A huge part of travel for me is the people I meet and the friends I make in the places I get to experience. Some of, well most of my best friends are people I have met while living overseas or travelling and the number one thing we have in common is that we get it. Get what? The whole travel life. The coming and going frequently, the moving towns often and regularly. The fact that we will rarely if ever live in the same place for long. And the feeling of saying goodbye/reuniting with each other. Soo when I meet people who share this passion and understanding I immediately want to know more about them and where their adventures have taken them. I find myself drawn to these sorts of people even if I've never even met them in real life, enter Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. The whole wide World of blogging has given me the opportunity to (virtually) meet people I would never have if it wasn't for this passion project I have.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the creative community in Bristol is the best I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of. I was able to meet and connect with so many people with a passion for photography, blogging and travelling it still blows my mind. Which brings me to the last installation of the #wanderwomanwednesday series for 2020, featuring someone I very much enjoy calling a friend. Jules from Part-Time Passport and I connected through Instagram and although we only managed to meet up once in person I've been following her adventures religiously. From staycations in and around the UK, adventures across Europe and of course the many adventures she has with her lovely pup Marnie Jules has been to so many incredible places solo, with friends or with her partner on top of holding down a full-time job, being a dog mum. Proving that you don't need to quit your job to travel the World, here is Jules for Decembers WanderWoman Wednesday feature.
Alright girl, tell all these wanderers about yourself…
Hey! I’m Jules and I live in Bristol in the U.K. with my husband and our beautiful Golden Retriever Marnie (officially my favourite travel buddy!)
I work full-time for a charity, which I love, but I’m also a perpetual wanderluster and try to travel as much as possible, alongside my job. I’m always striving to find that sweet spot between the comforts of an ordinary home life and the excitement and spontaneity of life on the road… which is exactly what led me to start my travel blog ‘Part-Time Passport’.
My aim with the blog is to provide inspiration and advice on how to travel more with a 9-5. By sharing travel tips and tried-and-tested short break itineraries, I hope to show that it is possible to juggle a busy career and home life with regular travel and adventure!
What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I hate flying! It always comes as a bit of a surprise to people, given that I’m a travel blogger by choice… But since writing about it, I’ve met so many other travel bloggers who feel the same, which is weirdly reassuring to know.
Did you always want to travel/what made you start?
I spent most of my teens daydreaming about traveling to the USA and Canada (probably because of all the American TV I watched growing up!) but it wasn’t until I finally set off on a 3-week USA road-trip in 2014 that I was well and truly bitten by the travel bug.
The freedom of the open road and the experience of seeing somewhere new every day had me completely hooked. Since then, I’ve travelled to 22 countries and 4 continents, so you could say I’m making up for lost time!
How do you decide where to travel to?
My travel wish-list is never-ending, so each year I prioritize a few destinations that excite me the most and plan in the best time of year to visit. This gives me time to save and monitor the best flight deals.
Throughout the rest of the year, I go wherever’s cheap! I’m incredibly lucky to live in Europe, with so many beautiful and diverse countries right on my doorstep, so I try to take full advantage of my location by planning in regular short breaks and weekend trips that don’t eat into my annual leave (or break the bank!)
Going where the fares are cheap, rather than heading for the “hot spots”, has enabled me to discover some incredible, lesser-known destinations. For example, I recently visited Gdansk in Poland (somewhere I’d never even heard of before booking our flights) and was completely blown away
My U.K. bucket list is also constantly growing and I try to make the most of weekends and days off by exploring places closer to home. Since having our pup, Marnie, I’ve discovered so much more of the U.K. and am happiest when hiking around a new patch of countryside, with her by my side.
What is your travel style?
I’m definitely a planner – you have to be, really, when you have limited time off! Don’t get me wrong, I think spontaneity is vital to the travel experience but I like to have the basics covered in advance, such as where to stay and how to get from A to B, so I don’t waste precious time worrying about these things once I’m there.
I’m quite an active traveler, in general, and love hiking and natural landscapes. Give me a mountain over a beach any day!
Top 3 bucket list places you’d love to visit?
It’s so difficult to choose but if I had to pick just three, it would be a safari in Tanzania/Kenya, Iceland, and Alaska. All very expensive choices unfortunately!!
What is something you wish you could share with your pre-travel life self?
I would tell myself not to worry so much. I lacked the confidence to travel in my younger years and really regret not having explored more. The more I’ve travelled, the more I’ve learned that it’s okay if things don’t go exactly to plan – it actually makes for better travel stories down the line!
Best & Worst Travel Moment?
On a personal level, travelling to Sicily was pretty life-changing for me. I’m half Sicilian a and visited for the first time a few years ago with my parents. Seeing where my dad grew up and meeting family I’d never met before was amazing – not to mention the fact that Sicily is ridiculously beautiful… and the foooood!
In terms of a specific travel moment, hiking Rainbow Mountain in Peru was spectacular. Even though the altitude was a killer (literally – I had to be given oxygen on several occasions!), seeing the colours of the mountain emerge before me, as I reached the top, was something I’ll never forget.
The worst moment was probably during a recent trip to Montenegro, where I was shocked by the number of stray dogs everywhere. The country is stunning but I found it completely heart-breaking to see so many neglected dogs in desperate need of a home.
Has your travel style changed since you started blogging? And if so how?
Food and drink has definitely become a much bigger part of the travel experience for me, since I started blogging. My pre-trip research always involves finding the best coffee shops, rooftop bars and veggie food to write about! In fact, coming to think of it most of my trips are planned around food and drink stops these days…!
I took my first food tour in Lisbon a few years ago and that was a real game-changer for me. I think local food tours are such a fantastic way to explore a new city and, since then, I’ve joined tours in Vietnam, Italy, Poland and even in my own home-town of Bristol.
Unfortunately my food photography skills still leave much to be desired, so it’s something I’m working on!
What’s next for you/the blog?
I’m keen to focus more of my content on Bristol. I’ve lived in the city for nearly 6 and a half years, now, but am still discovering new places, festivals and things to do all the time. I love sharing my passion for my hometown and have so much historic content to write up!
I also plan to create a new section on my website dedicated to dog-friendly travel. We have grand plans to take Marnie around Europe with us, once she has her puppy passport, so that will be an interesting shift in my overall travel and blogging style. I’m thinking campervan life may be on the horizon for us…!
Do you think social media has changed travel, and if so how has it changed?
Yes, I think it has - for better and for worse. I’ve personally discovered an amazing community of travel bloggers and friends through social media and am constantly inspired by their beautiful images and content on Instagram. It’s actually what drives a lot of my decision-making about where to travel next!
But it’s also impossible to ignore the negative impacts of social media when travelling. Over-tourism is a growing problem and sadly everyone seems so desperate these days to get that perfect, “Insta-worthy” shot - even at the risk of damaging natural environments and interfering with locals’ lives.
Famous Last words for all the wanderers out there...
Whether you have a hectic career, a mortgage to pay, a dog at home, or a family to raise, travel is always possible! There are lots of ways to feed your wanderlust; whether that’s through regular short breaks or simply by discovering new places closer to home. It is 100% possible to have your travel cake and eat it too!
To keep up with Jules' travel, how she makes it work wit ha 9 to 5 job, dog friendly travel options and so much more be sure to give her social channels a follow!
Instagram - @part_timepassport
Blog – https://part-timepassport.com
Facebook - @parttimepassportblo