The Inspired Traveler # 2 – Laurence Norah

The Inspired Traveler # 2 – Laurence Norah

Today, we happily 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.  Meet Laurence Norah who very ably runs the travel blog, Finding the Universe.

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

The new experiences I get from it. The people I meet on the road. At risk of sounding like a twat: The fact that I wake up and think that my life is awesome, and I wouldn’t want it to be any different. The sense of fulfillment that new adventures give me.  That I don’t regret any of it. I could go on. I am seriously in love with traveling.

2) What is your favorite place in the world?
You know, my bank has this as one of my security questions for online banking. If I told you, therefore, this would somewhat detract from my online security.

Seriously, though, I have a bit of a problem with the idea of somewhere being a favourite. How can I compare one experience with another, and say one is better? I try to live to the belief that the place I am currently at is my favourite, with the knowledge that everywhere I’ve been thus far has led me to this point, thus making it all worth it.

Laurence Norah

Laurence on the beach at surfer’s paradise

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

Probably the last place I worked behind a desk, endlessly peering into Powerpoint slides 😉
4) What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given about traveling?

I like the lyrics from the song “Beached” by Orbital. “just keep your mind open and suck in the experience.” Travel can throw all kinds of things at you, but if you treat it all positively and as part of the experience, then you are likely to get a lot out of it.

Laurence Norah

Laurence at Cape Raoul, Tasmania, Australia

5) How has traveling changed you as a person?
I am a lot less worried about planning. When I backpacked around China for twelve weeks, I had a very carefully laid out itinerary. I knew where I was going, for how long, and what I wanted to see. This was the pinnacle of weeks of research. I’m even pleased to say that for the most part, I stuck to the plan.

I have since learnt however that it is often the things that you least plan for that is the best, a philosophy that extends far beyond traveling. Life is no longer something I plan for because I just can’t foresee what’s going to come next. Just relax and take it as it comes is what traveling has taught me.

6) Have you ever volunteered during your travels? If so, what did you do?  If not, will you ever?
I spent an afternoon chatting with some Chinese students in Yangshuo to improve their English, in return for a day’s free kayak hire. I’m not totally sure that counts. I’ve not really looked into volunteering, though, so I’m not sure. I’m slightly wary of a lot of the volunteer programs that seem to require you to pay for the experience, but I never say never.
7) What is the best piece of advice that you can give our readers?
If you want to do something, if you have a dream you want to achieve – whatever it is – just do it. Don’t worry about what other people say, what it might cost, how hard you think it is going to be. Focus on how you can achieve it, and do it. Live your life to your terms, and work out how to make yourself happy.

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

 Well, this depends on the type of travel you are doing, but for any kind of road trip, find some people to travel with. When I drove 60,000km around Australia between 2009 and 2010, I saved serious cash by traveling with two friends, as the majority of the costs were split three ways.
Laurence Norah

Laurence contemplating the mysteries of life

9) Where do you plan to travel this year?

I’m spending the rest of the year in New Zealand. Travel being the expensive thing that it is, I’m on the working holiday visa scheme, moving between various jobs as I slowly work my way around this wonderfully scenic country. Plans beyond that will probably include Asia or South America, but that is a way away, so I’ve not put too much thought into them yet.

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

Rather predictably I’m afraid: My camera, my laptop, and my passport. The first lets me take the pictures, the second lets me tell the stories the pictures tell, and the third takes me to the places to enable the first two. I am thankful to have a passport (British) that lets me roam the globe almost at my whim without too much hassle.

Thank you, Laurence for agreeing to participate!  It’s obvious that you believe in the old adage, love what you do and do what you love, which is what life is really all about, right?

Please follow him on: Facebook:




Renee King
[email protected]
  • Kelly
    Posted at 11:38h, 04 March Reply

    Cool interview. And what I wouldn’t give for a British passport! Is that wrong to say? Haha.

    • Renee
      Posted at 15:11h, 04 March Reply

      I’ve always said, if you can’t get it…..marry it! lol

      I’m sooooo kidding! Yeah, I know…tacky.

    • Laurence
      Posted at 19:16h, 05 March Reply

      Thanks Kelly 🙂 I am very much aware what a privilege a UK passport can be – many of my friends travels are plagued by red tape and visa bureaucracy!

  • David
    Posted at 12:06h, 04 March Reply

    Awesome interview! Wish I could backpack for weeks and weeks but my work does not allow me to do so.

    • Renee
      Posted at 15:13h, 04 March Reply

      I have the same problem too, David….limited in my ability to travel due to work….oh well…

    • Laurence
      Posted at 19:18h, 05 March Reply

      Hey David, and thanks! My personal preference is to put work second and my dreams first – I’ll let you know how this plans out when I’m homeless at 80 and living in a cardboard box 😉

  • Jeremy B
    Posted at 13:45h, 04 March Reply

    I just discovered Laurence this past week. Nice interview – good to know more about him. I think the two of us have already had some fun discussions! 🙂

    • Renee
      Posted at 15:14h, 04 March Reply

      That’s fantastic…glad to hear that you’ve already connected.

    • Laurence
      Posted at 19:19h, 05 March Reply

      Hi Jeremy. Have to say, the thought of being discovered does sound rather wonderful. It’s lovely to connect with new people as a result of things I do, so thanks to Renee for giving me the platform to wibble on about myself for a few sentences 😉

  • Michael Figueiredo
    Posted at 21:46h, 04 March Reply

    Nice interview, Renee! I love finding about new (well new to me) travel bloggers to follow 🙂

    • Laurence
      Posted at 19:20h, 05 March Reply

      Hey Michael, and thanks for connecting with me 🙂

  • Grace
    Posted at 12:36h, 05 March Reply

    I like his response to question number 3. I also like his philosophy on not planning every single minute of your trip. I think most of the planning stems from wanting control- but the best things in life happen when we let go and just go with the flow =)

    • Renee
      Posted at 18:08h, 05 March Reply

      Actually, that is a very astute observation. I like to plan my trips too….with some room left for spontaneity, but there’s a lot of truth to what you say. I am guilty of wanting to control the experience, but in order to truly enjoy it, you have to let go and be open to the uncertainty of it all.

      Oh, I wanted to mention that Laurence is having trouble responding to your comments, but please know that he appreciates all of them. I didn’t want anyone to think that he was ignoring anyone. ;-D

    • Laurence
      Posted at 19:21h, 05 March Reply

      Hi Grace! It’s a tricky balance to be sure with the planning and not planning. We can end up so caught up in trying to make the perfect trip, and building up our expectations, that we just will fail to be happy no matter what we end up doing. Wheras the unplanned events are often the ones we remember the most! This doesn’t just extend to travel – some of my most treasured memories of nights out and adventures with friends are from spontaneous ideas turned into action!

      ps Renee – thanks for letting folks know I was struggling. Finally got it to work with a combination of Opera and disabling my proxy server 🙂

  • Renee
    Posted at 20:45h, 05 March Reply

    Fantastic, Laurence….glad it worked out!

  • inka
    Posted at 05:03h, 06 March Reply

    Glad to meet Laurence.Like your interview style too.

    • Laurence
      Posted at 18:39h, 06 March Reply

      Hi Inka, pleased to meet you too, and thanks 😀

  • Laurel
    Posted at 06:54h, 06 March Reply

    Great interview and nice to get to know more about another fellow travel blogger.

  • Jozef
    Posted at 21:46h, 06 March Reply

    Great interview! Checking your blog out now, will definitely follow from now on. Look forward to your posts!

    • Laurence
      Posted at 00:51h, 30 March Reply

      Thanks Jozef, much appreciated 🙂

Post A Comment