This week’s featured travel blogger guest is Jen from The Trusted Traveler. Jen and her husband Mick run a blog that provides valuable travel resources. The Trusted Traveler is a great spot for suggested itineraries, travel tips, reviews, list of things to do in many destinations, as well as just general travel advice.
Any tips to learning more about a culture and meeting locals when you don’t speak the language?
Try to learn at least a few basic phrases in the local language. I’ve found that the locals are much more inclined to try and talk to you in English if you make an effort in their language.
What’s your favorite thing about traveling?
Travel is freedom to me. Being able to explore and discover new sights, sounds, tastes and people is what gets me out of bed each day and motivates me in life. On any given day on the road you could be discovering a hidden gem, meeting an interesting person or tasting sometime unlike anything you’ve tried before.
Jen and her husband Mick on Miyajima Island in Japan
What’s your travel pet peeve?
Large tour groups who have no respect for other travellers or locals. I’ve come across many in my travels and on occasion have found them to be disrespectful.
What’s the most surreal place you’ve ever visited?
A few years ago we took a day trip from Edinburgh up through the Scottish Highlands. The scenery on the drive was so surreal and unlike anything I’d seen before. I kind of felt like I was travelling on another planet.
What are some of your “must pack” items? Why?
A good pair of headphones is essential for long travel days. I also never leave home without my camera. I love taking photos that capture my experiences to share on my website, social media and to keep as mementos to myself for later on.
What do you use for luggage? Are you team backpack or suitcase?
Team backpack mostly. On long trips, especially when travelling from place to place, a backpack is most convenient. However if I am just travelling for a weekend away, I love my little carry-on sized suitcase to save the hassle of checked baggage.
Any tips for jetlag?
Try to get your body back into a regular sleeping pattern right away. No day time naps or early nights, just try to stay up until a normal bed time for your new destination. It might seem hard at the time but it is the quickest way to get over jetlag in my opinion.
What are your favorite travel apps?
No necessarily just travel related, I love the Countdown+ app. You add the date of an upcoming event, like your next trip, into the app and it gives you the number of days, hours and minutes until your trip begins. It helps keep me motivated for saving money and keeps me excited for all the fun things I have coming up.
If I visit your country, what’s one meal I can’t miss?
Australia has some of the best seafood in the world. I always recommend to visitors that they should try some of it while they are here. Everything from basic fish and chips to BBQ prawns and lavish hot and cold seafood platters.
Can you share your favorite hidden treasure (place, food, event) that you found while traveling? I understand if you can’t!
I can’t think of anything specific but I can tell you that the best way to find hidden gems is to go off the beaten path even in the most popular places around the world. Lose the map and get lost in the lanes, eat at places away from the main squares and immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting obscure events and celebrations.
If you can answer, favorite place to visit?
New Zealand! We’ve just returned from our third visit to the country and each time it gets harder and harder to leave. The scenery is out of this world amazing, the people are so ridiculously friendly and the food is top notch. I can definitely see myself living there, maybe in Wanaka, someday when my travels settle down a bit more.
Lake Matheson on New Zealand’s South Island
Where is the next place you’re traveling to?
My husband Mick and I are just days away from embarking on an indefinite road trip around Australia. We’ll be travelling slowly so create perfect work life travel balance. We’ve lived in Sydney most of our lives and have seen more of the world then our own country. So we thought it was a about time we explored Australia and all the amazing things it has to offer.
Thanks for participating in this series, Jen! I think I could see myself living in Wanaka, too. It’s absolutely wonderful!