Travel Tuesday with Skye from Skye Travels and Laura from Anywhere She Roams

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This week my questions have been answered by travelling couple, Skye and Laura. They run the blogs Skye Travels and Anywhere She Roams respectively. About to embark on an exciting project with a converted van, they took time out to answer my questions.

So over to Skye and Laura to answer my Travel Questions:

Q1 – When did you become travellers?

Skye: I left the USA in January with a one-way ticket to London and I’ve been on the road ever since. However, I grew up moving from one home to another along the west coast of the US, and I traveled a bit around the States at my old job.

Laura: I have travelled for many years here and there when annual leave from work would allow. However, after a series of unfortunate events (which included losing my job), I booked a one-way ticket to Morocco and I haven’t looked back since! 

Q2 – What kind of travellers are you? Full-time? Part-time? Anytime?

Skye: I’d say we’re kinda a cross between part-time and full-time. We sometimes set up a base to stay at for a few weeks at a time, but otherwise, we’re constantly on the road.

Laura: Yeah, I would defo agree with Skye on this one. Full-time constant travel is exhausting – I much prefer travelling slow and immersing myself in the culture of a destination. 

Q3 – Which country do you originally come from and where do you call home?

Skye: I was born in California, USA. As mentioned, I have lived in several homes and cities growing up, so it’s hard to say which one I’m from specifically. Now I call Edinburgh my home base and try to spend a couple months there each year, but the truth is that home is where your rump rests. As permanent travelers, we make our home in each city as we travel the world.

Laura: I was born in the UK and grew up in the beautiful Lake District which is filled with nature and beauty – I am blessed to still be able to come back here when I need some respite from the world, but I have to say that as a traveller you quickly get used to home being wherever you are. 

Q4 – Is there anything you miss from home when you are travelling?

Skye: Not really. I’ve always had a very minimalistic lifestyle. About the only item that’s hard to travel with (although I plan to get one in our new van) is a large computer monitor which makes photo and video editing much easier. I also really enjoy having a good kitchen to cook in, but we’re building that into our van too, and many Couchsurfing hosts, hostels and self-catering B&Bs around the world have good kitchens.

Laura: I miss home comforts now and again, and privacy (sleeping in hostels and shared accommodation can get challenging at times) but then I love it too – meeting new people and sharing experiences with others – I guess it is about finding the right balance. 

Q5 – What do you love most about travelling?

Skye: That’s hard. I love every aspect of traveling, but there are some aspects that stand out. I love meeting new people, getting factual, first-hand information about things in the world, trying different foods, exploring nature and pushing my comfort zone. If I had to pick one, it would be the first – making friends all over the world. 

Laura: practically everything, it’s just in my blood. From the anticipation of an upcoming trip to the transportation getting there. And then there is that feeling you get, you know the one when you step off the plane and feel the immediate difference from the place you left behind. I love taking a deep breath at that point and soaking up the surrounding environment. Pure bliss. Then, of course, there is sight-seeing, meeting people, learning from the local culture, exploring, and challenging yourself, I could go on forever… 

Q6 – And what is your pet hate?

Laura: humm.. the queues at border control haha. 

Skye: Hmm. I think that would boil down to how much negativity there is in the world, and the silly assumptions people make from it. One person from a country or culture does something wrong, and the whole country or culture is labeled bad. It’s almost as bad as a person making an occasional mistake and then being completely judged based on that one mistake.

Q7 – Tell us about your favourite trip or place to visit.

Skye: I honestly don’t like that question, as there are a few that rank way up there for me. Some truly memorable ones were in Sweden, Iceland Morocco. It might be corny, but I usually say the Isle of Skye is my favorite place in the world. I’ve been there a couple dozen times now and perhaps the magic is starting to wear off on me, but I still think some of the most beautiful locations on the planet are on that island.

Laura: all of my trips have been unique in different ways, that’s the magic of travel – each experience is personal to you and they all teach you something completely different. The ones that really stand out for me it backpacking around Morocco for a month as a solo female as that really challenged me and tested my limits. I also really loved exploring Thailand and spending time in an elephant sanctuary, getting lost in India, and traversing through Europe and staying with different Couchsurfing hosts. 

Q8 – How do you prepare for a trip, are you a last-minute packer or days in advance?

Skye: A little of both. I definitely pack at the very last minute, but I start to get a general idea of what I’ll need a week or two before the trip, and I’ll start planning where to stay, what to do and who to work with days or weeks in advance. Then again, there are those trips when I/we go from city to city and there’s just no time to plan in advance.

