Another Sunday and another fabulous globetrotter to introduce you to. This week we have Julie from Always on the Way.
Always on the Way is a huge resource of travel and expat information. There is soooo much for you to discover. Wonderful words, gorgeous pictures, insightful advice and honest reviews, it is a fabulous blog to follow.
As a fellow expat, it’s lovely to read on Julie’s about me page that we share a common feeling that living in a new country allows you to really experience it and see more than if you were just cruising through on a holiday. I’ve been dreaming about visit Canada FOREVER and as Julie has lived there I’ve been reading and rereading all of her Canada posts to just entice further wanderlust for me to get there. It seems every Globetrotter we have had recently has been to Canada. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.
One of my favourite posts is this one about Nazca Lines. I had never heard of these or where to see them but OMG they look amazing. It was so fascinating to not only read about it but also to see the pictures and that you can see them without flying. What a fabulous place to see and explore.
Julie regularly travels solo and I found it interesting about her thoughts on how some places are safer than what the media makes out that they are. You usually read so much about how being a solo female traveler can be very dangerous in certain destinations so its eye-opening to hear a different take on it. I know nowhere is now completely safe and you still need to be smart and have your wits about you but maybe some places are not as scary as we think it might be at first and by giving them a chance you get to experience something different. Check out her thoughts about this in her answers below.
Here is Julie from Alway on the way….
I am Julie, a travel blogger based in Toronto. I have lived in the USA (Hawaii) and Canada for eight years. When I am not traveling and writing, I am learning a new language, reading a book, and staring at the horizon to figure out my next adventure.
What do you enjoy most about travelling?
I love waking up alone in a new place and embracing the excitement of being surrounded by adventure. It feels surreal to visit destinations completely different from home, with people speaking a different language, sharing a different culture, and eating different food.
Why do you think traveling is important?
I believe travel is important for us to get out of our fears and see how things really are. We live in a society where negative news reports and fear are prevalent, and many afraid of traveling to certain countries because of safety concerns.
During my years of travel, I’ve learned that the world is generally a safe place and not every destination is as dangerous as the news media makes it out to be. The countries people are usually scared to travel to are the ones that give the best experience.
Where are you off to next? Or where have you just come back from?
I am currently traveling in Peru and then all the way south to Patagonia.
What is your favourite photograph from your travels?
This picture was taken when I walked to the top of Mt. Royal in Montreal. I was amazed by the changing color of foliage in the middle of October. A lady I met at a bus station ended up walking up Mt. Royal with me. She knew I was a traveler and told me to take as many pictures as possible because this was possibly my only chance of seeing such colorful landscapes on Mt. Royal. She was right – I returned to Montreal but never again did I experience such colorful scenery.
Do you have a pre-travel ritual? If so what?
I always write down the address and number of local contacts (embassy, police station, the owner of the accommodation) to be safe.
Who do you usually travel with?
I travel solo. I love the feeling of freedom that comes along, and taking time to explore a place, going where I want to go.
If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?
Trust your instincts. The world is generally a safe place and people are there to help, but if you feel something is wrong, please listen to it. It is always the best to be aware of your surroundings and be smart on the road.
Tell us the most memorable moment you’ve had whilst travelling?
Watching the northern lights on Christmas Eve. My friend and I went to the Chena Hot Spring resort in Fairbanks Alaska to celebrate Christmas holidays. We waited for the northern lights in the waiting room near a café where it was surrounded by the snowy mountains. At 12:30 am, the northern lights showed up and were dancing around the sky for over two hours. It was freezing cold but we did not care. We stood outside on the snowy and icy ground and watched the northern lights illuminating the northern sky. It was the best Christmas gift I have ever received, and it was magical.
Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?
USA – Alaska. I am a natural addict and Alaska offers the most beautiful landscapes in the USA. Postcard quality pictures are everywhere and any road trip in Alaska is not disappointing.
Canada – Prince Edward Island. It is the birthplace of Canada and it has a stunning coastline with gorgeous beaches. People there bend their back to help you should you need any assistance. The seafood on the island is freshly made and cheap. I could just eat lobster all day every day.
Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?
Grand Palace in Bangkok. It is expensive to visit and is filled with crowds. I was wondering why a place every guidebook recommends for a visit looked like a tourist trap. When I shared my experience with my Thai friends and hostel workers, they told me they have never visited Grand Palace because they know the experience would likely be the same. I wish I could have asked my Thai friends earlier, so I would spend my time and budget elsewhere.
Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?
I would love to take the VIA Rail to visit Churchill Manitoba (Canada). It is the polar bear capital of the world and has the Aurora Borealis show up 300 days each year. Churchill is in the subarctic region, has only 3,000 residents, and is a remote place that is inaccessible by road, which makes the travel experience unlike that of any other place in the world.
What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?
Books. I don’t feel my suitcase is packed up unless I fill it with some books on history, memoir or travel guides I love spending afternoons in cafés, on the beach, and the local park, and sticking my nose in the books.
What can readers find on your blog?
Always On The Way focuses on destination features, personal travel experience, and travel guide and tips from locals’ perspective, and the content on the tourist attractions is minimum. I have lived in the USA and Canada for eight years and had return visits to many places; so many blog posts are geared towards the places most travelers are not aware of unless they live there. I wish my blog will inspire you to explore new destinations beyond tourist attractions and connect deeper with the culture, history, and its people.
Do you have a favourite blog post? What is it and why?
“8 Things I Have Learned After Living in Hawaii” is one of my earliest blog posts I wrote it back in 2012 revealing the thoughts and reality of living in Hawaii. That time, I just started blogging as a hobby. The post got published on another online blog and magazine Bucket List Publications and went viral in just a few hours with Facebook shares and comments. I love this post the most because not only has it received the most engagement and many a-hah moments from residents of Hawaii even to this day, it also inspires me to write more about Hawaii from my own experience and that is how my blog officially started.
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