Interview With Travel Blogger Evanne Allen Of Poplar Travels @PoplarTravels

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When you fall in love with travel from the age of 16 it is little wonder some quit their jobs to travel. Today’s guest left her job at a famous museum for a life on the road. Please meet travel blogger Evanne Allen from Poplar Travels.

Exploring Ayutthaya Historical park in Thailand with Evanne Allen of Poplar Travels

Exploring Ayutthaya Historical park in Thailand

What is your name?

Evanne Allen

Which country do you come from/call home?

The United States

Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?

I am a long term/frequent traveler currently living in Thailand with my boyfriend and co-blogger Eric.

Eric and I at the Big Buddha by Evanne Allen of Poplar Travels

Eric and I at the Big Buddha

How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?

Savings at first and now freelance writing, too.

What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?

I have been traveling with my family since I was very young, but one that stands out is a family trip to Colorado. I was about 8 years old and I remember how beautiful Telluride was and also getting a nosebleed because the air was so dry! I loved getting to see such a different terrain since I grew up on the East Coast.

Admiring doors at the Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai with Evanne Allen of Poplar Travels

Admiring doors at the Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai

Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?

Los Angeles was not what I expected at all. I have visited a friend who lives in Manhattan beach a couple times and it is not what I thought it would be, but not in a bad way. I guess everyone who isn’t from California pretty much thinks of LA as a giant movie set and it is not that glamorous… Great beaches, though!

Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?

Nothing too terrible, but I have lost my backpacking partner in the middle of the night in Barcelona. That was pretty scary. On that same trip we missed the train from London to Paris and couldn’t afford to buy another ticket. Someone finally took pity on us and let us have new ones at a discount.

Do you have any funny travel stories?

During a trip to Paris I stayed out with some friends until 4 a.m. and we couldn’t find a way home. We were starting to get freaked out because we were walking around in the dark looking for a taxi (there were none), but we found a couple of police officers standing outside their van and asked them for help. Their response was “Why don’t you wait 30 minutes for the subway to open.” So we hung out with some cops on a street corner until the city woke up and it turned out to be a fun night!

Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?

Did I mention I lost my friend in Barcelona? I have to say it’s my least favorite city I’ve been to, even though my feelings are totally based on circumstance. I’ve been twice and nothing went right either time. I don’t hate it though; I even included it in my list of 5 cities I’d like to go back to.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

I studied abroad in Madrid and it will always have a special place in my heart. I love Spain so much I think about it all the time. There are so many wonderful places to explore and it is such a diverse country. Who doesn’t love tapas and wine? Everything about the food culture there is just amazing. Madrid also has stunning parks and of course museums that you should really check out if you are ever there.

Can you imagine life without travel?

How boring! We wouldn’t meet people from other cultures and everyone would have a pretty limited perspective on the world.

Making friends at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai by Evanne Allen of Poplar Travels

Making friends at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai

If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?

Working at a museum. I left my job at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. to travel, and if I weren’t traveling, I would still love to be working at a museum. If I can’t go to another country I’d at least like to be working with the study of culture.

What is the name of your travel blog and the url?

Poplar Travels at You can read an explanation of the name on our About Us page.

Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?

We write to share our stories, to share our knowledge and to help us reflect on our own experiences. It’s a wonderful creative outlet and a fun way to connect with people.

What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?

Our site is unique because we focus on experience and getting the most out of your travels. That could mean staying at the most exclusive luxury resort in the country or sleeping on the floor in a remote hill tribe village. We hike active volcanoes one day and work at free eye clinics the next. We show that you can travel responsibly and still enjoy the finer things in life.

Taking in the trees in The National Botanical Garden in Singapore with Evanne Allen of Poplar Travels

Taking in the trees in The National Botanical Garden in Singapore

What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)

Whatever gets me there fastest, unless some spectacular views are involved! Cars would be my least favorite, since I get motion sickness so easily (but somehow not seasick).

Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?

Do it! Just do it. If we can do it you can do it. If you think money is preventing you, then here are some tips to save. If we can, you can!

Taking in the view of Marina Bay in Singapore with Evanne Allen of Poplar Travels

Taking in the view of Marina Bay in Singapore

What has travel taught you?

Travel has taught me not to take any experience for granted and to really appreciate everything I get to see and do. We can learn from everything that happens to us, and we always have the opportunity to have a positive impact on those around us.

What do you travel with that you could never leave at home?

My camera is always with me. Taking pictures doesn’t just create great memories or bragging rights, it also forces you to slow down sometimes and look at things in a different way. I’m way more likely to get up close and examine the details of a Buddhist temple if I’m taking a photo.

One of my favorite photos taken during the 10,000 monks procession in Chiang Mai by Evanne Allen of Poplar Travels

One of my favorite photos: taken during the 10,000 monks procession in Chiang Mai

What is your favorite museum?

Obviously I’m a little biased towards the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., since I used to work there, but my absolute favorite museum is the Museo de Sorolla in Madrid. The museum is actually the painter’s house converted into a museum after his death. Everything was left pretty much as he left it and the walls are covered in his paintings. There is a fabulous garden in the front and I loved going there and imagining what his life must have been like in that space.

What has been your favorite adventure activity on your blog?

Anything that involves heights is more Eric’s cup of tea, and I much prefer SCUBA diving. I’ll take breathing under water over rappelling into an abyss any day, but I’m always glad I did it. Hopefully the more I climb the braver I’ll get!

Hong Island off the coast of Krabi, Thailand with Evanne Allen of Poplar Travels

Hong Island off the coast of Krabi, Thailand

Quick fire questions:-

Favourite airline? Thai Airways

Favourite country? America! (Gotta love home)

Favourite city? Singapore

Favourite beach? Cape Panwa, Phuket

Favourite food? This is an impossible question. Right now it’s Pad Kra Pow, but it changes all the time.

Favourite language? Spanish

Please provide the following:-

Website url?

Twitter handle? @poplartravels

Facebook page?

Google+ profile/page?


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  1. Great interview! I like Evanne’s approach balancing budgeting and experience. I feel that this sort of approach makes travel accessable to just about anyone.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I look forward to reading more interviews, it’s always fun to get to know a little more about fellow bloggers

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