Laura: Yeah I am definitely a last-minute packer, I usually just throw some stuff in my bag and hope for the best. But I am beginning to get more organised the more frequently we travel, I even have some packing cubes now to keep my things organised. When it comes to planning the trip that is when I need to know what is going on, lists are very good for this especially for the first night or two in a destination. After that, we usually find our own travel beat. 

Q9 – What 5 things do you always take on your travels?

Skye: The only things I really need are my passport, phone and power pack, a change of clothes and toiletries. Outside of that, I can be pretty minimalistic. I usually travel with my laptop, hard drives, tripod, stabilizer, notebooks, rain gear, base layer, sleeping bag, and a few other essentials, but I don’t have to.

Laura: Passport, phone (with a good book on), laptop, clothes, and toiletries – they are non-compromisable.  Like Skye mentioned other things like rain gear and base layers are always handy to pack too. 

Q10 – If money was no object, where would you live?

Skye: I really like this question. I think I would go with Reykjavik, Iceland if I had unlimited funds to cover the cost of flights every time I wanted to travel. It’s just such a beautiful country and the only real trouble I had there was the cost of everything.

Laura: I haven’t been to Iceland yet, so I could be swayed to that idea, but quite honestly, I really do love the Lake District and I have always wanted a little place somewhere like Grasmere or Ambleside. 

Laura & Skye Exploring Europe

Q11 – Tell us more about your blog/YouTube channel?

Skye: My blog focuses on adventures, wellness, and food. I write to inspire others to travel and follow their dreams. I always try to focus on the positive, give honest reviews from my own, personal experience and also help others push past their comfort zone. My YouTube channel is still in development. Currently, I’m mostly just using it to host the videos I need for my blog. I do plan to change that in the near future and put up travel videos and make video recordings of my podcast too.

Laura: I am really going to try and push my YouTube channel this year and get singing a lot more so I am factoring that into my plans.  But I still want to continue working on my blog, which focuses on sustainable travel and well-being, with the aim of inspiring other women to travel.  It took me till I was nearly 30 to take the plunge to travel on my own, and it is one of the things that now I wish I had done sooner as it brought so much reward. That feeling is one that I want to encourage other women out there to embrace, there really is nothing like it.  

Q12 – Which three blogs inspire you?

Skye: When I first started traveling, I read blogs like NomadicMatt, OneStep4Ward, WanderingEarl, and BeMyTravelMuse. Now I’m addicted to TheBlogAbroad as the best inspirational blog, but I refer to others as much as I can as I meet hundreds of other bloggers around the world.

Laura: There are so many truly amazing bloggers out there who are absolutely killing it, and I have a lot of them to thank, from either meeting them in person and them giving me the courage to embark on my blogging journey or providing advice through their words online. If I really do have to pick just three then I would have to say NomadicMatt for sure, meeting him in London earlier this year left me a bit starstruck haha. Lilistravelplans.com is another great one – I feel she represents travel in a very honest way and Lauren Juliff from NeverEndingFootsteps.com – again, very real and very honest about travel mistakes and overcoming anxiety.  

Q13 – And your go-to travel resource?

Skye: The only website I really use on a regular basis is WikiTravel, and I just kinda skim that for the highlights and the best way to get into town from the airport. Otherwise, I’ll ask a local friend or host more often than going to a website.

Laura: If I am at a destination then I would have to say a local or a guide – we often take the guided walking tours as soon as we get to a destination which is a great way to see and learn about a place.  I love a good travel guide book too, there are some awesome ones out there, and learning from my blogger friends out there too! I know how much effort you all put into creating content, thank you! 

Laura & Skye on way to a travel conference

Q14 – What advice would you give first-time bloggers?

Skye: That answer could fill a book! The answers you usually hear are to find your niche, find your style and just go for it, which are totally true. Another thing I’d recommend is to spend a couple of hours every day reading how-to blogs and watching Youtube videos on how to hone your blog. I’ve been at this for over five years now and I’m still learning things every day.

Laura: oh gosh, okay. Breathe, breathing would be a good one to start with. At first, and still, now, it can feel like there is so much to do and take in that the world of blogging can get overwhelming. I would also say having the courage to publish a post – it doesn’t have to be perfect – looking back I spent far too long being indecisive about what to write and how to write it, now I have learned that it is better just to take action because that delivers results. Youtube and other blogs are great researching sources that you will continue to use throughout your blogging lifetime – it is a supportive community and I believe that bloggers are passionate about educating and teaching others. 

