Zipkick Blogger: Vanessa Workman from The Island Drum



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Zipkick Bloggers:  Vanessa Workman from The Island Drum

Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)

busking-in-penang 1-   Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)

The day I accidentally saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I was on a road trip with an eccentric ex-boyfriend and historic landmarks were not exactly on our itinerary, but we had stopped in Pisa and walked around a bit. I had just turned a non-descript corner and gasped, because I had never seen anything truly ‘famous’ before. It really was a wow moment.

2- If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?

Guam is at the top of my bucket list, because my maternal grandmother was born and raised there and I would like to explore the Chamorro culture that she shared with me when I was a child.

love-station-trang-thailand3- What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?
Being a guest speaker at a well attended Malaysian tourism event was a bit of a quaking in my boots ordeal. I had never really done any serious public speaking before, but what the heck, if you dig deep enough the courage to do anything is inside all of us.

4- What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?

Foursquare and Swarm are great for a quick documentation of locations, as well as finding new places. Google maps are also invaluable, especially in more remote areas.

5- What place do you wish more people have seen?

From my own experience I’d say Kota Bharu, Malaysia is still a bit under the radar and it’s a glimpse at many aspects of Malay culture and history that I personally find interesting.

being-silly-taman-negara-pahang6- Best advice you have been given and by whom?

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. Words of wisdom from my mother that probably had more to do with getting the dishes washed properly, but words I’ve taken to heart beyond housekeeping.

7- When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?

On my first trip to Trang, Thailand, my bus arrived after dark. My pre-booked hotel was nowhere near the area and I could find no taxi’s or English speaking locals to help me. A couple had been out jogging and the wife had spotted me, and my lost looking self, trying my best to communicate my needs at a local night market. This couple took the time to rescue me and drove me to a guest house where I was able to arrange further transportation.

8- What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?

I actually moved overseas from San Francisco for a job in Singapore. After the contract ended I was already smitten with new cultures and exotic lands, so now I’m addicted.

9- I am a zipkick blogger because….
The Zipkick blogger family is a family I can relate to.

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Bio: A short contract job in a Singapore hospital initially landed Vanessa in Southeast Asia where she decided to take a break from her medical career for more creative endeavors. She has slowly embraced travel writing through her blog The Island Drum and various freelance assignments.

Tyler Brooks

Tyler Brooks was born and raised in the small town of Bailey, near South Park in Colorado. After his first trip abroad to Japan when he was ten years old, he has had the travel bug and since then, has spent his life planning and going on trips. He recently found his talent as a photographer. His beautiful photography is available for sale at

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