Meet The Beautiful Megan. A Travel Blogger Who Got Kissed By A Giraffe

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Jovago Myanmar recently interviewed Megan, a female travel blogger. She has also participated in 2 roundup posts of Jovago:

  1. Amazing Destinations Which Are Perfect For Women Traveling Alone
  2. Travelling On A budget – Tips By 40+ Travel Bloggers From Around The World

Check out her travel stories and experiences here.

1. Let us start with a formal introduction. Who is Megan?

I am a 29-year-old travel addict, an outdoor adventure enthusiast and adrenaline junkie with an incurable disease called “the travel bug”. I am from Australia and have a degree in both journalism and law. My passion for traveling and writing overtook my desire to sit in a corner office, and instead, I am now a professional travel blogger, my office ranging from villas in the Galapagos Islands, to beaches on the Great Barrier Reef, bungalows overlooking volcanoes in Costa Rica, and everywhere in between!

Traveling in Budget

2. How and when did you develop an interest for traveling?

On reflecting back, I can’t actually pinpoint this to one specific experience. But I started traveling for the adventure, adrenaline and excitement. And it didn’t take me long to realize I wanted to see the world in living color as opposed to watching it on a television screen. I wanted to actually feel, taste and experience the world instead of settling for the version I was reading in books.

Traveling in Budget

As I started traveling I found myself thrust into new environments, immersed in entirely new cultures, hearing the English language spoken with an unfamiliar accent; and I realized this feeling of new discovery was what I wanted out of life.

I quickly learned that it’s a completely different experience to journey to the Pyramids of Giza than to watch it on a History Channel documentary. It’s a completely different emotion to watch the sun set over the African Plains while on safari than it is to see someone else’s photo and think “wow!”

3. How you plan and manage your finances for traveling?

By planning a budget before a trip. It’s incredibly important to sit down and run numbers before you commit – there’s nothing worse than running out of money halfway through and having to max out your credit card, beg family and friends to send money, or clean toilets to cover the hotel bill (been there, done that, you don’t want to follow in my footsteps)

Traveling in Budget

We sit down and figure out how much we’ll need, and make sure we’ve thoroughly researched so we haven’t missed any sneaky pre-trip costs. I also keep very detailed spreadsheets! Collating your budget into an actual document that you can refer back to and look over at a glance is the best way to stay on top of your finances. Organizing a budget in your head is a sure way to forget things and miscalculate!!

And then smartphone apps like Money Journal and Trail Wallet are a great way to track what you’re spending while you’re actually on the road.

4. What is that triggers you to travel to an entirely new destination?

That feeling I mentioned above of adventure, adrenaline and excitement that comes with experiencing something new, whether that be culture, landscape, people, or food.

Budget Traveling

5. While visiting a new destination what things do you love to explore the most?

The local neighborhoods. Wandering throughout local neighborhoods is a great way to familiarize yourself with the area, and get a feel for the destination.

6. How do you plan your destinations?

We choose our destinations based on opportunities and cheap flights on offer at the time. We constantly keep our eyes out for deals and discounts, and usually let cheap travel trends dictate where we head next.

Budget Traveling

7. Do you have any funny travel stories?

Kissing a Giraffe while in Africa … well actually she kissed me! We visited the Giraffe Sanctuary while in Kenya, and part of the experience was being able to feed the Giraffes. Pellets were provided and the normal way to go about feeding them was to let them eat from your hand.

I on the other hand thought it would be fantastically funny to place a pellet in-between my teeth, not realizing that a Giraffes tongue is about as big as my face itself! (Slight exaggeration but that’s what it felt like!) I was wiping saliva off my face for what felt like a week!!

Budget Traveling

8. Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?

Being sick! Sickness completely ruins travelling! Not only are you in a horrible mood feeling sorry for yourself, sickness often means you end up holed up in the hotel instead of being out there experiencing a city.

Between a mild case of malaria in Kenya (mild meaning you pass out but not badly enough to be hospitalized!!), heat stroke in Paris and an asthma attack in Budapest I’ve had my fair share of illness overseas! Plus I’m a woman so we’re “sick” at least once every month!! The challenge is making the best of the time you do have and not letting your sickness and subsequent bad mood completely ruin the destination for you!