Q15 – Where are you off to next?

Skye and Laura: We actually have a trip booked next week to Bordeaux, France. After that, it will be exploring Spain, Andorra, more of France, Italy, San Marino and then into the Balkans.

Quick lowdown of Skye and Laura’s favourite:

Favourite Airport? 

Laura: It would have to be Changi airport in Singapore, after being held there for 24 hours due to a passport glitch I got to know it very well! I also really liked the airport in Koh Samui, Thailand, which was a world apart but so quaint and pretty. 

Skye: I haven’t been to Singapore airport yet, so I can’t list that one yet as most others do. I like Inverness just because it’s so small and easy to get through, and Oslo Airport for how incredibly innovative it was, except that Norway is wickedly expensive.

Favourite Mode of Transportation? 

Skye: It really depends on the scenario. I love walking, hitchhiking, carpooling, buses, trains, planes, yeah, all of them. Maybe my favorite would be some of the nicer trains around the world, but I usually skip them in favor of cheaper buses.

Laura: Ooh there are too many to choose from! I love walking to really get to know a place, especially when you arrive at the destination and you need to become familiar with it. Taking a scenic train journey is always nice too, we just did one on our recent trip to Europe in winter and it was magical.

Window seat or aisle?

Skye: Definitely window. I love the ability to take photos from the sky, even if they’re terrible and I almost never use them in my blog.

Laura: Yes – Skye does love the window – as do I – but I usually end up in the middle seat haha. My favourite would have to be the whole row to myself – that was an option, right?

Favourite City? 

Skye: Edinburgh still tops my list for this one. There are quite a few cities I love around the world, but Edinburgh is where I truly feel at home and there’s just so many great things about the city. The food there is wonderful, I love the climate, it’s got a castle, a beach, a volcano, a forest, another castle, the list just goes on.

Laura: I don’t think I have found one yet being more of a country bumpkin I don’t bode well with big city life, but Edinburgh is up there on my list as is York, England – there are still so many cities that I have to see!

Favourite Country? 

Skye: Along with Edinburgh, Scotland is my favorite country for just about the same reasons, but also because the people are so friendly. Iceland might be marginally more beautiful, but as a package, Scotland is the best. I love the cheap flights out of Edinburgh Airport.

Laura: Yeah I really love Scotland too, being part Scottish and spending a lot of my childhood visiting there on road trips with my family I just grew to love it.  The scenery is outstanding and the people are really friendly! Whenever we visit it feels like a home away from home. 

Backpack or Case? 

Laura: Backpack! Sometimes a two-pack, one on the back and then one on the front. But I really do try to pack as light as possible otherwise, it can get pretty tiring pretty quick. When I first started travelling I would take a case – but now it just wouldn’t work with how much we tend to go off-the-beaten-path and explore. 

Skye: Backpack, always. True, there have been a couple of times I overloaded my bag and was in agony by the end of the day or month, but I shudder at the thought of dragging a case behind me when I travel.

Travel Book? 

Skye: Hmm, I don’t know if I have one. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is my favorite travel movie, which is based on a book way back in 1939, but I’ve never read that book. A couple from when I was a kid come to mind, like True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, My Side of the Mountain and The Bronze Bow.

Laura: I can’t pick just one haha there are so many that have influenced me over the years! Here are a handful of my absolute favorites: Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, Vagabonding by Rolf Potts, Travel as Transformation by Gregory V. Diehl, Lion: A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly and The Beach by Alex Garland. 

Quote? 

Skye:Not all who wander are lost,” by J.R.R. Tolkien

Laura:If in doubt, just walk until your day becomes interesting” Rolf Potts – It hasn’t failed me yet. 

Thanks!

 You can keep up with Skye and Laura on: 

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Skyetravels
https://www.facebook.com/anywheresheroams

Twitter
https://www.twitter.com/SkyeTravels 
https://twitter.com/anywheresheroam

Instagram
instagram.com/skyetravels/ 
https://www.instagram.com/anywheresheroams/

Pinterest
pinterest.co.uk/Skyetravels/ 
https://pinterest.co.uk/anywheresheroams/

YouTube
youtube.com/channel/UClbzZ5-UKzHYKCPBHnqdDDQ
 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3xQyy3_ZXttGfMYzNP8cBg 

and of course on their blogs – skyetravels.com/ / anywheresheroams.com

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