We at Global Goose are very excited to bring you an exclusive interview with the gorgeous, sarcastic, and hilarious Chloe Barnes from CampinginHeels.com. Her travel blog has been one of our favorites for a long time, particularly for her feisty rants dispelling common travel myths, such as “Oh you are going travelling? You are soooo lucky!”. Chloe knows it’s not about luck, it’s about working hard and taking risks. Read on to hear her story.
Tell us about yourself and your story? Do you travel full time, work and travel, study abroad, or something else?
I work full time in SEO for a digital media agency based in Edinburgh. I moved over here from Australia almost a year ago after travelling around the US, Canada and Iceland for almost 3 months. I work, but I make sure I get a decent amount of time to travel – all work, no travel makes Chloe go something something.
What was your inspiration or the event/idea that made you want to travel?
I have shiny penny (easily distracted) syndrome, coupled with a rather disappointing lack of patriotism. It wasn’t so much an ‘inspiration’, as it was a constant feeling of ‘Why do I still live in Australia? OMG look at that – bananas!’. I knew I would always live and travel overseas, it was just a question of WHEN.
What has been your favourite travelling experience/destination?
Six months in Sweden while I was doing my degree. Hands down, best thing I ever did. It made me realise how independent I am, how much I *loved* the experience of living in another country, and I also made some of the best friends ever. I also discovered the joys of lining up outside nightclubs in the snow, learning how to ride a bicycle through the forest with no lights (also in the snow), and drinking Pernod and Coke out of a Fanta bottle, whilst on aforementioned bike. You can’t buy memories like that.
What has been your scariest moment while travelling?
Getting into an unlicensed minicab in a dodgy area of Las Vegas. I was so tired that when my boyfriend at the time ushered me into a cab, it took me quite a while to realise that it WASN’T a cab, that the guy was taking us in the opposite direction to our hotel, and that he could very easily have just taken us into a quiet alleyway and shot us. That sure woke me up, and I realised how important it is to take note of your surroundings, even when you’re exhausted. We were lucky.
If you could go back in time to before you left home, what would you tell yourself?
Cancel this, this and this transport/hotel/hostel. They’re not worth it. Do it *this* way instead, because you won’t have missed anything. Spend more time here, here and here. Also, take some more time to do things by yourself that you really want to do. Don’t let anyone make you feel rushed. Take more photos, be more spontaneous, don’t plan too much.
Oh, and when you’re unemployed, use the extra time to blog. It’ll be better than watching endless reruns of America’s Next Top Model, Gossip Girl, and Teen Mom (stop that – I can feel your judgement from here) – and won’t deplete *quite* so many of your brain cells. You need those, you know.
What do you miss most when you are away from home?
Aside from friends and family (pretty obvious ones), the weird, little things. Like trawling the weekend social pages looking for people I know. Driving. I haven’t had a car since I left Australia, and I miss the freedom (though not the associated costs). Amazing coffee – especially if I don’t have easy access to a great cafe. Half of my friends in Australia are baristas, so I had an endless supply of the good stuff. OH, and the Central Market in Adelaide. A fresh food market with cafes, and just about everything food and drink related you could possibly imagine.
What do you miss the least?
The fact that you can’t so much as sneeze in Adelaide without everybody knowing about it. It’s a pretty big place (around 1.8 million people last time I checked), but there’s about 1 degree of separation. There’s very little chance that you don’t have at least one friend in common with EVERY single person who lives there. Unless you have no friends, in which case you’re pretty much screwed. Adelaide can be pretty bitchy, too.
Do you plan to stop travelling?
No. I’m like a fat kid with cake when it comes to travelling. The more I see, the more I want to see – it’s a vicious (and AWESOME) cycle, because I love having goals and things to work towards. It’s great knowing that there’s TONS of cool shit out there that I’ve never seen, because it just motivates me to keep pushing to see as much as I can before my time is up.
What’s in your backpack? Which item could you not live without?
A whole LOAD of crap that I probably don’t need! I’m guilty of carrying around far more stuff than I probably should. I’m a serial overpacker, and I *hate* that about myself. I’ll always want one more pair of shoes, one more top, one more option with something – I really hate downsizing, but I know it’s absolutely necessary in order to travel without wanting to kill yourself. I’m settled in Edinburgh at the moment, but when I’m on the road, I can’t live without my iphone. I know, I know. Techsnob.
Who inspires you? What other travellers do you look up to?
Anyone who gets out there and follows their dreams. We’re only here (in this life) for a short amount of time, so if you’re not making the most of it – then what the hell are you doing?
As far as being a cheerleader for other travellers is concerned, I’ll wave my pom poms at superstar Mike Sowden (@Mikeachim – Fevered Mutterings – he’ll either love me or hate me for calling him a superstar), Nellie Huang (Wild Junket – a prime example of someone who is married but still has her own life…*respect*), and Dave Dean (What’s Dave Doing – I agree with a lot of his ideas on actually getting out there and living your life the way you want to). There are tons of others. Tons. But I don’t really get inspired by other travellers, so much as I do by other writers. If you can write about travel, tell me a story that makes me feel something more positive than disdain, and communicate your personality through your words – I will be your slave. (Not really – I don’t do that. Unless you’re Mike Sowden.)
What advice would you give newbie travellers?
Say yes more often. Take opportunities when they arise, accept invitations from locals and other travellers (unless it’s “hop in my van…I have candy”), have fun with it. Be open to change, and try not to be a jerk. That’s about the size of it.