I’m very excited to introduce you to a fabulous travel blogger and good friend. Ladies and gentlemen please meet Sam Starling.
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?
I’ve been a bit of both. I worked in Spain for 6 months, Backpacked for 4 and am currently living and working in Australia, being sent to San Francisco occasionally for business!
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
I had a boring office job to save for my big trip, and am currently working in a really cool start up company to save to travel Australia. I also do a few writing bits on the side. And have to try my best not to shop!
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
Errrm, I vaguely remember my trip to Disneyland Paris, at 5 years old. It was magical! I love Disney!
When did you begin this current trip?
I left London on the 26th April 2013.
Where have you been to so far?
I travelled Asia for 4 months, then landed in Sydney. My Asia highlight was definitely the Perhentian Islands, off the East Coast of Malaysia. They are so beautiful and hidden. It’s been such an amazing experience so far, and this is only the start of it!
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Singapore surprised me. I knew it would be super clean, but I felt like I was back home in the UK. Seriously weird after coming from Kuala Lumpur!
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Luckily, not really. I’ve fallen for a couple of silly scams, and been through a break up, but nothing worth moaning about.
Do you have any funny travel stories?
When I was in Venice the gondolier let me ‘drive’ the boat. As I was steering, I lost my balance, tripped and almost fell head first into the canal. Luckily he was there to catch me!
When I worked in Spain, I had to host evening game shows for tourists. One night I seemed to be very popular, which boosted my confidence a little. It wasn’t until, 4 hours later, when I came off stage that somebody told me the dress I was wearing actually appeared see-through under the stage lights, revealing pretty much everything to an audience of over a thousand people. Huge wardrobe malfunction there.
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
I hated Koh Samui. I have no idea why it is such a raved about holiday destination! I found it overly touristy and seedy, with absolutely zero culture or character.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
This is the hardest question ever. I have too many. City- wise I love London, Barcelona and New York. Beach- wise and diving, it has to be the Perhentian Islands or Koh Tao. And Sydney is my new home and I think it’s fabulous. It’s impossible to choose just one place!
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
I do indeed (http://totallysamsworld.com/travel-bucketlist/) There’s a bunch of stuff on it. I have ticked off quite a bit recently, and hoping to get more done while I am in Oz. I can’t wait to spend New Years Eve in Sydney!
Can you imagine life without travel?
No way. I would be so miserable! I look forward to travel, it keeps me going when times are tough!
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
Aside from being totally miserable, I would probably be writing about it and training hard as a dancer.
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
Totally Sam’s World – www.totallysamsworld.com
When did you begin your website?
I started it in June 2012, to talk about travel with people who enjoyed listening, rather than my friends who I used to bore with it! Then, as I travelled more, and gained more readers, it has become more like a job rather than just a hobby (which is a good thing!).
You are currently travelling with your partner. Do you find travel reinforces your relationship or has it caused some, shall we say, bite your lip moments?
Errrrm, yeah… about that. We broke up! Hehe. It was pretty intense. We have a great time travelling Asia together, but I guess some things just aren’t meant to be.
You also have another travel companion who occasionally features on your website and has his own twitter account. Please tell us about him.
That little knitted doggy, Boofle. What a little sweetheart. Boofle used to sneak into my bag whenever I went travelling. He’s got the bug! So now, I take him away with me to see the world and star in TSW! You can follow him on Twitter @BoofleTravels
You openly admit to a love of dance and pole dancing. Are you able to fit these into your travels? If so, how?
Dancing is like travel, it is an escape. I couldn’t live without it. It’s hard to fit it all in, but I usually manage. When I was in Asia, I used to practise on any pole shaped item I could find (that obviously didn’t disrespect the locals!) and I am currently training at the famous Bobbi’s Pole Studio in Sydney. It’s great fun and a good way to keep fit. I need to burn off all that yummy food somehow!
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
I find it very therapeutic. It’s like an outlet for my emotions. I like to share my passion of travel with others who feel the same and share tips and stories with people. Writing is a very personal hobby and I love every minute of it.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
It reflects who I am, how I speak and what I think. It’s fun, friendly and informative. I like to have a giggle in my posts and share tips and stories with people all over the world. If you love to smile and enjoy travelling, then you should check it out.
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
I really enjoyed writing my PADI Open Water post while in Koh Tao, purely because it was such a huge personal achievement and I want everybody to experience the magic of scuba diving. PADI even tweeted me about it, which was nice.
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
Oh goodness, I hate them all! Probably road. Unless I’m in a sleeper bus travelling the coast of Vietnam.
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Pack your bags and just go. There’s always going to be a reason not to do something, so you ignore them, do it now and have no regrets.
What has travel taught you?
To be open minded, relax and not plan everything. The best experiences and kindest people appear when you least expect them to.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? Virgin Atlantic
Favourite country? Australia
Favourite city? Barcelona
Favourite beach? Coral Bay, Perhentian Islands or An Bang, Vietnam
Favourite food? Thai. YUM.
Favourite language? Spanish
Please provide the following:-
Website url? www.totallysamsworld.com
Facebook page? https://www.facebook.com/totallysamsworld