This travel blogger interview features Kim Olson from Life of Exploring. Not only is she a world traveller but also a very skilled photographer too.
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?
Nope, for now I travel as much as I can, but I prefer having a home base to return to.
How do you fund your travel (savings/work whilst travelling/other)?
Savings mixed with a little bit of travel hacking.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
I flew with my mom to Germany when I was about two or three and I have a vague memory of eating ice cream.
Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Not really, actually, but maybe that’s because I’ve mostly traveled to countries that don’t feel drastically different from my own. Plus, with the proliferation of images and videos I find it hard to be totally surprised.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Luckily I don’t really have any true horror stories. I have forgotten plane tickets and passports at times, but those things were (fairly) easily rectified.
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Well, that depends on what type of experience I’m looking for. For hiking and incredible mountain scenery, I’d say the Italian Dolomites or the Swiss Alps. And for cities, New York and London are at the top of the list.
Where is one place you’ve been you don’t need to go back to?
Probably Nebraska. I’ve seen enough cornfields to last a lifetime.
What’s one of your favorite travel memories?
Eating bread and cheese on the banks of the Seine in Paris with my friend Clare. We were broke college students and it was a cheap, fun way to enjoy the city.
What’s one experience you think every traveler should have?
I think it’s great to travel to places near you, but it’s even better to travel somewhere where you don’t know the language and are outside of your comfort zone.
Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?
Yeah, I’d love to see polar bears in the wild, visit all 50 states, 59 national parks and 7 continents.
Can you imagine life without travel?
Not at all! It might just be the one thing I wish I could do all the time.
If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?
Spending time with friends and family, getting outside or reading.
What is the name of your travel blog and the url?
Life of Exploring at http://lifeofexploring.com
When did you begin your website Life of Exploring?
In 2016. It’s just a baby!
Why do you write (for money/connecting with people/therapeutic/fun)?
I started the site for a few different reasons. The main reason is because I wanted a place to encourage people to get outside and explore more of our world. I also wanted to share what I learn, work on my writing and meet like-minded people.
What makes your site so unique and why should people read it?
While travel is a big part of my life and my site, it’s not the only focus and I also write about other topics I think are important – like creativity, mindfulness and simplifying.
Do you have any products or services to offer?
Yeah, since I’m a photographer who’s big on simplifying, I wrote a book called Simpler Photo to teach beginners only what they really need to know to get started. It’s a short guide that’s not overly technical and covers all the essentials without being overwhelming.
What has been your most successful blog post to date and what was it about?
The most popular post isn’t a single post but a series I wrote called “Photography for Minimalists”. The articles aim to help people take better photos with less gear. It’s kinda like a shorter version of my book Simpler Photo.
What has been your favourite article to write either for your blog or another publication?
I quite enjoyed writing about my recent visit to Joshua Tree National Park. There were the trees, of course, but also the unexpected appearance of bullets.
What is your favourite mode of transport? (plane/train/boat/car)
Trains are by far my favorite and most relaxing way to travel. Wish the U.S. had a better railway system!
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Yes, don’t wait to travel. I’ve heard so many excuses from people – I don’t have anyone to travel with, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the time – and none of the excuses are all that valid if you really want to travel. Traveling solo can be fun, you can almost always find ways to spend less and save more, and if you really want to travel you need to make the time.
What has travel taught you?
So many things. But I’m probably most thankful for the learning experiences. By traveling, I’ve become more patient, understanding and interested in just about everything.
Quick fire questions:-
Favourite airline? Lufthansa (though I honestly haven’t flown that many non-US ones which I’ve heard are better)
Favourite country? Italy, maybe?
Favourite city? Ugh, these questions are hard – I’m always happy to go back to London and I’d like to explore Paris more.
Favourite beach? I have a soft spot for Ala Moana Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii because it was where I went all the time when I lived there.
Favourite food? Pizza. No, chocolate cake. Or really good French bread. I can’t decide.
Favourite language? Italian.
Please provide the following:-
Website url? http://lifeofexploring.com
Twitter handle? https://twitter.com/lifeofexploring