I am so excited to introduce Stephanie – she will be guest blogging regularly on Think Elysian sharing her travel tips & experiences. Stephanie is from the UK and is currently teaching ESL on an island off of South Korea. She has some great adventures to share! I thought sharing a Q&A would help yall get to know Stephanie better. She will be posting more about teaching English and traveling in the coming weeks so stay tuned. If you have any questions for her feel free to leave them in the comments below or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in being a guest blogger on Think Elysian please email: email@example.com.
Meet Think Elysian’s Guest Blogger Stephanie
What inspires you to travel:
The world is a big place and I just want to see as much of it as I possibly can, while I have few responsibilities such as a mortgage or kids. Seeing photos from my friends travels also motivates me to get out there and see more. Right now, I couldn’t imagine being back in the UK for good, I still have about 10 countries on my list that I hope to travel to over the next couple of years!
Favorite place you’ve been:
That is a really hard question because I have been to so many incredible places! I really really loved Hoi An in Vietnam, it’s so beautiful and the atmosphere is very relaxed. The ancient town is very interesting and picturesque, and the beach is only ten minutes away – it would be a great place to live. I also really love Chiang Mai in Thailand. There is so much to see and do and it has a great energy.
What is the biggest adjustment when traveling so much?
Before I moved to South Korea to teach, I backpacked around SE Asia for 3 months. I moved along to the next place every 3 or 4 days, and that could be quite tiring sometimes. There were times when I wished that I didn’t have an itinerary and that I could just hang around for a couple of weeks and relax. That said, I got to see so much in a short amount of time so it was totally worth it.
Things you love to do while traveling:
I love to eat everything I see! Trying new foods is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and Asia has some of the most delicious (and cheapest!) food in the world. I also love meeting new people, both travellers and locals, and I now have so many new friends from all over the world. I always try to say yes when I meet new people when they ask me to join them for some adventures, because travelling is all about being spontaneous and breaking out of your comfort zone.
Best packing tip:
Take as little as you possibly can! Remember that most countries sell most things, so don’t take too much stuff because you’ll be able to buy it along the way. Try to just take the essentials, and make sure you research what you won’t be able to purchase in the countries you are visiting. Also, packing cubes are a must buy!
I live on a small Korean island called Jeju, and it’s stunning! There are coastal trails all around the island, so I do lots of hiking on the weekend. There are also lots of great and reasonable priced restaurants here – Korean BBQ is the best! My absolutely favourite thing about living here has to be watching the sunset over the sea – it never gets boring!
Do you travel full-time?
I was traveling full time between May and August last year, and now I am working in Korea. I really needed to top up my travelling funds, before I set off again in September. I’m really enjoying having a bit more routine and its great to be able to spend a long time in a country with a very different culture to my own. I am trying to learn some Korean but it’s so hard!
Weirdest thing you’ve done or ate while traveling:
I ate sea snails at a little stall outside my hostel in Hanoi, Vietnam. It was really popular with the locals and the owner was really friendly. They were pretty good but not my favorite, I don’t think I would eat them again! I’ve also eaten locusts in Thailand, they are supposed to be a good protein source, but I’m not a fan!
Best traveling advice you can give/have received:
The best advice I can give is to try solo travel at least once in your life. It will really help your confidence and you’ll make friends more easily along the way. You’ll be surprised at just how resourceful you can be, and it will help you to appreciate spending time alone. I like travelling with friends, but solo travel is much more liberating and exciting.