Welcome to Traveller of the Month! Each month I’m featuring a fellow world traveller to help build connections within the blogging world, share some travel tales and wisdom, and give a little love to a fellow traveller.
Without further ado, meet September’s Traveller of the Month: Francesca!
And if you missed last month’s, check it out here!
Who are you, where are you from and where are you now?
My name is Francesca and I’m from the West Midlands in the UK! I currently live in Hertfordshire as I spend quite a bit of my time in London for work.
What’s your travel story? How did you get into travel and what kind of travel are you doing now (or were you doing pre-pandemic)?
I caught the travel bug early on. My family would always go on holidays to France or Greece when I was growing up and I absolutely loved it. My grandfather also lived in Switzerland so we would go and visit whenever we could.
I would describe my travel style as fairly backpacker-ish. I prefer to budget on things like food, accommodation and transport and splash out more on experiences. Having said that, I think I’ve reached my limit of dodgy hostels. I now tend to go for nicer hostels and treat myself to private rooms and holiday rentals on occasion.
I’m a big nature lover so I always enjoy going on walks when I travel. I also try to make cultural experiences a top priority so I can get a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the place I’m visiting. I like to do as the locals do to get the most authentic experience possible.
When did you start your blog and what sort of stories do you share there?
I started my blog back in February 2018. I was about to go on a 4-month trip to New Zealand and I wanted to create a space where I could share my experiences. Little Lost Travel was first a blog about beginner’s solo travel. I wrote about what it’s really like to be a newbie and the lessons I learnt about planning my first trip to the other side of the world.
I incorporated eco-friendly travel into my blog back then since protecting the environment was a cause close to my heart. I’ve now switched up my niche to focus solely on sustainable travel for outdoor lovers. I still like to mix in a bit of solo travel too.
The stories I share are all about how to travel sustainably to a destination, ethical wildlife experiences and accessible ways to explore nature. I would say my blog is geared more towards women and solo travellers.
What do you do when you’re not travelling or writing about travel?
Thinking about where I want to go next! Just kidding. I’m a copywriter and journalist so you will usually see me writing about something or other even if it doesn’t happen to be travel!
I’m a big reader so I love to curl up with a good book in my spare time. During the pandemic, I’ve been trying to expand my horizons a little by reading books by international authors or books set in different parts of the world. It’s a fantastic way to do a bit of armchair travel when I’m stuck at home. A favourite book of mine so far is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.
If you had to sum up your travel ethos in a word or phrase, what would it be?
Three words: sustainable, meaningful, accessible.
What’s your best travel memory of the last 5 years?
My favourite travel memory would be swimming with reef sharks in Fiji. The experience was above and beyond what I was expecting. To be honest, before I did it I was firmly in the no way camp. It was all very spur of the moment (the best experiences always are, right?).
After some persuasion at the resort I was staying at and promises that the sharks weren’t ‘all that big’, I found myself in the water. It was exhilarating getting up close to an animal that has such a bad reputation. It also helped me change my opinion of them for the better. These incredible creatures deserve our respect rather than fear.
What do you want to inspire other travellers to do?
I want to help people realise that sustainable travel is possible, affordable and accessible. As travellers, what we pack, where we go and what we do can have a huge impact. The more we know, the easier it’ll be to make informed choices that are better for the environment. Knowledge is power!
What advice do you have for newbie travellers? For aspiring travel bloggers?
For newbie travellers, I would say start small. Go for a short weekend away close by or visit a friend. If you’re going solo then I recommend that you go to a destination that doesn’t have a language barrier. I’m all for a challenge, but make it easier at first and your confidence will grow. Alternatively, do a small group tour. They’re fantastic for making friends and you have a safety net to fall back on.
For aspiring travel bloggers, the best piece of advice I can give is stick at it. Blogging is not something you get successful at overnight. It requires consistency.
You also don’t need to have all the answers when you start. Dip your toes in with a free WordPress blog. If you like it, set up a self-hosted website and get familiar with search engine optimisation early on. Trust me, your future self will thank you!
What destination is calling your name in 2022?
Ooh, it changes from one day to the next! Right now, it would have to be Norway. I would love to just head up the fjords and spend some time exploring some of the islands in the far north. I’m not sure why Norway is calling my name right now. I think I must be craving jaw-dropping views and fresh, clean air after all those lockdowns!
How do you cope with travel burnout or bad days on the road?
It’s true, travelling isn’t always perfect. So much of social media portrays travel through rose-tinted glasses. That’s why it’s a shock when you’re at a destination and you realise you aren’t having fun.
I have a habit of wanting to see and do everything. Unsurprisingly, there comes a moment in the trip when I’m just exhausted. I take it as a sign that I need to listen to my body and take the day off from sightseeing or exploring.
I’ll maybe stay in my room or find somewhere nearby to sit, eat something nice and just relax with a book. If it’s a particularly bad day, then I might get an early night and tell myself I can try again tomorrow.
What’s your favourite travel-related podcast?
My favourite travel podcast is the Big Travel Podcast with Lisa Francesca Nand. She always has some fascinating people on who talk about how travelling has impacted their lives. It’s a great companion when I’m on the train to work or taking a trip.
What’s one thing people don’t understand about travel blogging?
It’s not a get rich quick thing! Travel blogging takes time, consistency and dedication to be successful. To see sustainable growth you won’t make money overnight. I think that’s why a lot of people eventually give up.
Travelling has made me…
Grateful for this beautiful world and having the privilege to explore it. Not everyone is so fortunate!
Lastly, where can we find you?
- Little Lost Travel (littlelosttravel.com)
Thank you for joining my Traveller of the Month series, Francesca! Head on over to Francesca’s blog to learn more about sustainable travel stay tuned for October’s Traveller of the Month!