Audrey, otherwise known as That Backpacker, is a young woman who wants to collect more stamps in her passport. Audrey is such a sweetheart to let me interview her about her life. She is currently travelling full time as a travel blogger, photographer, YouTube video maker and freelance travel writer. Her website, ThatBackpacker.com, is a very interesting and inspiring source of information, stories, tips and tricks for a life on the road. Originally from Canada and having travelled here and there (but not yet everywhere-Audrey said), she shares with me information about her home, her travel experiences and also her amazing website!
1. A lot of travellers never get around to travelling around their own country. How about you? Did you travel much around Canada before you started exploring the world?
I suppose I’ve done quite a bit of travel around Canada, but not as much as I’d like to. I did an East Coast trip with a friend a few summers back and we covered Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. However, I am sad to say that I have never been out west! I would love to drive through the prairies and visit the Rockies one day.
2. What are the three top things that you really miss about your home town?
My family and my dog have to be number one, but in terms of things to do in the city, I miss Toronto’s music scene and all the amazing Indian food!
3. How long you have been away from Canada?
Between the year I spent working in Korea and my current travels around Southeast Asia, it’s been a year and a half. However, I do have plans to go back home to visit family and friends this summer. 🙂
4. Do you think you will ever call decide to go back and live in Canada?
I can see myself living in Canada again, but it’s not the only place I’d like to call home. While I am currently living in Thailand, I could see myself settling down in Buenos Aires for a while, or perhaps a charming little European town.
5. You have done a lot of travelling around South Korea, where you were living and teaching English before you started full time travelling again. What would you recommend to anyone planning to take a short trip to Korea? What are the best things to see that a person just shouldn’t miss?
For anyone taking a short trip to Korea, I’d recommend experiencing ‘noraebang’ – this is Korea’s version of karaoke. You can rent a singing room with some friends and spend a few hours singing the night away. You also need to try kimchi jeon which is fermented cabbage pancakes – sounds gross but tastes great!
In terms of sightseeing, I love the fast pace of Seoul, the tea plantations in Boseong, and the bamboo forest in Damyang.
6. I read that you really enjoy talking to strangers. What was the worst attempt you ever had at trying to talk to a stranger?
I don’t think I have any bad stories to share…someone may have tried selling me something at worst. I think I’m quite an approachable person so I naturally end up talking to other travellers or people I meet along the way.
7. A lot of people think that backpackers are minimalist travellers. Do you think that you are a minimalist traveller? Any tips about how to stay travel light for a lady traveller? I definitely need tips 🙂
I am far from being a minimalist traveller! Before embarking on this trip I had to pack and repack because I literally could not lift my own backpack. I think part of the problem for me is that I know I’m not just travelling for a couple of weeks – I am living out of my suitcase for months on end and I like having a mix of clothes that work for different climates and social occasions. That being said, the biggest way to travel light as a woman is to leave half the contents of your make-up bag behind, and not to pack a gazillion pairs of shoes.
8. Is there anything that you dislike about backpacking?
I must admit, my travel style has changed since I first started backpacking back in university. Back then I disliked large dorm rooms with snorers and inconsiderate dorm mates who would turn the lights on at any hour, however, I put up with it because that was my budget.
A few years down the line and I now value my privacy and a good night’s rest, so while I still try to travel on a budget, I’m willing to dish out a few extra dollars for a private room.
9. Whenever I visit your website I always have a look at your EngRish (mis-spoken English section), which I find very entertaining. How did you come up with the idea for this and what is the funniest piece of EngRish you have come across?
I came up with the idea while I was teaching English in Korea. I started noticing funny English signs around the city, and then my students were also saying the funniest things…it seemed like a good way to document it all.
I actually wrote an entire list of all the funny things my Korean students said over the course of the semester.
10. What do you find most difficult about trying to run a website/ business as you travel?
Hands down, WiFi! Some days it can be a struggle to find a connection strong enough to load a browser, let alone upload large photo and video files.
11. Finally, what are your travel plans for the next six months?
Oh geez, those plans are ever changing! I have my eye on China and the Indian subcontinent for later in the year, but I never know for sure where I’ll end up. Next thing you know I’ll be signing in from a little cottage in Scandinavia.