What Inspired Me To
My parents were always big on family vacations, so I’ve been
traveling my whole life. I got the chance to study abroad twice in college, and
the ease of country-hopping in Europe made me want to visit everywhere! And I
haven’t stopped since!
Travel Frequency And Activities I Enjoy While Traveling
My husband and I try to do at least one big international
trip a year, maybe two if I can talk him into it! We take smaller trips to
places within driving distance throughout the year, and I like to explore the
local area nearly every weekend. I usually like going to art museums when I
travel; if a city’s zoo has bears, then that’s a must for me; and I love to tour
historic homes, palaces, and castles.
How I Choose “Where” And “How Long” To Travel
We want to see everywhere, so where we go next is kind of
based on our whims and what’s cheap at the time. There are a few places we’ve
visited separately that we want to return to together; for example, we did a
big tour of the U.K. and Ireland since I’d spent so much time there and he had
never been; and sometime soon we’ll get to Japan since he loved his trip there
and it’s still on my bucket list. Since my husband has a less flexible
full-time job, most of our trips are short weekend trips with a few longer 4-7
day trips throughout the year. For longer trips, we might prepare by scheduling
out a few must-see items each day.
How I Pack For My
I definitely tend to overpack because I’d rather
be overprepared than underprepared! My must-haves include noise-canceling
headphones for plane trips, my travel-sized noise machine to help me sleep at
night, and an anti-theft backpack so that I don’t have to worry about being
Safety Precautions While Traveling Solo
I always let my friends and family know my
itinerary and make sure to check in with them daily. I never walk alone at
night and instead take a cab or public transportation. I always try to be hyper-aware of my surroundings and listen to my intuition when a situation
doesn’t feel safe.
The Best Country For Solo Female Travelers
I’ve visited 20 countries so far and will be visiting my 21st country in August if nothing gets canceled. I loved Ireland for solo travel.
The people are so friendly, especially in Galway, and the country is really
easy to get around. If you’re a solo traveler who likes to go out, make
friends, and party, Ireland’s pub scene is great for that. And if you’re a
solo traveler who just likes to enjoy your time alone, there’s a tone of great
natural beauty in Ireland that’s perfect for solitary exploration.
Choosing A Travel Companion
I usually travel with my husband; he’s the best travel
partner I’ve ever had! Joining group tours is a great way to meet other
travelers, either just a day tour or doing a group tour as an entire trip. I
love doing walking tours and pub crawls to meet other people. There’s such
camaraderie on pub crawls that it’s pretty easy to make friends.
What Inspired Me To
Start My Travel Blog
I started Paige Minds The Gap in 2013 when I first studied
abroad in the little town of Harlaxton, England. I needed a name that would fit
my upcoming adventure, and so Paige Minds The Gap, inspired by the London Underground
refrain, was born! After moving back home, my blog has transformed from a study
abroad blog to a more locally-focused Southern travel blog. I still want to
inspire my readers to travel mindfully, at home and abroad.
How I Manage
Costs During My Travels
I don’t stick to a strict budget, but I do try
to keep my costs low when I travel. I try to travel during the low season to
keep airline and hotel costs lower, and I do a ton of research comparing the
costs of hotels before booking. I always look for free attractions and really
try to consider what paid attractions are worth it and are absolute must-sees.
The One Cool Travel
Story That I Can Share
I’ve had so many great travel experiences! But my favorite
by far is my husband proposing to me at the top of The Shard in London.
Afterward, we walked around London to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. We
got to see Tower Bridge open, which is considered lucky, so it was just a
Travel Apps And
Websites I Use On My Trips
For planning my trips, I always use Skyscanner
to search for the cheapest flights. While on international vacations, I always
download an offline version of Google Maps for my destination so I can access
directions even when I don’t have cell service.
Frictions and Challenges Of Traveling
While my job as a blogger is flexible, my husband is limited by his work schedule and allotted annual leave. We also have a house and all the fun expenses that come with homeownership, so there are other things to spend money on than travel.
How I Manage Work And Travel At The Same Time
I’m a full-time blogger and a part-time
traveler, so I work a pretty standard schedule Monday through Friday during the
week and then have my weekends open for short trips! And since blogging is
flexible, I have no problem taking off a week when I want a longer vacation.
Other encouraging stories to read!