This Interview with a traveller features Sarah Bromley, a backpacking blogger with an extreme case of the travel bug. She has travelled to 45 different cities, 20 countries and isn’t stopping yet! Originally from England, she currently lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she is working and saving for her next adventure. Yes, I’m a bit jealous that she is in my home-hemisphere, whilst I brace myself for the German Winter! Still, her stories of Europe inspire me to check out much more of this amazing continent. You can visit her blog at https://onewomanonebackpack.wordpress.com. But for now, here is what Sarah has to say about travel:
1. What was the inspiration for your first big trip?
I had always wanted to get a visa to work in Australia, ever since I was 18 – I always enjoyed going away and figured that I’d be more comfortable in an English speaking country, plus I could earn and travel for up to two years, meaning that I could see as much of the country as I wanted. Before going away, I thought that I should take a short break in a European country first and chose Italy. Well, this one week away turned into a Spain and Italy trip. Then I gradually added more countries until it got a bit out of hand! My trip through Europe lasted for five months in 18 countries. I had a rough plan of the route in my head, but didn’t hesitate to go off of that path.
2. Where are you now and how did you get there?
After my trip through Europe, I went home for a few weeks and then wanted to see an Asian country. I chose Singapore and had a blast. I’m currently in Melbourne, earning some money before I set off again.
3. What kind of work do you do to fund your travels?
I’m a trained chef and have worked in some pretty famous places, so luckily I find work easily – Australia is the third country I’ve worked in. There are not many jobs (within reason!) that I would turn down, on a temporary basis, in order to fund my trips.
4. How would you describe your travel style?
I don’t plan very much before I go – I always like to try and wing it. I go away with a rough plan, but nothing more than that. When I get into the city, that’s when I start to form an idea of how long I’ll be there and what I’ll do on which days. Then I go from there. If I love a place, I always extend my stay – I loved Budapest so much that I was meant to stay for four nights, extended for another four, then came back for another four (two months later)!
5. What do you always put in your backpack?
Besides the obvious (like my passport and electrics) I keep my travel journal, which I’ve been writing in for seven months, as well as some foreign currency. I currently have Singapore dollars, Danish Krone and Great British Pounds, which I cannot spend over here. But, if I have a problem with money, I can always exchange it. That trick has actually saved me before.
6. What are the first three things you do when you arrive in a new place?
Firstly, I find where I’m staying – I try to have directions written down and dump my stuff. Depending on the time, I go into the most central part of the city and have a look around. Sometimes I go out to eat or I just find food. I like to write in my travel journal on the first night, as when I look back through it one day, it’ll be interesting to compare my first thoughts of the place to my final impression of it.
7. What keeps you coming back for more?
When I look back at my travels, some of the first things that come to mind are food. I remember having some of the most amazing food I’ve ever eaten in Spain, the best pizza I’ve ever had in Milan and cheese and wine picnics in France.
8. What is the most adventurous travel experience you’ve ever had?
I was supposed to book a flight to Venice from Barcelona and, when I checked my emails a couple of days later, it turned out that I’d pressed the wrong button and had a flight booked to Milan instead. I did think about changing it, but went anyway and I’m so glad I stuck with it. It may not sound that adventurous, but going on a trip to somewhere I didn’t intend to go did turn into quite a fun day.
9. How has your travel style changed over time?
Now, I have a bigger bag, so that I don’t need to play bag Tetris every time I move somewhere new. My bag for Europe was 42L and now my bag is 75L – there is a lot of excess room, but packing is so much easier.
I also don’t feel the need to see everything in a location – if I miss something, there is bound to be something similar in a country that I haven’t yet visited.
10. Future travel plans?
I need to book flights to Hong Kong for a few months time. I’m aiming to get my second year visa over here in Australia and I’m thinking about whether to get a Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand, or just travel the country. Then, South-East Asia! I’d also love to visit South America, but I think I have enough to keep me occupied for the next few years before going there.
Thanks so much for getting in contact and sharing your insights, Sarah! I love your open and spontaneous travel style – such a great way to see the world. I can definitely recommend road-tripping around Australia, although New Zealand looks pretty good too! I look forward to seeing where your next adventure will be.
Note: All answers and photos supplied by Sarah Bromley.