Inspiration, Interviews

The Inspired Traveler # 8 – Kelly Lewis

April 15, 2011 • By

Today, we continue our series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and (hopefully) get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader.  Next up, the very busy Kelly Lewis, who runs Travel Bug Juice and Go! Girl Guides.

Kelly, looking like she has a secret that she’s contemplating sharing

1)   What is it about traveling that makes you smile?

The people I meet. I’m a huge people person anyway, and I love finding connections with relative strangers while traveling and having adventures that bond you in a way you could never imagine. It’s funny how some people we meet traveling, who we really only spend about a week or so with, become life-long friends. Traveling somehow speeds up the process.

2)   What is your favorite place in the world?

I lived for a year in New Zealand, where I worked for a year with a Lord of the Rings tour company, learned how to snowboard, discovered amazing music, partied it up until 5 am on a routine basis and had some of the best roommates and friends I’ve ever known. So, I’d have to say New Zealand.

3)   What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?

Not a huge fan of Bolivia. Everyone always raves about it as “the real South America” but I don’t believe it. It’s a pretty place, but it’s hard to travel through, especially as a solo woman. Plus, I got spit on.

4)   What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given about traveling?

Be open. Say yes. Do it. This is how I prefer to travel. Every opportunity is a new adventure, just go with it!

5)   How has traveling changed you as a person?

Well, it’s given me a career! It’s affected me deeply, I’d say. It’s made me more aware of other cultures, of how to be a considerate person, of how to pick myself up by my bootstraps in the hardest of times. In fact, I can’t imagine my life without traveling. And now with Go! Girl Guides, it has, actually become my life, and I’m very grateful for that.

“The Hills are alive……..”

6)   Have you ever volunteered during your travels?   If so, what did you do?  If not, will you ever?

I love to volunteer. I think it’s an amazing way to give back and find greater meaning in your travels. Most recently I worked with Sea Turtles in Uruguay, but soon I will be in Thailand working on the first book for Go! Girl Guides, and volunteering is a huge, huge part of our guidebooks.

7)   What is the best piece of advice that you can give our readers?

Don’t overpack. So simple, but so hard to actually do. When I pack, I bring a gazillion pairs of underwear and socks, and a handful of shirts with a couple of pants. I’ve found that I can re-wear shirts and pants a few times without doing laundry, but I cannot do the same with underwear or socks.

8 )   Since this is a budget travel blog, what is your best budget tip, bar none?

Couchsurf! God, I don’t know how we ever traveled without Couchsurfing? I personally hate paying for a bed in which I’m only in for a few hours anyway, so couchsurfing has been a lifesaver to my wallet, and has really enhanced the quality of my travels as well. The people I’ve met couchsurfing have become good friends, who took me in and showed me the city in ways I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

9)   Where do you plan to travel this year?

This year I’m off to Thailand for the first Go! Girl Guides book. We will do another one this year as well.. but we haven’t quite figured out where! Soon, we will be asking you all to chime in on where you think we should go!

“Here’s a kiss from me to Machu Picchu”

10)     What are the three things that you could never do without during your travels?

Three things I couldn’t do without: iPod, journal and a sense of adventure.

To find out more about me, check out Travel Bug Juice or Go! Girl Guides.
Twitter @travelbugjuice @gogirlguides

Thanks Kelly for sharing your ideas with the rest of us!  We look forward to Go! Girl Guides’ first publishing endeavor!