Hey everyone! My name is Kerry Maskell and I am the author of Drunk On Wanderlust. I have always had a passion for travel, the whole experience and not just checking destinations off a list. I relish those overpriced beers you drink at 4am whilst sat in the airport. I love that feeling of being so tired, yet buzzing with excitement ready to set off on another adventure. I laugh so hard I could wet myself at those moments you miss yet another plane whilst you’re dancing in a bar with the locals, or get bustled onto the wrong boat and end up staying the night on some random island. A lot of the time, the unplanned moments are what make the trip so memorable, and of course give you plenty of stories to tell. You could say I have just lost my ‘travel blogging virginity’, my blog is only a month and a half old! It was actually my friends who suggested I start a blog. I had visited so many destinations with my trusty backpack and was always offering travel tips and information on how to budget travel, I suppose it felt natural when I began to write my experiences down.
What tips of advice could you give our readers that may want to start a travel blog
Firstly… make sure you spell your website name right when registering for a domain! My first hilarious mistake was misspelling the word Wanderlust and not realising until it was too late. My website is now called drunkonwanderust.com … which was funny at first, but I can imagine it may cause issues as my site grows.
Secondly, do your research! Read other blogs and take notice of the start-up tips and advice before you begin. These established bloggers have years of experience and know the best software and web hosting providers out there.
Have you got any places on your bucket list?
Yes I do, in a roundabout way. My bucket list is full of things I want to do rather than destinations, but most of these activities are linked to certain places. For example…. Volcano surfing is on my bucket list and I’ve heard the best place to do this is Nicaragua, so I’m heading there this winter to check it out! Another crazy thing I’d love to try is Ostrich Riding, and Cape Town is the place to go for this activity.
Have I experienced any downsides to travel?
I suppose I have been pretty lucky on my travels so far, the only downside I can think of is getting sick when you’re a long way from home. It is so important so buy the right travel insurance, especially when you are backpacking across multiple continents.
What has travelling taught you?
One of the main lessons budget backpacking has taught me, is to appreciate the value of things. When I’m back in the UK, living on a comfortable wage it is very easy to take things for granted. I find myself at my happiest when I am budgeting, knowing I am not wasting money on needless material objects or expensive hair products. When I travel,
I’m happy in the knowledge my hard earned cash is creating amazing memories that will be with me forever.
What are your favourite cities, and what are the top attractions to see in each?
I adore Paris! We booked a multi-attraction trip which involved a 5* black tie dinner cruise down the Seine, a trip up the Eiffel tower and tickets to the Moulin Rouge. The evening was wonderful, however, climbing the Eiffel tower in smart evening dresses and heels was a challenge… we even got asked if we were prostitutes by a tourist!! Luckily we saw the funny side.
Any recommendations for the best beaches you have visited? Where were they, and what did you like about them?
When it comes to beaches I’m pretty picky! I see myself as a beach connoisseur lol.. they have to be clean, clean beaches are a must! For a beach to get a 5 out of 5, they would also have to be surrounded by beauty, towering white cliffs or backing onto dense tropical jungle etc. I am not a fan of over commercialised beaches full of beach umbrellas and sunburnt tourists, give me a deserted natural paradise and I’ll be happy. Saracen beach on the Island of Koh Rong in Cambodia is one of my personal favourites along with Buccoo bay in Tobago.
For more information about Cambodia, check out my Top 5 Cambodian highlights
Check out my blog on Tobago
What is my favourite travel app?
As a budget backpacker, one of the most handy apps you can use is called Trail Wallet. This App is an easy travel expense tracker that helps you monitor your daily budget in whatever currency you are using at the time. You just pop in the amount in local currency that you spend for each transaction, and it deducts the amount from your daily budget you have set in your home currency.
What are 3 articles you have written that you would like to share with our readers?
The first article I would like to share includes some handy tips and advice for budget travelling.
I would also love to share my blog post on Phu Quoc, an island off Vietnam which was one of my personal favourite destinations when backpacking South East Asia
Finally, my recommended list of things to pack for a trip.
Can you recommend any great places you have visited for delicious food? What sort of dishes were they? Where were those places?
One of my favourite foods I have experienced whilst travelling is Domada – Probably the most popular local dish you will find in The Gambia. It is made of peanuts, tomato paste, mustard and onions and comes served with rice.. delicious!
I have always been a fan of Tapas, and living for three months in Port de Pollenca I tasted some of the finest Tapas known to man-kind! I recommend the restaurant Tapas Y Punto, they serve some interesting and unique concoctions.
Have you had any scary travel experiences? If so, what happened?
We had been staying on the island of Ko Phi Phi just off the coast of Thailand for a few days when the bad weather hit. The rain came down so hard and fast that the local drainage system could not take the strain and begun to overflow. This resulted in a bout of dysentery on the island and my two friends I was travelling with came down with it very badly. This in itself was pretty scary, I felt helpless as they both spent days rushing to and from the bathroom. We decided it would be best to leave the island as soon as possible and queued up with the rest of the tourists by the docks.
We had been told the ferry was cancelled as the weather was so bad, so took our chances with the only speed boat willing to take us… 5 minutes into the journey the weather took a turn for the worse, the rain was pelting down and giant waves came crashing over the top of the boat. We were holding on for dear life as each crash almost sent us flying off into the choppy waters. It was at this point they decided we would have to turn around and go back for our own safety. Luckily the weather cleared up a day or two later, along with the illness and we made it to the next island.
Your top off the beaten track places to visit and why?
I adore The Gambia in Africa, it’s not called the smiling coast for nothing, the people are amazing and so friendly! I have never been asked so many times to come for dinner, or for a free tour around the local villages and markets. If you get a chance to go, make sure you visit some of the families compounds, and of course sample the potent local palm wine! Top Tip – check out Kachikally Pool, Bakau where you can stroke Charlie the Crocodile.
What are your travel plans this year?
I have already had a pretty amazing year travel-wise, I celebrated New Year in Bangkok then proceeded to backpack through South East Asia. On my return I discovered I had won a trip to Sun City in South Africa! I was lucky enough to experience both a Jeep safari and a hot air balloon safari over Pilanesburg National Park, cuddle with the cutest baby lion cubs and rocket down one of the longest zip wires I had ever seen! Our next trip is planned for November, we are heading to Mexico and backpacking our way down through Central and South America, culminating in Brazil for the Rio Carnival in February.
Best websites to book flights, hotels or other?
When booking a long backpacking trip, I tend to use a combination of sites. Sky Scanner is a firm favourite for fights, as we have always managed to find some outstanding deals. The key is to be as flexible as possible and select the chart that shows you’re the prices each day for a month. Accommodation wise, AirBnB is fantastic especially if you are travelling in a group as you can often get entire apartments for a ridiculously cheap price. Booking.com is also a great source for cheap accommodation, I like the convenience of paying at the hotel in local currency to avoid any bank charges.
What 5 things do you always pack?
Wow, … Tampons! You wouldn’t believe how many remote places just don’t sell them!
Blister plasters – I love a good hike, but your walk can be ruined if you don’t pack a few of these.
My lucky hat – This is essential for bad hair days, rain or to shield your face from the sun
A deck of cards – perfect for early evening chill out time, a few beers with friends and a good game of cards.
My I-phone ….. standard
My comfy Aladdin pants … big, lightweight and baggy, and great to travel in!
Share a Travel Quote you love.
“ I’d rather have a passport full of stamps than a house full of stuff” – TinyBuddah.com