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.
Canada, my home country and one I haven't really lived in for quite a few years now. That is something major that I have in common with this month's WanderWoman. Taylor was born in our nations Capital city of Ottawa and in 2014 after graduating from University with a degree in film & media production she took off on a Eurotrip and thus began her coming & going from Canada. She's taught English abroad, traveled through Australia and recently spent several months living a Digital Nomad-esque live in Indonesia. Always at the ready with amazing budget backpacking tips (MY FAVOURITE) her blog, website & social channels are always real and thought provoking. So with that let's get stuck into October's WanderWoman; Taylor of TaylorsTracks
Alright girl, tell all these wanderers about yourself…
Hey! I’m Taylor, a twenty-something Canadian girl born and raised in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. Travel was not always something I loved and I didn’t get totally hooked on it until I spent a month travelling around Europe on a Contiki tour after I graduated from college. Since then I struggled to find my path, decided to ditch the idea of becoming a film producer (I studied film and media production in college) and pursue my dreams of travelling the world forever.
I moved home, saved some money, got my TEFL and moved to Thailand to teach English, that failed, but I learned a lot and moved on. I then went back to Southeast Asia to travel with a friend (spoiler: we split up half way into the 4 month trip) and had the time of my life. I still wasn’t making money from my blog so I dipped into my savings when I got back home to move to Australia but only stayed there for 5 months because I realized that in order to really get my blog going and my freelance career started that I needed to focus more and couldn’t spend as much time as I wanted to while working a full-time job in Australia that barely got me through.
I moved back home (bless my parents for being so kind), worked like a mad women for 4 months then traveled through Europe for 2.5 months before taking a quick break for Christmas then moving to Bali.
At the moment I’m back home (yeah, again) from Bali getting ready for my next stint in Europe.
When I’m not travelling I’m an avid reader and easily get sucked into Netflix series’. I also love wine and tea, am becoming a major foodie, occasionally practice yoga and meditation and believe that everything happens for a reason.
What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I sucked at English in school and it drove me nuts because I was a really good student and English was always my lowest grade. Now I’m a paid freelance writer and make money from writing on my blog! If only my English teacher could see me now.
My background is a mix of Austrian (my dad immigrated to Canada from Austria), Hungarian, Irish (we discovered from Northern Ireland) and German. I’ve always had people question where I’m from, everything from Spanish to Brazilian, Persian and French. No one ever gets close!
Did you always want to travel/what made you start?
No, travel was for the majority of my life never even a priority. Growing up I traveled for dance competitions or my sisters soccer tournaments but I never had much desire to go further. In high school my dad took my sister and I on a trip to Austria where I fell in love with how different the culture was to Canada. A year later a history trip to Europe was offered at school and being extremely interested in history at the time (especially the World Wars) I jumped at the opportunity to go where I could also get to know a little more about Europe.
Throughout college I saved for a big trip at the end of my degree, doing it mostly because that’s what a lot of people do after school. But that Contiki trip changed me. Suddenly travel was all I wanted to do and life at home was just so dull and repetitive in comparison to life on the road.
I went through a rather depressing phase and starting my blog, becoming a vegan (for 5 months), meditation and yoga got me out of that funk. Also, deciding that I was going to move abroad to Thailand to teach English helped a lot to. I suddenly had something to look forward to. I haven’t stopped planning trips since.
How do you decide where to travel to?
Omg, I struggle with this all the time! I just go wherever I feel is pulling me in that direction. Usually I get a craving for somewhere. I don’t look up flights to wherever is cheapest because I usually get an idea and say “I’m going there next.” But my plans or ideas often change!
You spent some time living in Bali this year, what prompted that?
After spending 2.5 months travelling through Europe last year I felt pretty lonely. It wasn’t as easy to meet other travelers to travel with as it was in Southeast Asia. I felt pretty disconnected and down and decided that the next place I went to needed to be somewhere with like minded people, digital nomads, who understood things that I was feeling. A destination that was hot was also a requirement. I knew I needed to just chill for a bit, work on my business and grow that so I could travel at a level that wasn’t always budget because it gets exhausting.
I debated between Bali and Chiang Mai as they’re both digital nomad hubs and both cheap. My friend Mel from A Broken Backpack basically convinced me that Bali was the place so I went.
How do you fund your travels?
When I first started travelling my travel was all funded by money I specifically put aside for travel. I am a huge saver and spent 4 years working multiple jobs at a time or one job while going to school. The 10% I saved from everything I earned paid for my Contiki tour. After that I worked to save more, I earned money in Thailand while teaching and then I worked retail back home to save even more.
I dipped into what I call my “emergency savings” to go to Australia because I was going to (read supposed to but really didn’t) work there.
While in Australia I did land my first freelance gig and I’m still freelance writing for this website today, over a year later. I also earn an income through my blog through advertising, affiliate links and sponsored posts. I’m also a Pinterest manager so I work for other bloggers to grow their Pinterest traffic. Occasionally I pick up some side freelance writing but I’m comfortable with my income at the moment to travel on a budget.
What is something you wish you could share with your pre-travel life self?
To chill out. And I still need to remind myself of this, all the time. I’m always worked up about something. Pre-travel I was worked up about my 5 or 10 year plan. I was a perfectionist and I needed to know what was going to happen and how I was going to become a multi-millionaire by 50 (that’s still a goal).
If I knew before I started travelling that I would start every year having no idea where I was going to live or how much money I was going to make I would probably have stopped trying to plan my whole damn life.
Best & worst travel moment?
My worst travel moment happened just recently in Bali actually. I was riding my scooter heading out to explore central Bali, Munduk, with a new friend I met at the hostel. We were riding separate scooters and a local guy drove up beside me and said hello. I said hello back, not thinking anything of it because locals are friendly and them saying hi like that wasn’t uncommon. Next thing I know this guy pulls up beside me again but this time when I look over I see that he’s got his dick out of his pants, in his hand and he’s jerking off. I didn’t know what to do so I kept driving trying my best to get away from him. I yelled at him telling him to fuck off a few times but who knew if he even understand, obviously he could see my anger though.
Eventually he pulled up for the fourth or fifth time and I slammed on my breaks and pulled over, knowing that he could’t slam on his breaks because his dick was still in his hand. My friend behind me pulled over too and I explained what was happening. Just as I finished he was driving back in the opposite direction licking his lips staring directly at me.
I was so disgusted and felt so completely out of control and so angry that anyone feels like they could do that to someone. My frustration almost had me in tears that I knew there was nothing I could do. Eventually I let it go but still, it’s never something I want to experience again.
I don’t think I really have a best travel moment because to me the best travel moments are the small things. Yes, conquering a mountain and getting to a destination that was difficult to get to are really cool but for me it’s mostly about meeting other traveler's, connecting with them and having an awesome conversation over beers in the sand.
Top 3 bucket list destinations & why?
India, because if I’m being honest it really intimidates me but I also find it fascinating. It’s a bucket list destination because I would feel so accomplished having traveled through India. China, also for the same reason. Antarctica, because it’s just cool and how many people get to go there?!
Famous Last words for all the wanderers out there...
It’s cliche, but just do it. Don’t let anything hold you back, especially money. I don’t encourage people to go into debt, but save enough to be responsible and then just go. You can always make money back, you can’t remake previous memories of those times when you wished you were travelling but kept telling yourself excuses. And yes, I know some people will have more difficulties being able to actually travel because of financial reasons or visa reasons, but if travel is what you really want to do, you’ll find a way to do it and stop making excuses because you’ll only be hurting yourself.
To find out where Taylor might be headed next, get seriously inspired or get the best budget tips to seeing the world then be sure to click on the links below