We have known Heather from heatheronhertravels.com online now for a while so we thought it was about time we got an interview from her! Heather runs a fantastic travel blog which is most certainly worth checking out!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in Bristol in the West of England with my family and, as I have a day job, I have to fit my blogging around work and family commitments. Because my travelling time is limited I tend to take a lot of shorter breaks with friends or family and pack in as much as I can while I’m there. I take a lot of European short breaks, with one or two longer haul trips a year and also try to visit as many interesting places in the UK as I can.
2. What got you into travelling in the first place?
My parents were great travellers when I was growing up and even though they didn’t have a lot of money, we would go camping each summer to different places around Europe. We never stayed long in each place and my mother tells me that I used to follow the tour guides around listening intently to everything they had to say. I did a bit of travelling in my year off before university although looking back it seems a little tame compared to the adventures that students have these days and at univeristy I really got into more adventurous travel organising expeditions to Kenya and Papua New Guinea.
3. What have been some of the highlights of your travels?
The highlight for me is meeting interesting people on my travels who can give you local insights that help you get under the skin of the place you are visiting. I’ve found that having a blog allows me entry to unusual places and experiences – for instance interviewing a couple of top chefs in Gothenburg and eating some of their wonderful food was a highlight. I also get a lot of pleasure from taking my family on trips and introducing them to things that are a little out of the ordinary, such as the day we spent at Picosa Ranch in Texas, where my boys loved the clay shooting we did and I was fascinated by the history of the place, as it was owned by Texas Governor John Connally who was in the car the day JFK was assassinated in Dallas
4. Have you had any scary moments when you have been traveling you can tell us?
When I was in Ecuador I travelled with some friends by dug-out canoe on one of the Amazon tributaries, staying in rainforest communities and camping on sand-banks. The most feared creature of the rainforest seemed to be the anaconda and we heard several scary stories, including one about a local man who was attacked by an anaconda on the very sandbank where we were camping on and was only saved when the barking of his dog brought his wife to see what was happening and shot the anaconda. We were told by our boatmen to make sure we had our bath very close to the boat and not go out of sight, although of course all we saw were river turtles and no snakes at all.
5. So tell us a bit more about your website heatheronhertravels.com
The website is all about inspirational travel destinations, places that I’ve personally visited with some useful information thrown in to help people who might to want to visit themselves. My aim is to transport my readers to feel the spirit of a place and ultimately want to go there too. I use videos and podcasts as well as words and pictures to try and make the blog a multi-media experience. I started the website over 3 years ago as a way of sharing my personal travel experiences and it’s being growing in readership ever since.
6. What is your next trip that you have lined up?
I have a few things planned in Europe or fairly close to home for the rest of this year but in 2013 I really would love to get back to explore more of Egypt if the political situation is calm and also to get back to central India where I have some charity contacts – to see the rural village India where most tourists don’t go.
7. What is the best place you have ever been to in the world, what are your recommendations for other people who haven’t travelled much before, where would you recommend they go to?
For me every destination has something unique and special and that’s what I try to discover and write about on the blog. Also I think it’s about who you travel with and the people you meet that can make a place special. I love staying in nice hotels and eating great food when I can share the experience with family and friends but I also take pleasure in getting well away from any tourist spots, into the rainforest in Ecuador or up on a high Alpine pass on the Tour de Mont Blanc or into the desert in Egypt.
If you haven’t travelled so much but long for a bit of adventure, then I’d choose a country where English is the first language or is widely spoken, to make the experience a bit more manageable. I’d also think about destinations where you have friends of family that you can visit as a starting point – it’s so much less scary when you have a local to show you around and then you can always travel some more on your own once you have acclimatised to a different culture.