Jenny on a life of travel – blogger interview

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Jenny on a life of travel – blogger interview

Introduce yourself – Where are you from? Where in the world are you currently?

Hiiiiii! I’m Jenny – a twenty-one year old student and lifestyle blogger. I originally hail from England, although my family and I moved to the United States 9 years ago. For the past year I have been living in Beijing, but I just arrived back in the U.S. two weeks ago and have no choice but to stay still and remain here for another couple of weeks while waiting for my new passport! Then I plan to go back to Europe for a few weeks before returning to Los Angeles at the beginning of September to start my third year of university.

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Tell us about your first trip abroad? What first attracted you to a life abroad?

My family travelled a lot together when I was younger (as well as constantly moving) so I honestly don’t remember my first ever trip abroad. Instead, my first (and undoubtedly most important) solo travel trip was to India when I was 17. It was my second time visiting the country and I had schemed a plan to get back there by creating a research project on female entrepreneurs. I realised at a young age that it was in my best interest to combine travel and my education! Whilst there, in addition to carrying out the research, my summer consisted of absolutely falling in love with Indian culture, the original blog posts on jennysyatra.com, and becoming a fearless solo female traveller.

It was my idea to go there alone and throughout the planning stages it never once occurred to me to worry about it. It wasn’t until my first actual night alone there that I completely freaked out, had a break-down, and questioned why I thought this was a good idea. There were a lot of tears and cuddling with my (still to this day) favourite travel partner/ teddy bear Buddy and listening to every song on my iPod that contained the word “home”. But, after a good night’s sleep, I woke up the next morning completely refreshed and ready to take India by storm. It has been 4 years and 3 days since that night (I managed to control my sobs that evening to write a blog post), and I have never again doubted my strength and ability to travel anywhere or do anything by myself. Which is pretty lucky considering I haven’t stopped since.

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What kind of traveller are you? Backpacker? Long-term traveller? Short term? Other?

Hmm…I think I have to define myself as a “flashpacker”. (Laughing). I love backpacking/hostels/couch-surfing, but I also like shoes/nice dinners/gin&tonics. When I was 18 I backpacked around Europe for several months and really wanted to embrace the “backpacker” lifestyle, which translated to me hardly ever showering and never brushing my hair. Upon return home I had months-old dreads and holes in my shoes. It wasn’t my greatest look, and from then on I decided to aim for a balance between my love of fashion (aka showering) and my nomadic nature. I don’t think anyone who has traveled with me would call me high-maintenance though…I am down for whatever, as long as my lipstick is also invited.

 

Your favourite place you have been to? And why?

SO HARD! Let’s see. India will always have my heart, I have now been there 4 times and have always planned on living there for a little bit after university. Although my recent stint in China has brought some strong competition to that statement. I definitely have a strong pull towards Asia. Vietnam was incredible, mainly because of the food (and the chance to ride an ostrich). I regularly dream about Tel Aviv and Berlin’s night-life. Bali was the closest I will ever get to heaven. Trekking Mt. Everest pushes Nepal up the list. But then Italy has Italian men? Can I count Los Angeles as a favourite? I really can make it work wherever I am.

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Your least favourite place you have been to? And why?

Albania. It is the only place I have been and left with a negative impression. 

 

What advice would you give to other people looking to travel?

I am one of those travellers who often prefers the journey, rather than the destination— movement is my happy place. So, my advice would be just to move. As often and as spontaneously as possible. The “benefits” of travel aren’t exclusive to just picking up and travelling to the other side of the world (although that is the ideal), as long as you are open and curious you can “travel” to the city next to yours.

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What is left on your bucket list for you to accomplish/see?

I want to join the Travellers’ Century Club by the time I am 30, which means 100 countries. Their full list has 321 countries and territories, and the youngest person to visit them all (Charles Veley) was 37. So maybe I will aim to beat that? Although paradoxically I really don’t view travel as a competition. But, Veley also has the title of “world’s most travelled man” and to be honest I really wouldn’t mind being referred to as the “world’s most travelled woman”.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Well isn’t that the million dollar question. If I have to guess, Asia, but really who knows.

 

What is the biggest difference to life overseas compared to life at home?

At home I understand everything that’s going on.

 

Blog: www.jennysyatra.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jennysyatrabyjennyheyside

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jheyside

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jennyheyside

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