Travel Q & A: Hayley

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1. What was your favorite travel experience? I have had so many great travel experiences its hard to pick a favourite. I love Asia so much: Thailand is great; seeing Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and learning about the sad history in Cambodia and Vietnam. I had so much fun with friends in Australia with a great Couchsurfing community I created and fell in love with.

2. What is the best piece of advice you ever received as a traveller? Ummm, hard one. Maybe, don’t expect things to be the same as in your own country and just go with the flow. Service in restaurants can be slower and things take longer than back home with different services. Also, have common sense with health and safety and use Couchsurfing (CS) to meet people.

3. How do you stay fabulous while you travel? Shower every day, smell good, and wear a little makeup like mascara and eyeliner. I always try to travel with cute clothes that are also practical at the same time.

4. What’s your greatest extravagance when traveling? My biggest extravagance whilst travelling was probably my Sony Cyber-shot camera, though now I use my Samsung S4 phone to take photos. Also, I had a tattoo done in Taiwan and a tattoo a few years later when I was in Thailand.

5. On what items do you prefer to save money rather than spend money when traveling? When travelling I usually use buses and trains rather than fly as it’s cheaper. Also, when buying clothes to take, I buy cheap, eat food in restaurants that are not expensive or I sometimes eat street food. I use hostels rather than hotels or Couchsurfing because it’s a great experience to stay with people.

6. What’s your most important travel item? I think my most important travel item would be my Samsung S4 phone as I use it as a camera, to call friends and CS hosts, and I use the GPS, Google maps and internet.

7. What characteristics do you dislike about yourself when you travel? Maybe, being a bit slow getting ready, or complaining when my day bag is too heavy because I suffer with a bad back and neck. In some countries I can be fussy with food, but most places I am OK.

8. What characteristics do you dislike about others when you travel? I dislike loud, brash, noisy backpackers or rude people, and when people are drunk and acting stupid.

9. What do you most value in a travel buddy? A kind, honest, fun and trustworthy travel buddy who won’t leave you in a club or tourist attraction on your own. Someone you get along with who is nice, with whom you can have a laugh, and who likes to do the same kind of travelling as I.

10. What do you absolutely have to know before you go? The currency I need and where to stay. I book a hostel or contact a Couchsurfer. I also like to know the weather so I know what to pack. Sometimes I’ll check tourist attractions and things to see and do there, too.

11. What travel experiences are still on your bucket list? I would love to go on a safari in Africa and see all the animals in their natural habitat. I would love to also see Machu Picchu, Christ the Redeemer, the pyramids in Egypt, all the wonders of the world, more of South America, Greece, Italy, France, and more of Australia–so many places to see still!

12. How do you plan for travel, especially paying for it? I normally work as many hours as I can to save at home in the UK. Or, I work abroad teaching, or whatever job I can get.

Hayley is an English teacher and a qualified Beauty Therapist who has worked for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. on the Jewel of the Seas and also taught in Beijing, China, for almost two years. She now teaches in Ecuador. Hayley has travelled to around 35 countries and lived and worked in 4 countries and continents: England, Europe; China, Asia; Australia, Oceania; and Ecuador, South America. She loves travelling and backpacking around the world, making friends through Couchsurfing where she is an avid member by hosting, surfing, and creating groups in the cities she lives to meet people and create a great community.
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