My name is Julie Laughlin. I am from Seattle, WA, where in my past life I was a taco slinging, craft brew pouring, master mixologist. I have always been very travel minded. Starting from a young age I would read books about other countries and I became very interested in different cultures. I decided that travel was what drove my soul, so I made a plan and left the states in Feb 2018 and I have been traveling since. I’m currently in Malaysia and I’m about to finish my tour through SE Asia. Next I plan to head over to central and south America for a year of travel there. I started my travel blog as a way to keep my friends and family entertained in my absense and now it has grown to what it is today, a collection of my worst and best moments, as well as, my favorite adventures.
Blog name: Insatiable Travel, click the link to visit Julie website, for more information on her travels.
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1. Where has been your best travel destination and why?
That’s always hard for me to answer because I have many bests. However, I think my all over best was Myanmar. The country is so wholely untouched by tourism right now that it challenged me in ways I’ve never been challenged before.
Almost no one spoke English, finding accommodation was not always easy in remote places and transportation always seemed to pose problems.
Through overcoming such challenges I learned just how loving the Burmese culture is and the warmth of their people, where love has no limitations. The people are just very special there and they will always hold a piece of my heart.
2. What’s your favorite part about traveling?
I love being somewhere I’ve never been before, it exhilarates me. I love to experience places for the first time, by eating new foods, seeing different styles of architecture, getting to know people from all over the world and exploring new territories. Every day is something new and different and that’s what makes me happy.
3. Tell us about a travel adventure that springs to mind
Without a doubt, my favorite travel adventure was a 3 day zipline tour in Pakse, south Laos. It was through a company called Green Discovery where we did a total of maybe 30 ziplines in 3 days and stayed in tree houses in the jungle at night. The tour also included 3 horrendous canopy walks, abseiling down the face of a waterfall and climbing a giant rock wall. I had never in my life done any of those things and they terrified me and pushing myself to those limits has changed my life forever.
4. If a traveller visited your country, what would be the one meal they shouldn’t miss?
Oh man, that’s a hard one. The U.S. has food from every country and so much fusion making it hard to pick something unique to just the states. I guess I would say have a traditional steak dinner at a nice steak house. The U.S. farms some pretty top notch beef that melts in your mouth and is a perfect combo with fresh out the oven bread, potato side of some sort and steamed vegetables. Ignore this if you’re vegan or vegetarian lol.
5. Do you get homesick, and if so how do you overcome it?
Honestly, I rarely feel homesick. I think that I’m too happy fulfilling all my dreams to miss my mundane life back home. I miss my family but I know how happy it makes them to see my accomplishments and watching how far I will go. It’s Christmas today, as I write this, and I thought I would be homesick for my family, but calling them and staying in contact relieves me of the FOMO. Anytime I might feel that twinge of homesickness I just focus on the fact that I am the most happy out here in the world and my family and my old life will always be there if I decide this isn’t what I want anymore. I overcome it by reminding myself that this is a choice and it’s what makes me happy and I focus on the joy my travels give me.
6. What is your travel style?
Dirty backpacker. Just kidding, but not really. I’m definitely a budget backpacker, I try to do everything as cheap as possible. I’m also a solo traveler and I truly like it that way. I love the freedom to be totally selfish that solo traveling gives me. In general I’m a really selfless person and I’ve at times done too much for other people. When I travel alone I feel empowered because it’s truly the first time I’ve allowed myself to be completely selfish and that has been a game changer for me.
7. Do you have any travel tips?
Well yeah, tons actually! I would say my best tips are to travel light. Have less, need less, because it really allows you to immerse yourself in culture. Let go of things that connect you to comfort so that you can learn and grow through your experiences. Oh and get some packing cubes, they are major space savers!
8. What inspired you to travel?
I’ve always been really travel minded. I knew from a young age that the world was big and I wanted to know more about it. I’m also a big people person and culture fascinates me more than anything. I’ve always wanted to know more about people, where they come from, what their lives are like, what they eat and what do they value. My need for these answers is my inspiration. I want to learn more about this amazing, beautiful world we live in and all the creatures that inhabit it.
9. What has travel taught you?
Traveling has taught me everything, especially solo travel. I have learned that I am truly capable of doing anything I set my mind to and there are no limits to my personal accomplishments. It has taught me to be more open minded and to consider all perspectives of people and situations. To slow down and live in the moment and have no regrets. Most importantly it has taught me to be transparent. To love myself enough to open up and to be comfortable in my own skin.
10. How does travel make you feel?
Travel makes me feel free. I have no limitations to where I can go and the things I can do. I feel weightless because I have no worries, deadlines or due dates. Whatever I want to do today, I do it. Sometimes that means doing nothing, other times it means climbing a mountain or laying on a beach with a cold beer. It makes me feel enlightened because I’ve seen so much and I understand things differently. Nothing can ever be the same for me now, my whole being has changed. My mind, perspective and soul. And definitely all for the better.