As part of Backpacker Banters new look we’ve roped in our travel buddies to add new content to the site – so let me introduce the newest member of our blog, Emma Winterschladen, who I met while living in the Byron Bubble…
Fill us in – who are you and what do you do?!
I’m a Geordie girl (although apparently without the accent!) from Newcastle. Currently studying English Lit and History at Uni – to say I am studying however is a slight exaggeration, rather sleeping, eating and drinking my time away- along with researching my next traveling adventure!
Where have you travelled too?
Borneo, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, East Coast Australia, New Zealand…
Why did you decide to travel?
A combination of not feeling ready for uni (as fun as it is!), needing a break from education and most importantly a desire to see and experience the world; from the people to the food. I have always felt I’m a nomad at heart.
What’s your favourite travel experience so far?
Where to begin! Scuba Diving the Great Barrier was also a definite highlight and Sky-diving 16,000 ft in Taupo, NZ, still gives me chills of excitement to think about!
…And the worst?
Having my drink spiked in Shanghai (bad times… or so I’ve been told) definitely taught me to be much more careful! Also being rejected at the Vietnamese border because I put the wrong date on my visa application was devastating as it involved a 5 hour bus journey back to a rat-infested hostel as we awaited a new visa!
Out of everywhere you’ve been what are your top places to visit?
Yangshou (China), Vang Vieng (Laos) Byron Bay (Oz) and Queenstown (NZ)
Any top travel tips?
1/ Do NOT over-plan– you just never know who you are going to meet. Flexibility when traveling is the most invaluable thing- how could you possibly hope to know a place before you have experienced it!?
2/ This applies to ‘Gap Yearers’ especially: Don’t just travel with someone because you both want to go traveling and have no one else to go with. Yes, the idea of traveling solo may seem daunting but in reality it gives you the unlimited independence. By all means travel with your best friend- but be warned…traveling is an extremely intense situation and can make or break friendships – I was incredibly lucky with my friend Chloe, but I have heard a lot of horror stories.
Traveling is a personal thing, why jeopardize it through fear of the unknown?
What’s in the pipeline for future travel?
The list is endless, unfortunately time and money is limited for the next 4 years. I do plan to travel in the summer however- Bali is looking like it may be on the cards- I am keen to do my advanced diving certificate there. But South America, Africa and Napal are places that really appeal to me for future travels too.
Emma wil be bantering about her experiences from throughout her travels in between uni assignments – so stay tuned for more culture and carnage from the Geordie!