Today’s guest offers a unique perspective, she is easy either way if you read her blog or not, oh and she wants to start a bar fight! Enjoy this interview with travel blogger Lauren Gaile of Pandelicious.
What is your name?
I respond to the sound, Lauren.
Which country do you come from/call home?
Born and bred in the sun-drenched group of islands called The Philippines.
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
I’m a sporadic backpacker.
How do you fund2 your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
I try to save up by waitressing at an Indian restaurant, not buying expensive clothes and not using the latest phones. I also don’t have a lot of friends so I don’t need to go out every weekend.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
I remember being on a ship with my Mom and running around our cabin, it was during the heyday of cruise ship traveling in my country, only to be replaced a decade later with Low Cost Carrier Airlines. Back then life was easier, of course it was maybe because I was 4 and still cute.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
I like surprises so I tend to not to have any pre-conceived notions about a place. But I do remember being pleasantly delighted with how nice the Chinese have been, to the extent that I attracted a small mob of people when I didn’t know how to get to a bus station. It was in Shanghai, a crowded and very cosmopolitan city. Knowing that a lot of them will devote their time to help a fella out alleviated my worries about the language barrier being a hindrance to getting a great experience.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Also in Shanghai, reeling from feeling good and trusting everyone, I failed to double check the 200$ worth of bus tickets I just bought—turns out they were for a completely different terminal. That left a huge dent in my pocket especially since prior my flight to China I lost my wallet with my IDs and most of my money. Yet the show must go on.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
If you like jokes of the Schadenfreude variety then I have a lot of those.
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
Slums. Romanticising poverty is the absolute douchiest thing any traveler can do. Regardless of race and citizenship, all people deserve a clean environment.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Mihwangsa Temple, Ttangkeut, Korea- A Buddhist temple nestled within the mountains, in a town literally called Land’s End. The place is very special and felt like something out of a child’s book.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
I can think of things from the top of my head- it ranges from spending a night in jail, but with absolutely zero police records, to screaming “next round is on me” at a full pub- and starting a bar fight, to converting a neo-Nazi’s view forever, and spending a month in a Kibbutz. But my most immediate desire to do now is learning how to whistle.
Can you imagine life without travel?
Considering that humans can imagine pretty much everything, including marrying Scarlett Johansson. Yes.
Although like a life spent only in a room, watching Netflix, it wouldn’t be much fun.
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
I already spend a huge chunk of my year not traveling, so it’s not a death sentence for sure. I like looking forward to my trips that happen interspersed throughout school, my job and staying home. I read a lot too, so that helps. I think I’m not at a situation where travel is the end and be all of my life, I’m not dead set on a path yet, I still crave variety in how I spend my days.
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
It’s www.pandelicious.com and it has confused many people about why it is the way it is.
When did you begin your website?
It started as a hobby in 2008, with a defunct platform called Multiply, writing about tween stuff while dreaming about pink hair. I then moved into different domains with the same speed as Lindsay Lohan on Tequila Tuesdays, finally settling into my current site Pandelicious, which has confused and turned off readers since 2012.
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
Because I consider myself as a writer who travels than a traveler who writes, with the term writer used very loosely. It just so happens that both of my interests dovetails nicely together. Having a public blog is a beautiful memorial for past memories, if people should stumble upon my posts and feel inspired to visit the same place, or reminisce about the time they’ve been, then that’s a very good thing for me.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
Do or don’t, it’s cool. My site is unique in the same way a sequinned bed spread is comfy, or a two legged puppy is cute.
Do you have any products or services to offer?
Not that I know of.
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
I wrote about A Traveller’s Horoscope by The Day/Week/Millenia and it has generated a lot of comments, even if it didn’t go viral. People really like to bond over things that describe who they are. Also, it didn’t matter that I have no powers of divinity, instead, I just pretty much salvaged the article with comedy.
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
It’s a toss-up between Bright Lights, Big City Macau and What’s the Buzz in Bantayan. Those two articles mixed just the right amount of creative writing without losing the essence of the place I was writing about.
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
Trains definitely, it is historical and environmentally friendly, short of walking or biking. You can class it up or go as cheap as you can. It also speaks of colonialism in many parts of the world. When I’m not on trains I also love motorbikes because I like to go fast.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Start by being a tourist in your own city, then save up, book that flight and don’t forget to pack your kind spirit.
What has travel taught you?
I hope it made me into a better person, one who is culturally aware and sensitive. I always go to a new place with an open mind and not have a country live up to my expectations. I hope more travelers are aware of how offensive ethnocentrism is, I’ve seen bloggers slam a culture because it doesn’t fit their standards—even if those are arbitrary. As a guest I always try to be respectful of what is their norms and just enjoy the experience.
Basically, travel if done right teaches Humility; we are but a tiny dot on the face of the Earth. Patience; another bus will come! Just 15 more hours of no sleep to go, and loads of wicked-ass practical skills such as how to pack, lightning fast math from calculating time zones and currency fluctuations and interpreting speech—the list goes on and on.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? Air Canada.
Favourite country? It’s like picking between your kids! Unfair, but if I really had to it would be Canada.
Favourite city? Seoul, Korea
Favourite beach? Palaui Island, Philippines
Favourite food? Sisig= Spicy sizzled pork ears
Favourite language? Yiddish. It’s guttural and funny.
Please provide the following:-
Website url? www.pandelicious.com
Facebook page? www.facebook.com/PandeliciousBlog
Google+ profile/page? https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LaurenGaile/