Today I feature someone who likes to choose accommodation with a conscience, however did once make a reservation at a fictitious hotel. Please meet Robyn Clifford of The Tech Gypsy.
What is your name?
Which country do you come from/call home?
I was born in England but have been living in the beautiful city of Adelaide in South Australia for most of my life, so definitely identify as an Aussie.
Are you a backpacker/long term traveller/business traveller/live and work abroad?
I’m a bit of a mixture. For the past two years I’ve been travelling around the world, and lived as an expat in Denmark for six months of that. I don’t like to stay one place too long, but I also love to immerse myself in the culture of new countries and try to learn some of the language and traditions. I prefer to stay in accommodation with a conscience, so try to seek out eco friendly destinations.
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
I will save super hard for months and then spend it all on a trip, while using the blog to help cover accommodation and some other travel expenses. I am often working a couple or more jobs when I’m at home (so it’s not exactly a relaxing return!), and am hoping to teach overseas in Asia and Europe very soon!
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
I remember trips to Andorra where we’d go skiing or to Paris to visit Disneyland from about age six, but my first prominent solo trip was to Karijini in Western Australia which was absolute paradise.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Denmark has been truly surprising. I thought it was just a land of ice and snow (plus the wind there is intense), but I’ve discovered it has incredible beaches, beautiful countryside and has flipped my opinion of it on its head.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
A few! But definitely have been pretty lucky! In Milan there was an incident with booking a room in a hotel that didn’t exist, I’ve lost wallets and money on trains before catching flights, and have had some interesting experiences with passengers on long haul public transport. It’s all part of the excitement though, and try to keep the mindset that ‘this will make a funny story one day’ to stay positive.
Which is the worst place you’ve been to and why?
I can’t really say that anywhere I’ve visited has been awful, but I’ve had some confronting experiences when travelling in Asia. Bali was one of my first overseas solo trips, and I definitely wasn’t used to witnessing such extreme poverty. It opened my eyes to the stark differences between my sheltered life in Australia and the real struggles people are facing overseas. It made me want to travel and write in a way that discussed some more of these issues, and so the ‘travelling kindly’ segment of the website was born.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
I’m besotted with Italy. After my recent trip to Venice and Milan I can’t wait to get back over there and do some more exploring. Adelaide, my hometown, will always hold an extra special place in my heart though.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
An enormous one, and it’s always growing. My top three however are to hike to Everest base camp, swim with great white sharks and horse ride through the Grand Canyon.
Can you imagine life without travel?
Absolutely not. There’s so many places to see and only a short lifetime to do so.
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
Originally I thought I’d go to university and study until I’d reached doctorate status, but now those dreams have changed slightly. I’ve completed a geology degree and am finishing up a marine biology one, so something to do with the deep sea would be perfect. Maybe there’s a way to reconcile both science and travel in the future!
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
The Tech Gypsy, at the easy to remember www.thetechgypsy.com
When did you begin your website?
About ten months ago, though only became serious with it in the last six.
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
At first it was to keep in touch with friends and family back home, but now it’s turned into a great way to not only fund my travels, but to contribute to this incredible blogging community by connecting with likeminded travellers around the world. It’s great to put all your thoughts down in one place, where you can record your adventures, and create a little corner of inspiration for those who want to travel but aren’t right now.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
As a regular 23 year old who struggled to know what to do after university, I took to seeing the world- a notion that I think others around the world can identify with. The Tech Gypsy brings together the notions of travelling like a digital nomad, explores the latest in ecological travel technologies and offers insights into lesser known destinations. Its tagline is ‘live extraordinary’, that the world is vast and beautiful and should be explored.
Do you have any products or services to offer?
I’m currently finalising a couple of destination country e-books (Denmark and Australia) which will be available for sale soon, and have an online shop set up where readers can purchase the products I prefer to use on my travels.
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
Surprisingly my post ’24 hours in Adelaide’ has been shared the most times on social media and detailed the best things to do in this Australian city on a short amount of time. Adelaide has become really ‘trendy’ in the last couple of years- it’s been featured in some of the biggest publications around the world as a must-visit city, and wins the position of ‘most liveable city’ in Australia every year.
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
I really love writing the ‘travelling kindly’ articles. Everything from visiting Seaworld to climbing Uluru to cultural traditions to watch out for overseas, my readers really seem to respond and care about these articles the most (which is brilliant).
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
Definitely train. I love the feeling of seeing countries in a little more depth this way (though I haven’t yet had had my fill, I mostly fly), though can never pass up a good road trip!
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Just go. You’ll never have as much money as you think you’ll need, nor will you have the time you want to have. Save the small amounts and consider what you would rather have. Is it to be a fancy dinner back home, or a plane ticket between European countries? The world is vast and waiting.
What has travel taught you?
To be patient, to be open, to be kind. To realise that there’s a bigger world out there, with problems much larger than my own.
Where would you travel if you could go anywhere?
Absolutely India or Norway. India looks so colourful and full of life, while Norway’s mountains are something else. After living in Denmark for so long and not visiting, I’m desperate to tick it off soon!
What are some travel essentials you can’t do without?
My Fujifilm Mx1 is the perfect travel camera (light and takes brilliantly clear photos), my Lifeproof case on my iphone, a good book and a notepad to jot down article ideas when I think of them. I have all of these in my carry on bag so they’re with me at all times.
What’s your favourite word you’ve learnt on your travels?
Hygge. It’s Danish and basically refers to feeling cosy and comfortable, surrounded by your loved ones, usually with candles and a roaring fire. I think it’s a beautiful word, and I wish we had one like it in English.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? Qatar
Favourite country? Italy
Favourite city? Venice
Favourite beach? Exmouth, Western Australia
Favourite food? Sushi
Favourite language? I’m learning Danish, but would love to be able to speak Russian and French too!
Please provide the following:-
Website url? www.thetechgypsy.com
Twitter handle? @thetechgypsy
Facebook page? https://www.facebook.com/thetechgypsy
Google+ profile/page? https://plus.google.com/b/115570100280256588524/115570100280256588524/posts