suggestions once you’ve arrived to your destination. Eileen is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, but is currently living the expat life with her husband in London. You can keep up with Eileen’s adventures via her Instagram and Twitter.
How do you stay healthy when you travel?
Hydrate. Always. I hydrate not only by drinking water but try to keep my skin fresh with things like Evian spray, which also helps me feel alert and awake. Sometimes food can be a challenge, but I do try to keep meals as balanced as possible to avoid feeling sluggish or bloated. It’s way more fun to see the world when you feel your best!
At a waterfall in Iceland
Any tips to learning more about a culture and meeting locals when you don’t speak the language?
Respectful observation and humility are ways to get a glimpse into other cultures. If you see something you’d like to take a closer look at, don’t shove your camera in or get in the way. Have a look at the musicians, try your hand at crafts if invited, but realize it’s a privilege to be included at all. Not knowing the language is always a challenge, but I really do try to have a dozen words memorized before I go somewhere – even please and thank you in a local language goes a really long way!
What’s your favorite thing about traveling?
I like that it’s not hard to find spontaneity while on the road. Even if you have your whole itinerary mapped out, the unexpected will happen and keep you on your toes. I like breaking up my routine and seeing how other people live their lives. I’m also a sucker for a beautiful landscape, from mountains to the sea.
The Amalfi Coast
What’s your travel pet peeve?
People who don’t go with the flow. Anything and everything can go wrong, so there’s no use making yourself and others miserable because of changes in plans.
What’s the most surreal place you’ve ever visited?
I always think I won’t be surprised anymore, but most destinations have floored me in their own special ways. The north island of New Zealand was pretty wild, covered in tropical fern forests and endless beaches. Recently, Morocco surprised me with its welcoming vibe and beauty, from the chaotic cities to the staggering Atlas Mountains.
What are some of your “must pack” items? Why?
I’ve been digging my Ollo clip lately – it’s a lens that goes over your iPhone for wide angle and macro shots. Much less bulky than my DLSR and fun to use. Otherwise, I might just pack a few pairs of jeans, a dress and some tops, but I ALWAYS pack extra underwear and socks!
What do you use for luggage? Are you team backpack or suitcase?
I’ve been meaning to make the switch to backpack but haven’t committed to one yet. For now, I have a small wheeled suitcase – just about small enough to fit as carryon.
Any tips for jetlag?
Jetlag really is the worst, but I again try to drink water and void too much booze on the plane. I also allow myself to have a day and just rest on either end if it’s a big trip. I rather take it slow at first then ruin the rest of the experience because I feel awful.
What are your favorite travel apps?
I still swear by Google Maps – if even just for the compass feature so I can get my bearings quickly. I also enjoy playing around with Duolingo before I go to a new place to learn a few keywords in the local language.
If I visit your country, what’s one meal I can’t miss?
I’m from Boston originally, and you have to dig into the in-season fresh seafood. Lobster, shellfish, all of it. Amazing. Here in London I love all the food and can’t miss a Sunday roast with fluffy Yorkshire puddings, which are more of a pastry bread than a sweet!
Can you share your favorite hidden treasure (place, food, event) that you found while traveling? I understand if you can’t!
Around Easter time in Seville, Spain, the whole city shuts down for an even called Feria. Everyone goes all out with flamenco dresses, horse drawn carriages, dancing and decorated casetas, or tents that line the streets.
What’s your favorite thing about travel blogging?
I just love the freedom. When I get to work in different places all over the world and share those amazing destinations with a global audience, there’s no bigger thrill on earth for me.
If you can answer, favorite place to visit?
My heart belongs to southern Spain, especially the city of Seville. I was a student there years ago and returned as an au pair for a while too. The Andalusian spirit, or ‘duende’ is beautifully woven into their music, food and welcome to visitors.
Where is the next place you’re traveling to?
I’m currently in the Marrakech, Morocco airport on my way home to London. Next stop this month is either Poland, Sri Lanka – or both!