For today’s interview it I have someone who is a big believer in travel, the art of writing and a big lover of football. Please meet the person who is Nomadic Megan.
What is your name?
Which country do you come from/call home?
I’m from The States. Philadelphia, to be exact.
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
I currently am living and working abroad. I am a TESOL teacher living in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
I came to Thailand with a meager amount of savings. Mostly, my travels are funded by living/working rather than just traveling abroad. I find living and working in a country not only makes travel more cost efficient but also more rewarding. When I finish teaching in Thailand, I will continue to work (Teaching, Non-Profits, etc.) and live abroad… far into the foreseeable future.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
When I was in seventeen I left home for the first time to visit Italy. I remember most notably having a historical field day- my life as a history nerd/lover started early and eating lots of amazing food. From that moment on, I’ve been quite unable to stop traveling; my trip to Italy assured me that there were an endless number of destinations containing endless history, food, and people to acquaint myself with.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
I was backpacking through the Balkans for about a month a few years back. On my way from Serbia to Croatia I’d allotted a small number of days to see Sarajevo and then perhaps Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina. But I was completely drawn in and admittedly wrong about both locations. I’d imagined them to be scarred by war and not much else. But both were culturally rich, strikingly beautiful, ancient cities that enchanted me and I found myself quite unable to leave any faster than a week and a half.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst traveling?
Now and then some unfortunate things slip into my travels: broken down bus, food poisoning, getting ripped off, etc… But that comes with the territory. Traveling without any mishap doesn’t feel nearly as authentic.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
My friends and I were about to miss a train departing from Prague headed to Berlin. It was pulling away and we were across a few tracks. So in a mad dash we ran across the tracks, climbed a wall, and ran/jumped onto the slowly moving train. We spent the next twenty minutes in laughing hysterics arguing over who looked more like James Bond.
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
I thought long and hard about this one. And while there are certainly places that didn’t stun me with beauty or end up a favorite, I don’t think there’s any where that I have traveled that left me completely unimpressed or under the impression it had nothing to offer. Whether it be an interesting history, an endearing new friend, some good food… every place has something to offer. I don’t think there is a worst place I’ve been to.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Airports. Nothing excites me more than knowing I’m about to go somewhere.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
I don’t have a concrete one written down anywhere. But there are certainly a number of things I intend to do in my life, some highlights include migrating across The USA for a few years, I want to spend time living with/getting to know the Sherpas in Nepal, and I want to backpack through Central and South America. I also would really like to go everywhere else in the world as well. That is also on the ‘list’.
Can you imagine life without travel?
I cannot. I also cannot imagine myself without travel. I’ve been fortunate to have had and have made opportunities to do it a lot in my life and it has completely shaped who I am and how I live- for the better, I believe.
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
Dying …Only sort of kidding. I’d be living in a city somewhere…Precisely what city is as unpredictable as what the weather will be like next month. I’d pursue lifestyles in teaching, writing, or working for some sort of NGO or Non-Profit.
How did you end up in Thailand?
I studied abroad in Prague and though I loved it and would love to go back there, I knew I wanted to live abroad again and that I wanted to push myself even further outside my comfort zone. So I settled on Thailand: quite literally the opposite of the globe from where I grew up, a culture completely foreign and appealing to me, and a job doing something that I enjoy.
You have an interesting article about how Thierry Henry helped you make it to the 2010 Football World Cup. Are you planning on going to the 2014 Football World Cup? If so, who are you following?
I have been completely set on attending the 2014 Football World Cup ever since the 2010 World Cup ended. So yes, I will be there. Tickets are an on-going process, I’m currently still trying to get my hands on tickets to follow my home nation- The USA. If that doesn’t work out I’ll likely end up buying a handful of venue specific tickets for Rio and soak up the football atmosphere there for the tournament.
You openly state your love of reading and literature. How do you make this fit into a travel blog?
I seek to incorporate both literature and history into not only my understanding of a culture or country but also in how I represent it. I think both are intrinsically tied to every place you visit, and without them you lose so much understanding. And so when I write about a place, I include literature and I include history. I also think that my love of writing as an art form guides how I aspire to write in my travel writing. I don’t want to write personal diatribes on self-revelation or top ten lists, I want to write literary representations of culture and place.
What is your favourite travel quote?
“Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.”- Jhumpa Lahiri.
Do you have any products or services to offer?
Reviews, interviews, guest posts, article submissions.
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
My most successful blog post was about my visit to Thailand’s bloody Vegetarian Festival last October. Check out the post if you can handle the gory pics…. !
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
When I first got to Thailand I got stuck in a rainstorm on the beach my first week. I was rescued from the rain by an old Thai woman who fed me fruit and chatted me up in broken English for an hour. That experience and that post are among my favorite memories in Thailand. The article is called, “Shelter from the Storm”.
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
I’m a huge fan of trains. They feel like a more personal way to travel within a country. You are able to see more, and go through more, than is available via boat or plane. Trains are often more scenic and less congested than car travel. Trains are also easy places to make friends or befriend a local.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Take a few risks, do some things that seem random, go to a town that tourists don’t visit, travel solo if you can… rewarding travel pushes you outside of your comfort zones, so be sure to do that.
What has travel taught you?
Travel has taught me to not only accept, but to welcome and crave change. It has taught me to accept- calmly- stressful situations. It has, more than anything else, taught me that there are an endless number of ways to live your life and that seeing how other people choose to live will only enhance how you do.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? AirAsia- so cheap! I flew from Bangkok to Hanoi for about 30 USD.
Favourite country? My favorite country is an evolving status, there are so many that I love or appreciate for differing reasons. But among my most loved are Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey and the Czech Republic.
Favourite city? A difficult question, I have (more than) a few: Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Prague, Sarajevo, Istanbul, Cape Town.
Favourite beach? Koh Tao in Thailand… It’s a very chilled out place filled with young expatriates living out their scuba diving dreams.
Favourite food? An assortment of Thai, Indian, and Mexican foods.
Favourite language? Perhaps surprisingly: German.
Please provide the following:-
Website url? www.nomadicmegan.com
Twitter handle? @nomadicmegan
Facebook page? http://facebook.com/nomadicmegan