In today’s travel blogger interview with Stéphanie Smolders we meet someone who was fortunate enough to obtain complimentary flight upgrades from a very unusual source.
What is your name?
Which country do you come from/call home?
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
You can call me a part-time traveller. Every month I need to get away. Soon I will be a long term traveller!
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
I still work full time and I save a lot.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
The first trip I remember was to Spain with my family. I’ve been on trips before I was even born. My mother worked abroad and travelled quite a bit. So it does run in the family.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
A few places. Last year I was in Montenegro and the country really surprised me. It is an amazing country. The nature, the people, the way of living. I could never imagine that Montenegro would amaze me this much.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Me personally have never experienced something ‘bad’. There is one story that involves me, but it didn’t hurt me. The wallet of my mother got stolen on a bus and we didn’t have any money for more than a week. Some people of the hotel loaned us some. It makes me believe that there is still so many good people all across the globe.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
I have a lot of funny stories. You can find some of them on my website. One that isn’t on there is a story from when I travelled to Brazil all by myself at age 18. I had a ticket from Belgium to Zurich to Sao Paolo to Victoria. Lucky for me an older (+40) man was on my flight from Belgium to Zurich. We started talking and he really liked my story of why I was traveling. He ended up paying me a upgrade on every flight to business. The funny thing about this story is that he had a daughter with the same age and the same name as me. He was inspired by me and even emailed me after his trip.
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
This is a difficult one to answer. I always try to see some positive sides when things aren’t like planned. I can be upset about it for some hours but always try to turn my negativity to something more positive.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
I guess Spain or Brazil.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
Yes, a quite extensive list of life goals. You can find them all on my blog. I hope I can inspire you to write your own list and go on an adventure!
Can you imagine life without travel?
NO! If I haven’t travelled for some time I get sad and need to get away. Even if it’s just in my own country.
If you were not traveling what would you be doing instead?
When I’m not traveling I’m teaching in a primary school. My kids always love to hear my stories.
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
The blog is called after me. I didn’t have any inspiration at the time and I still like it. I never have to introduce myself 😉 http://stephaniesmolders.com
When did you begin your website stephanie smolders?
I think it’s about 1,5 years ago. On a 2 months vacation I got asked a lot about all my travels that time. So I started to write about them on a small website. This grew into this baby that it now is.
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
I always loved writing as a kid but I stopped when I was in college. So when I was at university I started writing again. You can look at is as a hobby for me. I’m not in it for the money. If I could make a living of it one day that would be great. If not, that’s fine too. I’ll keep doing it anyway.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
Because every article is honest and with my tone of voice. Everyone in this world is different and unique so that makes my website one of a kind. Just like yours is unique in it’s own way!
Do you have any products or services to offer?
At the moment I don’t sell any products or services but I’m always up to share information, to make new friend. So i’m offering my ‘service’ as a friend across the globe 😉
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
It’s a blog post writing in Dutch about me getting married. I’m still not married to another person, but I’m married to myself. The post is about loving yourself and doing what you love despite what other people tell you to do! I think I even have translated it to English because my website is in English now.
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
The same article as mentioned above. Articles where I can share my view on the world are my favorites.
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
I’m not a bus kinda person but I do love planes, trains and cars.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Try to enjoy every minute of it. Don’t get caught up in the game of ‘seeing it all’.
What has travel taught you?
There will be a blog post about this question soon 😉 Stay tuned!
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? Emirates
Favourite country? Spain/ Brazil
Favourite city? Barcelona
Favourite beach? Bahiahibe in Dominican Republic
Favourite food? Vegetarian pasta for sure!
Favourite language? Spanish but I can’t talk it yet 😉 just some words.
Please provide the following:-
Website url? http://stephaniesmolders.com
Twitter handle? https://twitter.com/StephSmolders
Facebook page? https://www.facebook.com/StephSmolders
Google+ profile/page? https://plus.google.com/u/0/+StéphanieSmolders
StumbleUpon? username: ssmolders