Talented travel blogger Lauren Juliff started recording her experiences at Never Ending Footsteps 26 months ago, and in the last six months it has become my go to blog for well-written, honest accounts of places I’d love to visit.
There’s a lot to learn from Lauren as she’s had a few unique experiences along the way, which she refers to as ‘incidents’!
After two years on the road, we chat with Lauren about her time away from the UK and even get her advice for travellers suffering with anxiety.
If you’re interested in the real story behind destinations, make sure you check out her blog.
You started as a solo traveller and now travel with your partner. How do the two experiences compare?
Travelling alone and travelling with my boyfriend, Dave, are two very different experiences. When I travel solo I’ll always stay in hostels, make tons of friends and generally have the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want, without having to consult anyone else – the downside is that I do get homesick and lonely. When I’m travelling as part of a couple, I stay in guesthouses and apartments, and so I don’t meet as many new people – but I’m always able to share my amazing experiences with somebody I care about.
Both Dave and I started off as solo travellers and then met on the road, so we recognise the benefits of both forms of travel. Because of this, we’ll often split off for a bit of solo travel for a month or so, so we get the best of both worlds!
Do you both get an equal say in where to go next?
I’m the planner in our relationship and Dave is the practical person. I’ll usually spend hours poring over maps and planning out routes and destinations — it’s my favourite part of travel! Once I’ve come up with a plan, I run it past Dave to check he’s all okay with it and then it’s over to him to figure out how to get us there!
You’re on a mission to see lots of the world; where would you go back to time and time again at the expense of a new destination?
I think I’ll have to go with Thailand – and I often do head back there instead of visiting somewhere new! Thailand feels like home for me – I’ve spent over eight months travelling and living there, and I’m still not bored of it. It’s my go – to place whenever I’m feeling drained from too much travel and need to spend a few weeks recovering.
As a self-confessed ‘extremely anxious hypochondriac’, how do you calm down yourself down and what advice would you give to other travellers suffering with anxiety?
I’d recommend taking each day as it comes, not worrying about what might happen and to take time out for yourself if ever you start feeling stressed or anxious. I always suffer from anxiety if I’m moving too fast and trying to cram too much in – so I’ll stop moving for a few weeks, book a private room in a hostel and spend a few weeks taking time off from travel.
For me, travel has done wonders for my anxiety – being able to do what I want, when I want, where I want and with who I want eliminated an awful lot of my worries.
You enjoy hiking; is this your favourite way of exploring a new destination?
It depends on the climate – I love to hike as long as it isn’t humid! I do like to explore on foot the most though – you get to see so much more that way.
What would be your top tip for last minute travel?
Try to be as flexible as possible in terms of airports and flight times. I’ve always found the cheapest travel deals when I’ve been willing to change my plans slightly to save money.
People get ‘itchy feet’ if they stay in the same place too long. Is there an equivalent for travellers where you get ‘tired feet’ at the prospect of more travel and just want to go home?
Absolutely, and after two and half years of travel I’ve finally reached that point. For almost two years, I haven’t spent more than a month in a single place, which, while amazing, has also been pretty draining. I moved to Mexico this week and I’m planning on spending six months writing, napping and eating.
What has been your highest point of the last two years?
My highest point was spending a night camping in the Sahara Desert. I got to ride camels over the sand dunes, watch the sunset and sunrise and camp out underneath the Milky Way. It was the most magical thing I’ve ever done and kick started an obsession with deserts!
How do you think blogging has changed you and does it influence how you travel?
Blogging has definitely influenced the way I travel because it’s just so time-consuming! I often stay for twice as long as I usually would in a new destination because I have so much work to do before I can start exploring. Blogging is pretty much a full-time job in terms of hours, but it also enables me to keep travelling so I can’t complain!
And lastly, where’s next?
Mexico, for the next six months, and then a slow jaunt down through Central and South America.
To stay up-to-date, follow Lauren’s Never Ending Footsteps Twitter account.