It has been a while since my last interview with a travel blogger and you can view the entire series here. For now though I am pleased to say that my 10th interview is with the Amy from Generic Dreams.
Why don’t you introduce yourself and your blog?
My name is Amy and my blog is GenericDreams.com! Generic Dreams is a lifestyle + adventure/travel blog geared for busy people with full-time jobs and feel like they don’t have the time to plan trips and travel. My goal is to show you how it IS entirely possible to use your time off and maximize it to explore the world – doing what you want whether it’s jumping from airplanes, eating fertilized duck eggs, or sipping on wine in sunny wine country.
I’m also working full time and try to travel as much as I can during my time off. What are some of your best tips to maximize this time?
- I definitely use weekends and holidays to my advantage when planning my trips.
- If your work schedule allows flextime, I always put in extra hours before I leave for the trip. Saving even half a day helps!
- Having a planned but flexible itinerary is key. I find it better to have a few sights/attractions or restaurants that you feel are “must dos” and create the day’s activities around a particular sight or attraction. I always leave room to explore and wander about since that’s when you discover the most.
- Don’t cram multiple countries or too many cities if the trip isn’t very long. You’ll spend most of your time in transit vs. exploring the destination.
- Don’t go to sights just to check it off your bucket list. While some attractions ARE must-dos, you don’t have to see EVERYTHING.
- Once you’re in a city, take a walking tour (usually are free and given by the locals). You will be able to get your bearings, ask advice/tips on what to see or skip. Not to mention you won’t have to wander around and get lost the first day trying to navigate in a new place.
Where have you managed to travel to within the last year and do you have any trips coming up?
Where has been your favorite country you have ever visited and why?
Ooo. Such a hard question! I loved Vietnam since that is where my ancestry is from and it’s a place where it has one foot in the past and the other is in the future. Vietnamese food also rocks.
Iceland also captured my heart. It looks like a totally different world with vast landscapes. There are hot springs, volcanoes, glaciers, wild horses and sheep grazing. It’s hella expensive and can’t say much for the food but Iceland was magical.
Have you ever considered leaving your job or taking sabbatical in order to travel for longer periods of time?
I *have* considered it but it’s a little hard leaving your job when you have a mountain of loans/debt to pay off which I’m in the process of doing as fast as possible.
I have thought of taking a long sabbatical but I don’t mind taking my 4-5 weeks off vacation a year and breaking it up in smaller trips (1-2 weeks at a time). It gives me something to look forward to and I am always planning a trip OR helping other people plan theirs.
I would love to find a 100% telecommute job so I can make a living and travel the world but those jobs are hard to come by and also very competitive.
What type of activities do you like to do most when travelling?
EATING! I love to try the local food (street eats & fine dining). I’m a wine & beer lover so I will try the local varieties if possible.
However, people-watching is another favorite past time as well. A little bit of both worlds!
What is the one thing that you have to pack when going travelling and why?
My kindle (for reading on long flights or rides). Headphones, and a journal or notebook for writing and taking notes!
You mention that you love taking notes. Do you like to keep track of all your expenses when travelling?
Yes, I love to keep all my expenses in a spreadsheet before my trips. I always allocate money for spending and while I’m there, I’m too busy enjoying my new environment to worry about where/what I’m spending on! Usually it’s food & alcohol, public transportation and maybe some souvenirs for the loved ones back home.
What is your favourite travel related quote?
“No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection” – Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man’s Fear)
What would you say to someone contemplating the idea of long-term travel?
It’s a totally awesome + radical idea! Go for it. What’s the worst that can happen?
When you go, if you’re the type to make plans – no problem in that. If you’re the opposite, go be completely spontaneous. There’s many different ways to do long-term travel so find what’s best for you. I’m in the middle of figuring out my plans as well! Live your dreams…even if it’s seemingly generic.