Here’s the thing I love about this feature. I’m not ashamed to say I am a total fan girl of other female writers and travelers. I love nothing more than seeing an inspiring woman live life to the very fullest, carrying out her passions in her daily life so that every single moment is experienced in its most bad-ass way.
It’s incredible, and it pushes me to see the world through the same curious eyes that they do.
(And hey, before you start I totally dig it when guys get to grab life with the same force as well… but you know, girl power)
I adore Paige’s blog. I adore everything about her. I adore her dedication to seeing the world (and blimey, what a world she has seen!). I adore her commitment to her work, and the careful resilience she applies to her website. I adore the way she writes, and the way she can capture a location with a subtle magic.
Basically? She’s pretty fantastic. And I’ve been able to chin wag with her to my heart’s content *squeal*.
And I am all kinds of delighted to introduce you to her and her fascinating story!
How’s it going Paige – thanks so much for taking part! I want to start by asking what inspired your thirst for travel? You’ve traveled in 19 countries around the world… has it always been something you have been fascinated by?
My family always traveled. My first trip was to Florida at 4, but it was a trip to the American Southwest when I was 9 that really sparked my wanderlust. I was standing in Zion National Park, looking up at these massive canyon walls and I just had this moment of thinking – wow, this is something special. I went to Europe for the first time at 15 and I haven’t stopped traveling internationally since.
Sounds like it’s something that has always been a part of your life! So out of these 19 countries, where has been your favourite part of the world to travel and why?
Wow. That’s such a hard question. I actually tell people that I’ve traveled in 20 countries because I have traveled so extensively in the U.S. (to 49 out of the 50 states), which is surprisingly uncommon. My favorite countries are probably Cambodia and the U.S. Cambodia was my first Asian country so everything amazed me. It was the first place I felt real culture shock and having extensively studied Eastern Religion in college, it was amazing to finally get to see it in practice. The country is beautiful and the people were so curious about my life in America and they were so welcoming.
I love the U.S. because of our amazing natural sites. National & State Parks are always a highlight of my travels and we have it all! The deserts & canyons in Utah and Arizona, the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina, fjords in Alaska, rain forest in Washington and so much more! I could gush about our natural sites for paragraphs!
You know I am yet to go to the U.S… but you’re making my hunger for it even stronger! What has been your most memorable experience throughout your travels to date… the biggest “pinch yourself” moment of them all?
Hmm… I have had so many “pinch myself” moments, but one of my most memorable moments was probably my third day on the Inca Trail in Peru. I was on top of a mountain about to walk down all the stairs of Phuyupatamarka Archaeological Site. I had just hiked in the Upper Amazon all day and I was watching a storm roll in over the Andes and I just thought, wow, this is my life, and it’s awesome!
Oh mama, sounds insane! Now can you tell us a bit about For The Love Of Wanderlust? What was the motivation behind starting it and what can readers expect from it?
When I started FTLOW, I was just looking for some sort of outlet to share more about my travels and to try to inspire others to travel. It’s been almost five years since my first little post about New Orleans, and it has grown into so much more than I ever could have imagined. I’m currently working on some really fun guides for various things: for backpacking, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Ozark hikes and about some other fun places I’ve visited. Also, my fiancé and I are currently saving for a 12-month RTW trip!
Can’t wait to read about that trip! And what has been your biggest achievement or moment of fulfillment with your blog to date?
I think that my biggest moments of fulfillment have to be when people have sent me messages, emails or mentioned in posts that I inspired them to go a particular place or to travel in general. I truly believe in the power of travel to help you grow, learn & just become a more well-rounded human being, so knowing I’ve helped inspire someone to get out there and explore just feels like I’ve done exactly what I set out to do. Travel and writing about my experiences are truly my passions.
Agreed! You’re a big advocate for budget travel. What would you say to someone who thinks they don’t have “enough funds to travel”?
I understand that sometimes budgets at home are tight (I am personally on a really tight budget), but I truly believe that if you make travel a priority by being willing to work hard, living a bit more simply and set goals it’s so possible. I’ve never had an issue working two jobs and eating at home (along with a few other money saving methods) if that means later on I can be at Angkor Wat or sipping coffee in Bali or hiking in a National Park.
So do you find there to be any negative elements when it comes to travel? Or have you had any specific experiences with this yourself?
There are negative elements, for sure. Traveling, especially long term isn’t always easy. Living life in the moment is a beautiful thing but it can be exhausting. I’ve been lost, dealt with language barriers, been dropped off by a night bus at 3 am without a place to stay and so much more. However, travel wouldn’t be eye opening or life changing if you didn’t have those things to push you. These parts of travel are just as beautiful, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.
They all help us learn and grow! So give us a clue, where is next on your bucket list?
Our next bigger trip that’s already planned is my Honeymoon in Hawaii; it’s the only state I haven’t been to. Then, it’s off to South and Central America for us! We have a lot of smaller, domestic trips to take before that though!
Dreamy – already so jealous! What would you say is the biggest lesson your travels have taught you?
Travel has shown me that there are so many different ways of living, loving, worshiping, eating, playing, speaking, dressing, everything and that it is these differences that make the world such a beautiful place. I truly learn something new each time I go somewhere. The second biggest thing is that I can get through anything. Travel is the greatest way to educate yourself and to grow as a person.
Now finally, what travel quote do you think best sums up the allure of exploring the world?
I love this quote by Nick Miller: “Travel is little beds and cramped bathrooms. It’s old television sets and slow internet connections. Travel is extraordinary conversations with ordinary people. It’s waiters, gas station attendants and housekeepers becoming the most interesting people in the world. It’s churches that are compelling enough to enter. It’s McDonald’s being a luxury. It’s the realization that you may have been born in the wrong country. Travel is a smile that leads to a conversation in broken English. It’s the epiphany that pretty girls smile the same way all over the world. Travel is tipping 10% and being embraced for it. Travel is the same white t-shirt again tomorrow. Travel is accented sex after good wine and to many unfiltered cigarettes. Travel is flowing in the back of a bus with giggly strangers. It’s a street full of beard backpackers looking down at maps. Travel is wishing for one more bite of whatever that just was. It’s the rediscovery of walking somewhere. It’s sharing a bottle of liquor on an overnight train with a new friend. Travel is, ‘Maybe I don’t have to do it that way when I get back home.’ It’s nostalgia for studying abroad that one semester. Travel is realizing that ‘age thirty’ should be shed of its goddam stigma.”
A huge thank you to the gorgeous Paige – remember to take a look at her exciting blog and follow her countless adventures! Until next time… #AroundTheWorld