Michelle is a 23 year old travel blogger and illustrator. She has worked as a freelance travel writer for The Circumference and was the Editor-in-Chief of her school’s newspaper. During University, she lived in Montreal and Chicago and backpacked in Asia, Australia, and Europe. She recently graduated this past spring and just accepted a job as an English teacher in Germany this fall. She will no doubt be found in Munich for this year’s Oktoberfest.
World Travel Buzz: What is the focus / goal of your website?
Michelle: My goal is to inspire others to travel, be spontaneous, and live life to the fullest. I love writing about my travels and hope that others will do the same!
WTB: What was your first experience with traveling? Was this when you’d say you ‘Became a Traveler’? Or did you really discover your passion for travel later on?
Michelle: My first experience with traveling was a trip to New York City with my family when I was 11. I thought it was just like the movies and I saved up and traveled there whenever I could throughout high school. I would say I became a “traveler” during one summer in university when I traveled to China. Originally, I intended to work an internship there, but plans fell through, and I ended up traveling around (mostly in Beijing) for a few months. It was there when I was introduced to the world of backpackers, and I knew I had to see more of the world. The next summer, I booked a flight to Australia.
Can you explain your passion for travel? What do you love about it? What do you get from it?
I love the surprises and adventures that come from travel. Every day on the road is unexpected. I also love all the people I meet, and the experiences I gain from traveling. I love the feeling of waking up to a whole day of endless possibilities, and having the open road stretch ahead.
What’s your travel style? Party? Culture? Volunteering? Connecting with the locals? A little of everything? What’s the balance?
I really love partying but I also love culture and history. There’s enough time in a day to conquer both!
Do you prefer to travel alone, with a friend, group of friends, or partner? How does your travel style affect what you get out of your journey?
I usually prefer traveling alone, but I always make so many friends along the way that the only time I’m actually “alone” is on the flight there! I do love meeting new people and I find that solo travel allows you to be much more open. At the same time, I’ve had a lot of great trips where I’ve traveled with a best friend, a group of friends or with a boyfriend. It really depends where I’m traveling to.
If you could travel with any 3 people (real, fictional alive, or dead) who would they be and where would you go?
I’d love to travel with Hemingway to Spain to see the bullfights, Kerouac on an American road trip, and Ethan Hawke to Vienna (in the style of Before Sunrise).
Many people who don’t travel always think they can’t afford it. What do you have to say to that?
I think people (in the Western world) who say that they can’t afford traveling are simply making excuses. Traveling can be affordable as long as you do your research. There’s tons of ways such as getting a Holiday Working Visa or working as an English teacher which can greatly help subsidize the costs of long term traveling and even help you save/gain money in the end! No more so than ever with the internet, the resources out there are endless.
If you weren’t a traveler, how would your life be different? i.e. What would you be doing if you weren’t always on the road? (Or, what are you doing now that you aren’t on the road?)
Before I discovered traveling, I’ve always envisioned myself living in New York and working in either fashion or advertising…so probably that!
What was the most grueling adventure? (epic hike with low supplies, long train ride in India with no toilets, etc.)
I’ve never really had any “grueling” adventures so far to be honest. I’ve survived some horrendously long and uncomfortable bus rides though.
What’s your best travel tip?
Write a list of all the important things you’ve brought along (passport, credit cards, laptop, etc), and before leaving each hostel, check to make sure they’re all there.
One of my favorite parts of travel is connecting with the people I meet along the way, both locals and other travelers. Can you tell us about one of your most cherished travel connections?
I’ve had some romances on the road which are pretty cherished…but I’d rather not share the details
What advice would you give to first-time travelers?
Don’t follow guidebooks religiously. Do stray off and find paths less taken.
What advice would you give to struggling travel writers / photographers?
Remember that you are a travel writer/photographer because it’s what you love. It’s a difficult industry to survive in, so don’t give up!
You can follow Michelle’s continued adventures through Germany and the entire world by checking out her website http://confessedtravelholic.com or follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thetravelholic or like her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/confessedtravelholic