Every month CHAPTERTRAVEL interviews a different traveler in the world. Travelbloggers, families, solo travelers, couple travelers, whoever has an interesting story to tell. This month we’re talking with Amanda from Full Time Gallivanter.
CHAPTERTRAVEL: Hi Amanda, great to have you as traveler of the month January! I know that you’ve quit your job twice already to travel the world. Since 2014 you’ve been traveling full time, which is awesome! But that’s what I know for now. So maybe you can first give a short introduction about yourself before we start the questions?
Amanda: I was born in Sydney, Australia, but I’m now technically homeless and roaming around the world. I’m currently travelling in Indonesia and hope to cover a lot of Southeast Asia over the next year or so.
Thank you for your introduction. Let’s start this interview! You’ve traveled a lot. What is the favorite place you’ve visited?
This is really difficult! I have to give a few answers. I love:
- Little Corn Island, Nicaragua
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Bristol, UK
- Sarajevo, Bosnia
- Hanoi, Vietnam
Okay, I’ll stop there. I could add a lot more!
Can you name five places in the world where you haven’t been, but really want to go? If you want, you can explain why it is in your top 5.
- Russia: I’m really interested in the history here – everything from Tsars to Stalin.
- Lebanon: I’m half Lebanese, so I would love to go there one day.
- Pakistan: This seems like such an interesting and off the beaten track country. Plus, I love Pakistani food.
- Estonia: Saw a picture of Tallinn, the capital, a few years ago and haven’t been able to get it out of my head since!
- Argentina: Red wine, steak and tango!
We’re currently traveling through Australia. Since you’re from Australia, do you have some tips for us?
Tasmania is one of my favourite destinations in Australia and I think it’s one that a lot of international tourists don’t make it to. It’s definitely worth going out of your way for it – the scenery, hiking, coastline, and food are all fantastic. In Melbourne you should have a cocktail at the Lui Bar, at the top of Rialto Tower. The view of the city is awesome and the cocktails are great too! In Sydney you have to walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach. It’s a beautiful way to see and swim at the eastern beaches. Try to go on a weekday, though, as weekends are super crowded.
Thanks for the tips! We actually did the Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach walk, but in the opposite way. You can find it in our previous blog.
Who are you traveling with at the moment?
At the moment I’m travelling with my partner, Raphael. However, I do go off on solo adventures from time to time.
Do you have advice for solo travelers or for couples that travel together?
My advice for solo travelers is to enjoy the serenity. Go on walks and think about what you want to do with your life. That sounds really zen of me, but it’s really hard getting some serious thinking done when you travel with other people. For solo female travelers, just always take care at night and try to meet fellow travelers to go out with in the evening.
Raphael and I travel really well together. But every now and then it’s nice to take some time for ourselves to refresh. Sometimes just one day of going off and doing our own activities is enough.
Do you ever regret quitting your job and choose to travel full time?
I’ve never had any regrets and I don’t know any other full time travelers who would say any different! I worked in a corporate digital marketing environment and though I usually liked my co-workers and didn’t hate the job, I always felt like I was wasting my time doing the same thing every day.
How do you afford to travel full time?
Initially, I saved up enough money to travel for a year in Central America. Since then I have picked up a couple of freelance writing jobs, which have helped me continue the journey. I don’t have much money, but I just deal with it when my account starts to get really low. There are also plenty of opportunities for English teaching and volunteer work, which are good ways to extend the trip. I also travel on a really tight budget and always look for hostels with kitchens, so I can cook my own food sometimes.
What is your favorite picture on your Instagram feed, and tell us something about this picture.
At the moment, I think it’s my picture of Las Lajas Cathedral in Colombia. I was traveling solo at the time and crossed by land from Colombia to Ecuador over a period of three days. This cathedral was in the border town and it just reminds me how happy I was that I traveled this way. A lot of people who hadn’t even done the journey told me to fly because it’s “too dangerous.” It turned out to be the most peaceful and friendly border crossing I had ever done.
What is your next travel destination?
When my Indonesia visa expires I’ll be flying to Singapore and then traveling into Malaysia by land.
Do you ever get homesick? Or something else you miss during your travels?
I miss my family, especially my two sisters, while I’m traveling. I also have a really great group of girlfriends who I miss catching up with. The food in Sydney is delicious, too, so sometimes when I’m in small villages with barely any options I daydream about my favourite restaurants at home.
What advice would you give someone that is planning to do exactly what you did?
The best advice I could give is to not overthink it. I don’t regret quitting my job for travel, but I know that if I did get sick of the road one day, there are other jobs for me back home. Most people from first world countries have this privilege, so don’t spend years saying you’re going to do it. Just do it.
Agreed! Thank you so much for participating in our Interview of the Month. Keep up the great work. Happy travels!