Budget Traveling

9. How do you manage when interacting with people without speaking their language?

I’ve gotten very good at pictionary and charades!! However I always make the effort to learn a few key phrases in the language of the destination I’m traveling to, and then I let apps make up the gap for the rest.

Though if I can offer a tip – there are hundreds of language translation apps available for Apple and Android devices, and it’s easy to impulse buy in the app store, but to avoid wasting money, do your research. Read customer reviews and look at star ratings, including the total number of ratings as a single five-star rating isn’t as reliable an indicator of quality as 100 4-star ratings.

Budget Traveling

Look for apps that store the information locally rather than requiring you to access the internet every time you look up a word, to reduce roaming data costs and to prevent you getting stuck when you’re out of reception range. Make sure you download all the relevant data when you have access to WIFI.

10. Which destination you felt is not actually like you had imagined before?

I try to travel with no expectations, so can therefore appreciate a destination for what it is once we arrive. However the Vatican City was absolutely not what I was expecting. Growing up a Catholic, I had imagined the Vatican to be this amazing, grand, holy place which overwhelmed you with awe. I was instead overwhelmed by the crowds and herds of tourists running rampant around the grounds.

Budget Traveling

I’ve been to the Vatican twice now, but sadly it’s too touristy and commercialized, and it ruined my experience. That being said, the Vatican is one of those places you have to go to and see for yourself; the artwork is truly phenomenal, the basilica’s stunning; but it’s just very overrated and for me doesn’t live up to the hype.

11. Any 3 money saving tips you would like to share while traveling?

Accommodation: CouchSurf, house sit, volunteer, certain work exchanges.

Transport: Hitchhike, bike, or walk. Also: free flights with travel points.

Food: Go to markets at closing time and get the unsellable stuff, ask restaurant owners for extras, shop at local grocery stores instead of eating out at restaurants every day / night. Book a hotel with free breakfast.

Budget Traveling

12. What do you like the most about traveling?

That feeling of adventure, adrenaline and excitement which made me fall in love with travel in the first place.

Budget Traveling

13. What do you dislike about traveling?

Missing family and friends. Because I’m traveling so much it’s difficult to keep up with everyone and maintain relationships back home. Skype is a godsend, and thankfully I often have the opportunity to video chat with my family, but it’s often heartbreaking not being home for big events or milestones. For instance what do you say to a 4 year old who says “can’t you just come home to play with me”?!

14. What do you take back from your expeditions?

Photographs! Souvenirs can be replaced. And if I’m honest, half of them are destined for a box in my parents basement anyway. But photos – they can never be replaced. And they’re the best way to re-live a special moment, or special trip – you can also take as many as you want without it costing very much!

Traveling in Budget

15. Your trips low on the pocket or you like to make it extravagant?

We don’t like to blow money, however we do spend moderately to ensure comfort when we take a trip. I traveled as a solo backpacker for many years, and during this time comfort really didn’t faze me. I viewed accommodation as a place to crash at the end of the night and somewhere to rest my head. I don’t know if it’s that I now travel as a couple with my husband, or if it’s just that I’m getting old, but I’m definitely starting to appreciate the value of traveling in comfort more and more.

Traveling in Budget

Because comfort really does make for a much more enjoyable experience, and that usually means a more memorable stay. I enjoy getting back to a nice hotel after a full on day of flat out adventure, and being able to collapse into soft pillows. Or blast the air-con if it’s stiflingly hot outside. Or having a shower which doesn’t flood the room. We usually aim to book apartments or home stays when we travel now, with kitchen facilities which gives us the freedom to cook. #1 priority is now a decent hotel!

16. Have you visited Myanmar ever?

We have not, but it’s on our list!

17. Which destinations you will love to explore if you visit Myanmar?

We’ve heard that Bagan is the most beautiful place in Myanmar. So I would love to visit this temple town and explore the more than 2,000 Buddhist temples! I would also like to visit Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (the Golden Rock) and join the many people who make this Buddhist pilgrimage.

Traveling in Budget

With this question, Jovago came to an end with Megan’s interview.

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Short trip to Golden Rock - Jovago Myanmar Blog

  2. Shawn Canfield

    July 27, 2017 at 3:46 am

    I believe my life is about to change

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