This travel blogger interview features Cory Calcea of You Could Travel. A travel blogger who found Tokyo completely differed from her expectation.
What is your name?
My name is Cory Calcea and I am the editor and founder of…
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
…You Could Travel. You can check it by clicking here.
Which country do you come from/call home?
I am a Romanian born British citizen who lives in Bristol, UK.
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
I am a long term traveler as well as a digital nomad. Three years, me and my partner quit our desk jobs, to create our own digital studio. This enabled us to work remotely and travel the world whilst working from virtually anywhere.
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
I am a UX Designer and my partner is a Web Developer. Together we own 42droids, a digital studio which makes enough to enable us to fund our travels.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
It was in 2008 when I left Bucharest indefinitely to pursue a career as a lawyer. I was only 18 and that’s when I started my degree in Law with Criminology at the University of Manchester. My first trip was a one way ticket from Bucharest to Manchester.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
I think I imagined Tokyo to be a very busy city, rather loud and agitating, but as it turns out, in a matter of minutes, Tokyo became my favorite place in the whole world. It was busy, yes, but everyone was polite, there was no agitation, no loud noises and no dirt on the streets. Tokyo was not an urban jungle, but the perfect urban landscape.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
I was on my way to New Zealand, from London, on my second connection (Dubai to Perth) when I got really sick. I threw up for 10 hours straight, was sleep deprived and very weak. Unfortunately, this was also the longest flight (13 hours) so had no choice but to endure it.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
I think everyone has funny travel stories. The funniest is when me and my partner were hiking in Tenerife and got lost on the way back. I asked for directions with my super broken Spanish and finally managed to score a lift from a complete unknown with a dodgy car, who offered to drop us off at the bus station. It was a rather awkward conversation as the poor chap kept trying to talk to us in Spanish and we kept trying to reply with something in English. We didn’t get mugged nor killed as you can tell. He was just a nice soul wanting to help a couple of lost strangers.
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
As I live in the UK, I’ve been to some really dodgy towns round here. Beyond London, Edinburgh and the Cotswold which everyone knows and loves, you can easily stop in a place like Luton or Wythenshawe and wonder what went wrong.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Tokyo. If I could, I would move to Tokyo tomorrow. I love the food, the people, the city, the subway, the lifestyle, the fashion.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
The bucket list…it’s a never ending adventure. The moment I cross one place off the list, I tend to add five more. Japan and the Seychelles were the two top destinations. I spent a month in Japan and I’m due to leave for the Seychelles in October for another month. Next is hiking in China, exploring the barrier reef in Australia, checking out Vancouver, climbing to the Troll’s Tongue in Norway and MANY more…
Can you imagine life without travel?
I actually can’t. Even when I was little and had no money, I would still do day trips to the Romanian mountains. I need to be on the move as I don’t get along with routine or boredom.
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
I would continue with my job as a UX Designer. I love designing websites and helping brands progress, it gives me a lot of satisfaction. Ideally I will continue to design, travel and write, without the need to choose just one of them.
When did you begin your website You Could Travel?
I started You Could Travel in March 2016 and has been rapidly growing since.
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
I started writing as a way to remember all my travelling adventures. I wanted to have it all written down and be able to relive my journeys over and over again. Besides, it was my dream to inspire others to travel the world and explore our awesome planet.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
You Could Travel is my story of how I learned to be a traveller and why I believe seeking adventures can help everyone understand themselves. My blog is about self discovery, off the beaten path destinations and endless wanderlust. Above all, You Could Travel is about honesty. I focus on my positive experience but if something is bad or I made a mistake, I make sure to tell my readers about it so they can have a better experience, know what to avoid and what it’s worth trying. It’s about offering people a website where they can actually rely on true, honest, travel advice.
How do you travel (solo, couples, friends..)?
I travel with my partner. We both started travelling together back in 2013 and haven’t looked back since. I strongly believe that if you can travel with your other half and everything works out fine, you are a match made in heaven. I guess we were lucky to have found each other.
What is the most memorable moment which happened whilst in a foreign country?
I was in Japan in December 2015. I spent the whole month touring Honshu and loved every single moment of it. The highlight though, was on December 19th, when, on the top of Mount Hiei in Kyoto, my partner proposed to me. I couldn’t have picked a better country and a better place for it.
Do you have any products or services to offer?
Me and my partner own a digital studio in the UK called 42droids. We design and build websites, offer branding and identity services. Through my travel website, I offer to help businesses through writing, photography, SEO and social media skills.
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
It is my post about “How to behave in Japan: manners and customs”. When I visited Japan I figured how different everything is. I mean, I asked a question on the train once and the girl didn’t speak any English, hence I tried gesticulating. It turns out, even the way the Japanese gesticulate is totally different than what we are used to. I wish I could have read an article like this before going to Japan.
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
My favorite article to write was “The strange memoirs of a time traveller from Shinjuku”. I wrote this for a competition and I really enjoyed telling my Tokyo story with a pinch of fiction.
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
I love travelling by car (Japan is the exception, as I love the subway and the trains in that country). The reason why I love driving is because I feel that I can take my time to stop where I want, photograph the unusual and have an adventure. Road trips have been an integer part of my life ever since I was a little girl, as every weekend my grandfather used to drive us all to the mountains. Besides, I actually love driving, I can’t express how excited I am to jump in the car and drive somewhere new.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
If you are serious about travelling, remember to stay as flexible as possible. The best flights and hotels deals are usually during the week. Don’t be afraid to ask locals about their ways, people are good and willing to help. Don’t be scared of travelling long term, I promise you are not missing out on life by doing so. On the contrary, you are actually living in the moment and acquiring the best memories anyone can ask for. And finally, always be vigilant, always stay alert. People are good, but common sense is always needed in order to avoid trouble.
What has travel taught you?
Oh gosh, this is going to sound so cheesy, but I am certain that by travelling, I actually understood the meaning of life. It’s simpler than you think, incredibly beautiful and really wonderful.
Travel taught me how to stay real to myself and open-minded, remain independent, stay curious and have an insatiable appetite for knowledge.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? Emirates.
Favourite country? Japan.
Favourite city? Tokyo.
Favourite beach? Difficult one. I’m going to the Seychelles soon so I reckon I’m going to fall in love with real paradise soon.
Favourite food? Japanese food for sure. Just can’t decide if I prefer sushi, noodles or ramen…
Favourite language? British English and…Japanese.
Please provide the following:-
Website url? https://www.youcouldtravel.com/
Twitter handle? https://twitter.com/youcouldtravel
Facebook page? https://www.facebook.com/youcouldtravel
Google+ profile/page? https://plus.google.com/111872726718746132727/posts