Below is a collection of the questions that are most frequently commented on the Suitcase And I Instagram account 🙂 Make sure to check out the About Page for more information about the Suitcase And I story!
Why is your blog called ‘Suitcase And I’?
After applying for an overseas study exchange in 2014 I started the process of selling my possessions to help finance my travels. The goal was to be able to fit everything I owned in a suitcase before I left, hence the blog name, ‘Suitcase And I’!
How do you afford to travel?
I personally financed all travels during my study exchange in 2015. As Suitcase And I grew I have been lucky enough to gain sponsorship and endorsements for my travels. If I have been sponsored or endorsed you can be sure this will be flagged in the relevant article or post. Being a travel blogger as well as a final year Law student, I completely understand and prioritize the importance of transparency. I guarantee I always write with the trust of my readership at the forefront of the experiences I share (with full compliance to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Guidelines).
Specifically, how did you save for your travels?
To finance my 2015 travels I worked 10-20 hours a week part time during high school and then worked full time on top of full time studies during my first three years of university. During high school I worked in fast food and retail. During university I worked as a customer service representative and as a law clerk at various law firms.
The reason why I tried very hard to work while studying is because travel was always something I envisioned for myself. While I understood there were significant barriers in the way of these plans (education, career, finance) I always tried to keep my travel aspirations as my main priority. By having clear goals the challenge to sacrifice certain expenses and social activities during high school and university became easier. You can read more about how I saved and budgeted my money in the Travel Tips section of Suitcase And I. Here I have written articles on how to travel on a budget, my top tips for saving money to travel and a detailed breakdown of my 2015 budget when I first started traveling.
The opportunity of a lifetime
In July 2016, out of 26,907 applicants worldwide I was selected to be the AXA Great Global Adventurer. This was a year long contract to travel the world and complete two internships in cities of my choice. I chose to move to NYC for my first internship and Paris for my second internship. Over the course of this year I travelled to all seven continents and 31 countries.
7 continents and 70+ Countries: Where exactly have you travelled?
In 2015 I moved to London for a study exchange and during this year I traveled to –
Spain, Hungary, Morocco, Romania, Scotland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, USA, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, England, Monaco, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales, USA and Egypt.
In 2016 I moved to New York City and traveled to –
Iceland, Turkey, France, UK, Canada, South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Morocco and Spain.
In 2017 I moved to Paris traveled to –
Peru, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Antarctica, France, UK, Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I have also visited: Australia (my home), New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and Malaysia.
What are your upcoming travel plans?
I am currently based in London and am hoping to visit Faroe Islands, Jordan, Dubai, Malta and Cyprus very soon! I am very eager to see more of the Middle East and Central America – honestly though, I travel everywhere and anywhere. My list is never ending!
What is your favorite destination?
Antarctica (articles to come)! In terms of a city though, nothing can beat London… NYC was pretty close ;D
Who do you travel with?
I travel by myself! This is the result of a combination of factors. For example, as soon as I started earning an income I started budgeting for my travel plans during the study exchange I wanted to complete in 2015. Majority of my friends had different priorities back then so when I left, I moved to London by myself. I have to emphasize however, traveling by yourself does not mean you will be lonely. In fact, I cannot even think of a trip I have done where I have not ended up making friends and having travel buddies (seriously, hostels are so social its impossible not to!).
Admittedly, I would love to share all my travels with friends and family by my side, but I have learned to love traveling by myself because it has meant meeting some of the most amazing people from all around the world! Solo travel is definitely something that takes getting used to, so feel free to visit my Travel Tips page as there are plenty of hints and tricks to encourage you to take that leap of faith!
Who takes your photos if you travel solo?
As I travel by myself I use a lightweight collapsible Manfrotto tripod and a remote control. I use this method 98% of the time as it is the fail safe way to get the shots I want. If using my tripod is not possible, I ask another person in the vicinity if they would mind taking a photo of me. Asking a stranger can be a bit daunting but I have definitely gotten used to it over time and it can be a great opportunity to meet new people! Finally, if I am lucky enough to be traveling with friends I ask them 🙂 Check out How To Take Photos When Traveling Solo for a detailed article on how I get my shots!
What Camera do you use?
I use a Canon 60D with an 18-55mm lens however I also use my Iphone 6. I am currently saving up for a wide-angle lens as I feel a lot of my landscape shots would benefit from this and I am hoping to one day purchase a DJI Mavic to start putting content on my YouTube Channel.