Ahoy, Pirates! Have you ever dreamed of quitting your job to travel the world full time? Of course you have! This week, we spoke to Victoria Alao of The Stylish Trotter, who actually quit her job to make travel her full-time job. The Stylish Trotter is full of travel tips, eating tips, and Victoria's personal travel goals- she even has a bucket list that will certainly inspire your own! Without further delay, here's this week's inspiring Travel Tip Tuesday!
So, tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Victoria, and I left my job in February 2018 to travel the world full time. I have been planning to travel full time for 2 years, so I worked and saved up to reach a financial goal, and then I took the step. I love experiencing a new destination and I also love trying new foods in a new place. I particularly enjoy documenting my travels and creating content.
Victoria in Tokyo, Japan
What made you decide to become a travel blogger?
I felt there were aspects of my trips that I needed to share. For example, I would get a lot of questions about food, ease of traveling to certain destinations, how I stay connected to the internet and moving around, etc. I decided to start a blog so that it can have all the information regarding the questions I get asked. I usually write about those aspects of travel which I feel people would be most interested.
Victoria in Beijing, China
On your blog, you have a post called "A Compilation of my 6 Month Travel Mishaps," where you talk about crazy experiences you've had while traveling. Can you offer any advice you've learned from these experiences?
Yes. Traveling is not all peachy. Some days, I just want to sleep in my hotel or Airbnb all day, and other days I am inspired to go out, explore, and create content. My mood is usually affected by things that led up to the trip which could sometimes be mishaps. Each country is different, so no mishap is ever the same, but they do happen. From my experiences, I learned that extensive research is very important. The internet is filled with a lot of information, so researching several sources about the same topic is always advisable.
Also, I learned that it helps to always have two wallets, especially if you're traveling long term. One hidden safely, with your passport, cash, a Visa and/or Mastercard, and another everyday wallet with your main credit or debit cards and necessities. When I lost my wallet, I had all my cards in it. If I had split my cards between two wallets I would have been able to withdraw money from my backup card.
Victoria in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti
What inspires you to travel?
I am always eager to experience a new destination. The destination gets bonus points if they are known for good food, for example, Thailand and Indonesia. I literally sometimes get inspired solely because of the dishes a country has to offer!
Victoria in Jaipur, India
From the story highlights on your Instagram, it looks like you've been everywhere! I'm curious about "Gorilla Trek." Can you tell us more about this experience?
I trekked in the jungle in Uganda to find gorillas, but the closer we got to them, the further they walked into the forest. Because of this, we had to keep trekking deeper into the jungle to find them! We saw a family of gorillas and it made the trek worth it. You can only see gorillas in their natural habitat in very few places in the world, and Uganda is one of them. I was deeply humbled by this experience.
The gorilla trek was supposed to be a 4-hour trek total. The trek lasted 9 hours! I literally thought I wasn't going to complete it, and the tour leader had to drag my hand because I had difficulty walking. The jungle floor was slippery and wet, and I sprained my ankle when I accidentally stepped in a pile of elephant poo. It was an amazing experience which was also filled with mishaps, or maybe I'm just unlucky!
Would I do it again? If I can be assured that the trek would take less than 9 hours, then yes!
Victoria in Jaipur, India
What is something that you always pack on your travels?
I ALWAYS pack my power bank. The capacity is 16,000Mah so a full charge lasts me a whole day. When I am out exploring, I use my phone a lot for Instagram stories, and I connect my phone to my camera to take my own pictures. My power bank never leaves my purse or backpack, except if I want to charge it.
Victoria in Disneyland Tokyo, Japan
Do you prefer to travel solo, or with friends? What is the best part of traveling solo, and what is the best part about traveling with friends?
I like both, but this is only because I only travel with my best friend when I am not traveling solo. The best part of solo travel is the fact that you are on your own time. I can decide to spend the whole day resting in the hotel without having to consider anyone else. The best part of traveling with my best friend is having a companion, someone who can brainstorm situations with me and help with avoiding possible mishaps, and someone to help take my pictures instead of having to mount a tripod.
Not only are you a successful travel blogger, but you've recently expanded your blog to include fashion, lifestyle, and food as well. What are your tips for finding the best local eats in a new place?
I trust Google reviews over any travel or food website. Google reviews are usually written by people who visited a restaurant and are either so awed by the food and their service, or so annoyed by both. When I visit a place, Google sends me a message asking me to confirm my visit and write a review. Because of this, when I look for a new restaurant, I read the reviews to get a feel of the place and the food, and then I make my decision. This method has never failed me!
What trip do you have planned next?
I will be visiting Argentina in a few days. I booked the trip last minute (I consider 2 weeks before a trip to be last minute) and I got it for a good price. I am excited because I love South America, and I have always wanted to visit Argentina, but the ticket prices were always too expensive, or the flight was too long.
Lightning round questions! Dream destination?
Window or aisle?
Plane travel or train travel?
Train, if I could take the train everywhere. Most long-distance train routes are always very scenic.
Top three destinations you would recommend?
Japan, Taiwan, and Malaysia.
Thank you again for chatting with us, Victoria! We love Victoria's blog, because it's filled with plenty of tips for finding good food, and what to do if you experience a "mishap" of your own. If you want to read more about Victoria's travel mishaps and other adventures, check out her blog at thestylishtrotter.com, and follow her on Instagram!
Victoria in Namibia. All photos courtesy of Victoria Alao.