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 my best friends are the people I have met while living overseas and the number one thing we have in coming is that we get it. Get what? This whole travel life. The coming & going frequently, the moving towns often & somewhat regularly. The fact that we rarely live in the same place for long and in turn the feeling of saying goodbye/reuniting once a year (if we're lucky). So when I meet people who share this same passion I immediately want to know more about them and where their adventures have taken them.
I've said it before and I've even written a blog post about it (which you'll find here) the creative community in Bristol is like nowhere else I've ever lived. I've never been watching someones Instagram stories one day and then the next meeting up with them to eat at a classic Bristol establishment (RIP The Pi Shop). But that is exactly how I came to meet Charlie of The Millennial Runaway. Her website bio reads like this ''Hello! I’m Charlie, a part-time traveler sticking the middle finger up to societal pressures and travelling by whatever means necessary.'' which makes me laugh but also is very relevant these days. In a day & age where so many posts about quitting your job to travel full time are floating around it's nice to see something a little easier to relate to. There are people who love their jobs AND love to travel and Charlie does an a amazing job of showcasing just that. For that and so many more reasons she is the months WanderWoman
Alright girl, tell all these wanderers about yourself…
Well, I’m pretty ordinary! I’m a full-time Marketing Manager who uses every inch of my free time to discover something new, and that could just be a new restaurant nearby. During the week I live with my parents in Gloucester, and on the weekends I live with my boyfriend (and his housemate) in Bristol. It’s this living arrangement that enables me to travel since my outgoings are minimal. I share my Netflix and they share their digs – that’s fair right?
What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
Despite how much I like to travel, I’m definitely a home-bird and I actually love living in the UK. It’s part of what drove me to start The Millennial Runaway, everywhere I looked there were people jetting off to an exotic location for a laptop lifestyle and I felt like I was under-represented as someone who just didn’t want that. I love to explore new places – and then come home again and see my surroundings with fresh eyes. What can I say? No one does a cup of tea like the Brits!
Did you always want to travel/what made you start?
I can attribute my travelling nature to my childhood, my parents were in the military which meant we moved around a lot when I was younger – even settling in Belgium for a few years. But it was in 2012 when I really caught the travel bug. After graduating from university and turning 21 in the same year, I wanted to do something big, so I enrolled on the Trek America tour across Western USA and after two weeks I was hooked! With few job prospects after university, a hunger to travel and not knowing what I wanted to do, I spent two months in China with CRCC Asia and The Dragon Trip, the first month completing an internship and the second travelling. It was this that led me to the first step on my career ladder, but I knew travel was now a big part of my life.
How do you decide where to travel to?
As I’m restricted by the holiday allowance I get from my full-time job (twenty days plus the UK bank holidays) I tend to do one international trip over a one to two week period, and several Euro-trips over long weekends. I ALWAYS work my holidays around the bank holidays to get the most out of my time away (even though it’s more expensive). I actually have my holiday dates worked out for the next few years, and tend to slot in the places I want to see the most.
What is your travel style?
My travel style is quite sporadic and is definitely dictated by the time I have to spend in a place. I’m neither budget nor luxury, but in some ways I’m driven by convenience.
Top 3 bucket list places you’d love to visit?
When people ask me where I want to go, my answer is always everywhere! But if time and money were no object I’d definitely jump on a plane to India, Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands.
Best advice you can give to someone looking to take their first overseas trip?
It’s quite daunting arriving in a new country for the first time and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. I’d always recommend booking your accommodation for at least the first night, since it’s no fun finding somewhere to stay when you’re sleep deprived. But my best advice would be to do some research before you get there, even if you like a bit of spontaneity in your itinerary it helps to be prepared. Note down the emergency numbers for the country you’re travelling in, have the contact numbers and addresses for airlines, hotels and embassies to hand should you need it. And just familiarize yourself with what’s around – Google Maps is a godsend for that.
What is something you wish you could share with your pre-travel life self?
Don’t buy into the outdated societal norms! You don’t have to have children before thirty, you don’t need to be married to your partner after three years and you certainly don’t need to start saving for a house the minute you start earning a wage. Just be happy, do the things you want to do, and the live life the way you want to live it.
Best & worst travel moment?
My best travel moment is a massive cliché, but it’s just being able to travel full stop. I have made sacrifices to be able to travel as often as I do (current living arrangements), all the while building a successful career in Marketing. But every time I arrive in a new place, my soul feels light and gratitude creeps in.
My absolute worst travel moment was being stuck on a train in Hue, Vietnam for 18 hours. Unfortunately a typhoon hit pretty heavy putting the city mostly underwater so the train couldn’t leave the station. To make matters worse, there were few people around who spoke English so it took a phone call to the British Embassy for some translating. After what felt like forever, the train jolted to a start and we retreated back up to Hanoi to take a flight down to Ho Chi Minh instead. It meant we missed out on Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An, but that gives me a good reason to go back!
Famous Last words for all the wanderers out there
Don’t think that travel is beyond your lifestyle, it isn’t. Social media has allowed us to follow examples of people just like us, so find your inspiration and go get it!
To keep your finger on the pulse of whats going on with Charlie for the rest of this year and into 2019 then be sure to click her social links below to find out more..
Blog → www.themillennialrunaway.com
Instagram → @themillennialrunaway
Facebook → @themillennialrunaway