This travel blogger interview features The Full-Time Tourist aka Deni Verklan. Someone who had quite a stressful time making a flight connection!
What is your name?
My name is Deni Verklan, I am 21 years old and I run my travel blog, The Full-Time Tourist.
Which country do you come from/call home?
I’m from Canada! I was born and raised in a small suburb of Edmonton, Alberta, and I currently live in Toronto, Ontario for university.
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
I am currently a full-time journalism student, but as I had never visited Toronto before moving here, I am forever a tourist in the 6ix and other stops along my undergraduate degree. (Hence the name of my blog.) I am planning on traveling for (at least) a year after I’ve completed my degree.
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
I fund my travels mainly through my savings- I’ve worked throughout the four years I’ve been in university thus far (one year to go!).
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
I don’t remember my first trip, as I was only 2 months old flying from Edmonton to New Brunswick, Canada to visit my mom’s side of the family. But I do remember all the pillow forts, reading, building a fort out of driftwood and leafy branches, picking blackberries and making friends from around North America from my family’s yearly 20-hour road trips to Oregon, where we would spend between 2-4 weeks.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
One of my favourite travel stories happened during my first international flight with my family from Edmonton to a small island off the coast of Venezuela called Bonaire. First, we were to fly to Calgary to go through customs during our one and a half hour layover and then onto Newark, where we would catch our final flight to Bonaire (which only flies out once a week). We arrived in the international terminal two and half hours prior to departure and the line-up to the counter was the length of the airport. Naturally, we were trying to scan our passports at the machines that appeared to be out of order, but we never heard the attendants’ call for our flight to Calgary. Needless to say we missed the flight and when we finally arrived in Calgary one hour late, we only had 20 minutes to get through customs to catch our flight to Newark. Luckily, we were the first off the plane and our SEVEN bags were some of the first ones coming off the conveyer belt. So here we are, running to the customs gate with our seven bags on three trolleys, zig-zagging through the endless taped-off line at 7:00 a.m. Luckily, the border agent sent us through right away and we were able to run to the plane as they were closing the doors and were thankfully allowed to board. All of this before any of us had our morning coffee.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Czesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic is my favourite place in the world. It’s like living in a fairy tale with its castle atop of the hill, a beautiful (clean) moat surrounding the quaint town and the cutest shops and cobblestone lining the streets, unadulterated by multinational businesses. The people are also very friendly.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
Tack me in with the stereotypical travel blogger that says EVERYWHERE is on their bucket list. But it’s the truth- I can’t wait to hike up to Machu Picchu to see the sunrise, visit the Rose City in Jordan, sing The Sound of Music atop of the Swiss Alps, zip line in South Africa, go on a safari in Tanzania, teach children in developing countries- the list is endless.
Can you imagine life without travel?
Absolutely not. I’ve been desperate to travel since I was little. In fact, I would always tell my mother that I would move out as soon as I turned 18 (I was 19 when I moved to Toronto) and that I would end up living in Europe (next on my list…).
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
Most likely saving up for travelling. But in terms of career goals, I would love to be a young adult novelist some day. I would also like to work in investigative journalism as well, as it’s the only form of journalism that can effect change.
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
My travel blog is The Full-Time Tourist! Come join my adventures here: http://thefulltimetourist.com/
When did you begin your website The Full-Time Tourist?
I started my website in November 2014, but I’ve been upping the ante more recently with more blog posts and more adventures!
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
I’ve really enjoyed reading other people’s travel blogs and since the strangest experiences seem to happen to me, I thought I would add my personal flair to the travel blog community. Plus, it forces me to home in on my writing skills- something that I’ve always loved doing.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
As my travel blog is still relatively new, I’m still playing around with my voice on the blog. I like adding my own personal stories in with more informational posts. I find that many travel blogs nowadays are just listicles and don’t have much of a narrative woven throughout. Although I do write the occasional listicle, I want to bring a more personal touch to blogging again because learning more about a person is part of the reason why I enjoy some travel blogs more than others.
Do you have any products or services to offer?
Not yet, but like I said before, I’m upping the ante this summer, so we’ll see how things go!
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
My most popular post would be A 3-day Itinerary to Exploring New York City in the Rain. This is by far my longest post in terms of length and the amount of time it took to put together, but it’s also the one I’m most proud of. During my second trip to NYC, it rained nearly every day that I was there and since I was visiting, I couldn’t afford to waste any days inside. As there were barely any posts about things to do in NYC in the rain, I decided to fill that gap for anyone else trying to find something to do in the Big Apple on a rainy day!
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
I love traveling by car, but that’s mostly because road trips are always a blast and I don’t look as crazy singing along to playlists as I would on a plane, train or boat.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
I’ve found that money is a huge reason of why some people aren’t willing to travel. (Even for me!) But think of travel as an investment in yourself. Material things will only give you so much happiness, but your stories and adventures can be passed onto friends and family for years. So try cutting back on how often you eat out or go out for drinks (be it coffee or alcohol), try cutting back on the amount of clothes you buy (or hit up thrift stores). It’s incredible how much you can save by not indulging in material things.
What has travel taught you?
Travel has easily taught me to appreciate where I come from, my privilege as an able-bodied white cis-gender straight woman from a first-world country, and personal qualities (i.e. resilience) that I would not have otherwise found out in my day to day life. By challenging my comfort zone and my everyday life, I’ve been able to attribute much of my personal development to travel.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite country? Ireland
Favourite city? New York City
Favourite beach? Kama’ole Beach in Maui, Hawaii
Favourite food? Gluten-free gnocchi with fried mushrooms and vegan basil pesto
Favourite drink? A thick berry smoothie
Favourite music artist? Mumford & Songs, Vampire Weekend, and Telekinesis
Favourite experience? Helping the Bernard Project in New Orleans rebuild a house in a redeveloped neighbourhood.
Favourite language? Croatian (though I still need to learn it!)
Please provide the following:-
Website url? http://thefulltimetourist.com/
Twitter handle? @thefttourist
Facebook page? thefulltimetourist
Google+ profile/page? https://plus.google.com/u/0/100054974637895994190/posts
YouTube? Coming soon!!