In honor of the WSGT Inspiration Travel Writing Award, this month’s Influencer theme is “write more, write better.” For up-and-coming travel writers, Tamara recommends the Travel Blog Success course “it’s particularly beneficial for those just getting started. I wish I’d known about it before I started my website- it’s a gold mine of information and would have saved me so much time.”
1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)
I grew up as the oldest of four kids, so our family vacations were always road trips around western Canada, and never anything that involved a plane. My first big trip wasn’t until I was 18 years old, and my dad took me to Cuba as a birthday gift. The second I saw those palm trees, I was hooked on travel! In just over a decade since, I’ve managed to visit nearly 50 countries, so you could say that I made up for lost time.
2.)If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?
I would try to visit every single country in the world, and not quickly either. It would be wonderful to have the luxury of both time and money, so I could travel slower and really engross myself in each place.
3.)What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?
Scuba diving. I’m not one of those people who’s afraid of the ocean, but it seemed like there are a lot of factors involved in scuba diving (equipment, weather, wildlife) that can make or break your excursion, which made me nervous. My husband convinced me to get my PADI open water certification when we were in the Philippines, and it turned out to be the perfect place to learn!
4.)What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?
I love social media like Twitter and Facebook for crowd-sourcing recommendations for new places, Pinterest, Instagram and Google Images for trip inspiration. Plus maps.me which is basically the best GPS ever (and free!).
5.)What place do you wish more people have seen?
Slovenia. I can’t believe people don’t talk about it more! It’s a small country in eastern Europe which actually makes it quite easy to get to and you only need a few days to see most of the main highlights. It has gorgeous old buildings and castles, turquoise lakes and amazing mountain landscapes– and even better, it’s cheap and off the beaten tourist track. What more could you ask for?
6.)Best advice you have been given and by whom?
Buy experiences, not things. My life motto!
7.)When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?
A couple moments stick out. Once was in Brunei, when we were waiting for the bus at the airport to take us to our hotel. Long story short, it never showed up. We’d been standing outside in the heat for almost an hour with all of our luggage, when out of nowhere some young man who must have noticed our plight offered us a ride in his own vehicle. We were so grateful!
Another time was in Kyoto, Japan when we got lost trying to get back to our hotel after dinner. There was an older couple walking by, and we pointed out the address of where we were trying to go in hopes they’d point us in the right direction. Since they didn’t speak English they weren’t able to communicate to us how to get there, so they motioned for us to follow them and ended up guiding us all the way back!
8.)I travel because….
I have an insatiable curiosity to see and experience everything first-hand.
Tamara Elliott is the founder of the travel website Globe Guide which highlight unique experiences from around the world. She’s based in Calgary, Canada, and some of her favourite travel highlights include flying over the Great Barrier Reef, a cruise through the Galapagos Islands, heli-skiing and heli-hiking, and trying goat yoga in Arizona.
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Our next Travel Influencer interview will be up in a week, follow the series here.