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WanderWoman Series; Emma

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 & the number one thing we have in common is that we get it. Get what? This whole travel life. The coming & going frequently, the moving towns often & regularly. The fact that we will rarely live in the same place for long. And the feeling of saying goodbye/reuniting with each other. 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

Hailing from one my all time favourite countries on this planet (New Zealand), this month's Wander Woman Wednesday comes to you from Emma of DayDreamBeliever. Back in 2014 Emma took off on her first international trip to Nepal and India. From there she found herself in The UK, and amazingly off to the Isle of Skye (which you can read more about below so get scrolling). Her love of adventure and the outdoors is something I can totally relate to and I'll be forever jealous of those stunning Scottish views she got to live amongst. So click on down to find out more about Augusts #WanderWomanWednesday.

Alright girl, tell all these wanderers about yourself…

Hi! I’m Emma, a (recently) 28 year old travel blogger and foodie from New Zealand. I love sharing stories about my mostly solo travels and life living as an expat. Aside from New Zealand I’ve lived in London, Edinburgh, the Isle of Skye, Florence and now Berlin! I’m a massive foodie and coffee snob, so often you’ll find most of my travels revolve around finding the best spots to eat and drink.

Outside of my travelling life I work in digital marketing - but I’ve worked many other jobs over the years to keep this travel life going!

What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?

As much as I love travelling it actually took me 22 years to leave New Zealand. When the time finally came I jumped straight into the deep end and went travelling around Nepal and India for two months before moving to London. I had never even visited the UK or lived anywhere but my parents home, so it was quite the learning curve.

Did you always want to travel/what made you start?

Definitely! It may have taken me 22 years to actually start travelling but I’ve been dreaming and plotting my future travels from a very young age. When I was around 8 years old I planned a huge road trip around the USA with my friend. We had everything mapped out and even drew a very detailed picture of the van we would live in while on the road. Ha! While this trip never happened (yet), it planted the seed for my future travelling life.

I also remember trying on my older cousins giant backpack before she headed off on her big OE. I was quite young, and that was probably the first moment I realized you could just pack up a bag and head out to explore the world!

You lived on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, how did that happen and what was life like out there?

After living in London for three years I decided to move to a city with a slightly slower pace of living. My heart was set on Edinburgh, so I packed my bags and booked an Airbnb for one month. Somehow during that first month in Edinburgh I randomly applied for a job at a boutique bunkhouse in a tiny little village called Uig, which happened to be on the Isle of Skye. I had zero experience doing anything like this, but somehow after just one phone interview the job was mine and two day later I found myself on an eight hour bus ride headed to live on a remote island.

I absolutely got the slower pace of life that I’d been looking for! I loved experiencing life as a local on Skye and got to meet so many wonderful people during my time there. I’m forever missing my second home in Scotland.

What is your travel style?

To be honest, I’m not really sure! I guess it changes… you will often find me travelling solo but I also love exploring a new place with friends. I stay in a mix of hostels and Airbnbs to keep costs down but I definitely don’t restrict myself to a budget when it comes to eating out.

I always travel light with just a small suitcase or backpack. I’ve spent the last few months travelling around Italy before moving permanently to Berlin and all I have with me is what I could fit into one carry-on suitcase and a small backpack!

Top 3 bucket list places you’d love to visit?

Wow, that is a tough call! My travel bucket list is forever growing but right now I would say:

  • Hiking in Patagonia

  • Taking myself on a food tour through Vietnam

  • Technically this one includes more than one country, but it’s my dream to travel on the Trans-Siberian from Russia to China.

You've recently made the move to Berlin, how did you decide on Germany to be your base?

As usual, I didn’t overthink such a big life decision. Before my flight landed back in New Zealand I knew a move back to Europe would happen eventually. I even told my family this at the airport when they picked me up after four years of being away - my poor parents! Haha.

I had never actually been to Germany, but I decided to base myself in Berlin because it seemed like an interesting city where I would enjoy living. Plus English is widely spoken so the opportunity to find work in my industry is much higher. But most importantly, it’s a city that will allow me to travel around the rest of Europe easily!

What is something you wish you could share with your pre-travel life self?

You will make it happen! I always use to worry that I would never travel or leave New Zealand - which seems rather silly when I look back now at all the travel I’ve done.

Best & worst travel moment?

I’ve had so many amazing travel experiences that it would be hard to nail down just one moment as the best. I think my best moments often happen when I am flying or travelling somewhere. When I have time to sit back and really appreciate the life I’m living and the places I get to explore. One of my best trips though was last year when I spent 10 days road-tripping the south island of New Zealand with my parents and brother. It was such a special time spent with family seeing more of my very own country, so I would absolutely count that among my best travel memories.

I’m pretty lucky and haven’t had too many terrible things happen while travelling. My worst travel moment was probably when I got food poisoning in India - but even then the situation could have been far worse. I started feeling ill in the afternoon on a day that I was meant to be on a tiger safari, but it had been cancelled due to strikes in the region. I quickly went from being disappointed about not having the chance to see wild tigers to being very thankful that I was in my hotel room rather than out in the wilderness!

Having lived abroad and given it up (for a little bit) to go back home to New Zealand what were the toughest parts about being home and how did you deal with them?

I really enjoyed the time I spent at home, but there were certainly some tough moments after four years of life abroad. Personally, for me the idea of settling down in my home country and that being it for the rest of my life terrified me and was probably the hardest thing to deal with. While I didn’t always have an escape plan fully formed, just the idea that I would be travelling again helped! This also made me really appreciate the time spent with family and friends, because I knew eventually, I would be leaving again.

The other difficult thing for me was being back in a country so far away from the rest of the world. New Zealand really is an isolated place and I missed the ease of travelling to new countries. The only way to deal with this was to spend more time exploring NZ - so maybe it turned out to be a blessing because I’ve now seen so much more of my own country.

Famous Last words for all the wanderers out there...

Don’t overthink it. If you want to travel, figure out a plan to make it happen and get out there. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by all the details and things that could go wrong. Whatever issues you run into can probably be dealt with at the time, so there is no point worrying about it before you need to.

To follow along with Emma's current and upcoming adventures be sure to click on her handles listed below

Blog: Facebook: @DayDreamEmma

Twitter: @emmajknapp

Instagram: @emma_daydreambeliever

#wanderwoman #www

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