Interview with a traveller is back! I was really excited this week to chat to Nicole Stanton, a friend I met in a hostel room in Airlie Beach, QLD. We bonded whilst partying on a sailing boat around the Whitsunday Islands and have since caught up in Melbourne. This girl makes travel a priority – she has been all over the world and is currently to be seen eating Pho in Ho Chi Minh City, contemplating her next destination. Let’s see what Nicole has been up to since the last time we met!
1. Has travel always been part of your dreams? Or did you discover it later in life?
From a young age I’ve always loved visiting new places/countries and travelling has always been a great passion of mine. I love the feeling of stepping in to the unknown and the unpredictability travelling brings on a daily basis – in my eyes, there’s nothing more exhilarating and exciting than that feeling.
2. Tell us about your travel journey so far?
I’ve done a lot of family holidays growing up as a child, throughout America/Canada and Europe mostly, but my most recent travels, I would say, started as I begun university. After completing my first year of studies, I decided to do a season abroad in the summer, working as a children’s rep. for a holiday company in Antalya, Turkey. I lived in Turkey for just under 4 months and, at the age of 19, this was the longest I’d been abroad by myself before. It was an amazing experience meeting new people and experiencing working life in a different country and I would recommend that everyone to try working abroad at some point in you life whilst you can!
I then went on to travel Thailand for 6 weeks, at age 21, when I finished uni. Part of that was volunteering teaching English with a uni group, which was a very rewarding experience, helping children better their English language and helping to take part in building part of a playground at an orphanage within an underprivileged community in Phuket.
A year later, after I had saved some money, me and a friend then went to live and work in Australia for a year and travelled to Thailand again, as well as Vietnam, Cambodia and Fiji islands.
Coming home poor and slightly depressed, after spending an amazing year abroad, I then decided to give a ski season a go, working in the French Alps as a Chalet Host. I am now currently on a 7 week trip travelling around Bali, Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia with a friend. As you can see, I’m slightly addicted to travelling!
3. How would you describe your travel style?
I would describe my travel style as ‘go with the flow’ kind of attitude. It’s important when travelling to be open minded and to be prepared that, a lot of the time, hotels/hostels/tours may not be as you thought they would be or were told. So, adaptability is key. No plans most of the time more than often turns out to be the best plans!
4. What the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Spontaneously booking a flight to go to a new country and travelling by myself for a few weeks. Doing a solo trip is something I’d been wanting to do for a while. It was a little nerve racking at first but, within the first hour, I’d already met new people and already felt excited about the new experiences/cultures I was about to encounter.
5. What are the first three things you do when you arrive in a new place?
Check out the local food, find out where the nearest yoga centre is (self-confessed yoga addict) and explore, explore, explore!!! Day time and night time of course.
6. What do you always put in your backpack?
Snacks. I get hungry a lot!!!!
7. How has travel influenced your every day lifestyle?
Travelling has enhanced my life in so many ways. I look at life as a blessing and we only get one, so it’s so important to do what you want to do when you can do it, as people’s circumstances change all the time. If you have the chance to go travelling now, then my advice to anyone would be to just go!! You may not get the opportunity or be able to go next year or the year after. Find a way, make it happen and just go for it! Travel has helped to build my confidence in my every day life and has helped me to train my mind to look at everything in a positive light, even when things may not be how you want them to be.
8. What kind of work do you do to finance your travels?
I’m at a stage in my life where I’m not sure what career path I want to pursue for the rest of the my life. So, in a sense, it makes me a lot more flexible when travelling, as I can look for work in a majority of sectors. When moving to a new country, I see what suits me at the time to earn money. Any job will do, as it’s only been temporary in my previous experiences of moving around a lot in different countries. My jobs have consisted of teaching, hospitality work, fundraising and working for a holiday company.
9. Which country is next?
New Zealand! I’m wanting to get a working year visa in a few months and experience this amazing country.
10. What advice would you give to people considering an overseas journey?
Moving to a new country can be quite daunting for some people, so my advice would be to see if there are any local groups you can join before you travel to your desired country of choice, for example, on social media sites or local sports groups nearby to where you’re staying. If travelling alone, I would recommend a hostel to start off with, as this is where you will meet like-minded people and most likely you will end up travelling or sharing accommodation with the people you meet in hostels. Do your research before you go and remember to keep an open mind!
Thanks so much for sharing your adventures with us, Nicole. I feel like I learnt even more about you through reading this! It was great to see you in Melbourne last time we were both there. I remember feasting on a lot of vegetarian cuisine at Lentil as Anything and frequenting quite a few open mic nights. You are an inspiration and I can’t wait to see where your path takes you in the future – I’m crossing my fingers for Berlin!
Note: All answers and photos supplied by Nicole Stanton.