When did you first know you were a traveler?
Since I was a kid.
What do you do for work?
Communications work primarily for startups and non-profits.
Tell me a little about where you've gone?
Digital Nomad for 3 years - Spain, Slovenia, France, US, Nicaragua, Mexico, Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, now Estonia.
I have to remind myself, it's not a full-time holiday; it's a full-time job in different places.
What has been your favorite place you've traveled to so far? Where has left a great impression on you?
Learn to leave behind what you don't need, learn to use just what is necessary and share with others. Reciprocate; respect somebody and you will likely receive respect, help and you will receive help. But the same goes the other way, hurt and you will be hurt. -
Angelo Paolo Noviello
What are your favorite items that you always travel with?
Key desk items like my roost laptop stand, good books, massage ball, loose leaf tea, moleskine notepad -plenty more. I like to travel with as little single use stuff as possible, reusable coffee cup, water bottle, handkerchief, napkins, straw, cutlery.
For your backpack, What size do you carry? Can you speak a bit about what things you stopped carrying over time, and what you replaced to keep a light load?
I travel with a 75l Caribee backpack. I had a standard pack I'd had for over a decade. When I was gifted this one I thought I wouldn't need it on wheels - but I was wrong. Nine times out of ten the wheels are the most convenient. My back is thankful too!
My baggage used to be around 20-23 it's now down to 15-18. I've cut back a lot on clothes, using jewelry I pick up from around the world to jazz up different outfits. I've cut right back on hair and beauty products, opting for lush solids etc. We used to travel with a Peruvian throw and a few homely feeling knick knacks when we started, we've stripped that right back now. Everything in my bag has a purpose and a lot of thought has gone into why I have it. I love everything that is in my bag. I travel with extra pieces that mean I cut down on my single use plastic where possible too.
Books is where I haven't cut back though, I can't get on with a Kindle!
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You mentioned that you often read books that are written in or about a place before or while you are there. Can you tell me some specific books you read about where you were going?
Sometimes I look up recommended lists before I go but often I ask around when I'm in the country; the woman running the free walking tour, person in the bookshop etc. If I'm in a place for a few weeks I'll try and read 1 piece of literature. For example here in Estonia I'm reading The Man Who Spoke Snakish - a fantasy fiction looking at forest life at the turn of the agricultural revolution. Reading it while I'm a cabin in the woods made for a very atmospheric experience.
It adds another dimension to the country you're in, an invaluable one in my opinion.
What advice would you give to a new traveler?
Look after your back, you will always overestimate how much you can fit in, travel days take recovery time. You don't need to see EVERYTHING! Immerse yourself in the local culture as much as possible - and my personal fave - try reading historical fiction by an author from the country you're in - an emotional way under the skin of the culture.