Many travel bloggers spend an indefinite time moving from place to place. Yet today’s interviewee, Anna Lysakowska believes in slow travel and indefinite travelling is not for her.
What is your name?
Which country do you come from/call home?
I’ve been born in Poland, however I left the country a very long time ago. I’ve been calling home a few places. I’ve lived in: London and Mexico City. Currently Leiden in The Netherlands feels like home.
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
Hmm… I consider myself a long term traveller – I’ve been moving between countries for the last 10 years. However I’ve always lived, worked or studied and in the meantime going for shorter backpacking trips and travel for work.
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
As I said I always work in a country where I currently live, therefore I save money for my travels.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
The first trip abroad happened when I was 7 with my parents when we drove around Europe. My dad was going places for work while my mum and I were sightseeing. However, the first trip alone when I just spontaneously took off and left was a trip to Thailand in 2009.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Of course – a lot of places! For instance I had great expectations about Sydney, but I didn’t like it at all. It was full with drunken foreigners staying there for temporary work, plus cockroaches were running around everywhere.
On the other hand I’d have never thought that Mexico would be a very modern and great to live in city. A short trip of 2 weeks made me stay there for 2 years.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Definitely! My friends are always laughing that I’m causing disasters, especially when it comes to planes. My luggage is often lost. I experienced emergency landings or messed up reservations. Two particular stories that come to mind are when once I got stuck without money, card or phone in Johannesburg during the Icelandic volcano eruption that paralysed the flights. Also, when staying in the Amazon jungle in Ecuador my guide lost us in a jungle full of bugs, snakes and spiders for the night.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
Plenty! One of the embarrassing one was when I arrived to Mexico and was asked to get a spirit and mixer for some cocktails. At the time I haven’t spoken much Spanish, so had no idea what I was buying. Instead of a juice I got melon flavoured soy milk to go with a melon vodka. That was beyond gross. My Mexican friends don’t ever want to let it go when they see me 😉
What was the weirdest thing you experienced whilst you were in The Netherlands?
Biking in a suit in the rain – definitely.
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
Anna Everywhere http://annaeverywhere.com
When did you begin your website?
I started writing my first blog in March 2010, however in February 2014 I decided to start a new blog focusing more on practical tips about living in different places rather than only on travelling.
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
It started from when my friends were asking me to give them tips and share photos. Later on I’ve realized that I’d like to share my experiences with a broader audience and created a blog.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
I realized that I didn’t want to, as popular travel bloggers, be on the road all the time for years. More, I disagree with the idea that you should make travelling all your life. I’ve decided to combine advice for travellers with practical information for expats. Moreover, I want to show a different side of a place when you just travel there and when you actually stay there for longer and work.
You’ve studied in a range of universities around the world; do you find the learning experience differs country by country?
Definitely. For instance, in Poland you need to memorize a lot and do your homework, when in England nobody cares if you do your reading and you have almost nothing to memorize unless you want to. In the US your professors want you to take the lead and combine your studies with other hobbies you might have. I’d say each of this method is somehow good when you want to learn.
Do you have any products or services to offer?
Apart from my daytime job I’m a freelance translator. I translate to and from English, Spanish, Polish, Italian, Dutch and French.
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
10 things I never did until I lived in the Netherlands. As the title indicates, it was about weird things I’ve experienced when living in Holland.
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
I really enjoyed writing an article about my experiences in Zimbabwe where I’ve volunteered on a lion breeding project. The article is about to be published soon.
What do you enjoy the most when travelling?
I’m always looking for extreme activities that require a lot of courage. I bungee jumped from Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa, did zorbing and waterfall jump in New Zealand. In the end, after you overcome your fear you can feel the satisfaction.
I’m also a big animal lover, so everywhere I go I’m trying to interact with animals as much as I can, even though a lot of people, including my family, claim it’s not always safe. I’ve walked the lions in Zimbabwe, played with monkeys and iguanas in Ecuador, swam with dolphins in Israel, pet tigers in Thailand, kissed a manta ray in Colombia and rode an ostrich, dived with sharks and crocodiles in South Africa. I absolutely loved it all!
Please tell us about your time in Zimbabwe volunteering with lions?
In April 2010 I took off to Zimbabwe to work on a lion breeding project. I stayed a month in Antelope Park in Gweru feeding baby cubs and taking lions for walks without leashes!
You say that you disagree with the idea of making travelling all your life. What do you mean by that and what do you see as the perfect balance of travel?
I see travelling as a great experience and I don’t think I’d be able to live without travelling. However, I know that apart from great travel experiences I’d like to have my career and private life set. Therefore I’m always trying to keep the balance between these two.
What is your involvement with flipit.com?
I’m working as a content manager at Flipit – a website offering deals and coupon codes to get a discount when shopping online in various countries. I could definitely recommend this website for travellers and expats looking to shop for less.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Travel when and where you can when you’re young, however don’t ever forget about the future. You need to always remember that travelling will end one day for you (if you want to argue with that take it as ‘you’ll run out of places to visit’) and then you’d feel the urge to get a job and set a family. These things cannot be built upon work experience at local bars or hostels.
What has travel taught you?
I’ve learned not to give up. Travelling and living abroad has made me face so many difficult situations I had to overcome to move further. I’ve also learned a lot about different cultures and languages.
Apart from it, I’ve also realized that after so many hours up in the air I hate flying 😉
Favourite airline? South African Airlines or Aeromexico.
Favourite country? Not a country, but a part of it – Galapagos Islands (Ecuador). Also South Africa, Israel, Mexico.
Favourite city? London, UK
Favourite beach? Fiji islands
Favourite food? Mexican
Favourite language? I pretty much enjoy all languages.
Website url? http://annaeverywhere.com
Twitter handle? https://twitter.com/AnnaEverywhere_
Facebook page? https://www.facebook.com/AnnaEverywhere