HOW TO PREPARE FOR LONG TERM TRAVEL
Pt III: Blogging & Getting Involved With the Travel Community
– by @KansasGirlTravelsWorld for NomadApp
I have told you guys all about how I am saving to travel and planning my trip in my first two posts, and now I will be telling you about my blog and how I have gotten involved with the travel community. I am making as many connections as possible; I am in love with the sharing economy and all around good spirit of like-minded travelers.
I have already talked previously how I have made money by renting out my place on AirBnb. I have also met some great people, and AirBnb is actually how I got connected with NomadApp! I got to chatting with Kelli, who is part of the NomadApp team, and she asked me if I travel a lot; I think she noticed the little travel-related things throughout my apartment. I told her a little about my plans and she told me a little about NomadApp. I gave her my card, she emailed me a couple weeks later, and here we are now!
Couchsurfing is the epitome of “sharing economy.” When I first heard about it months ago it made me really nervous. I thought “what if someone steals all my stuff?!” Again, as with allowing strangers inside my home to sell my belongings and stay through AirBnb, I have decided to follow my gut and put faith in humanity. So far, the couple of interactions I have had thanks to CS have worked out well. There aren’t a lot of people traveling through Lawrence, KS, but there are often couch surfers visiting nearby Kansas City (KC). In April I reached out to a girl who is about my age who was planning on going to KC. According to her profile she had quit her job to do a two month cross-country road trip. I let her know Lawrence is a super cool town and that I was getting ready to set out for solo traveling myself, and she ended up staying a night with me when she came through Kansas in early May!
We clicked right away and stayed up late eating pizza, drinking wine, and talking about travel. She is a talented graphic designer and she offered to design my logo. She gave me a great outside perspective, and it turned out better than I could have imagined! Check out her blog here!
In Las Vegas I met up with a local for a night out through Couchsurfing – he got us into a new club free and we each got two free drink tickets. We met up with some of his friends and had a great time talking about traveling (where we had been, and where we were going). He is moving to Spain this fall, so it’s possible I will meet up with him again when I make my way there!
I was excited to couch surf in Austin recently, but I decided to stay at a hostel instead, which was amazing. I stayed at HK Austin – HK stands for Hostel Kid – which is co-owned by Matt Kepnes of Nomadic Matt. About half of the people staying there, including my bunk mate Izzy, were from Melbourne, Australia. This was amazing because Melbourne is the first stop on my round-the- world trip! Izzy is back in Melbourne now and we’ll hopefully be meeting up when I am there in October. Staying in a hostel was a lot of fun, and incredibly affordable at about $30 per night. There was a kitchen, laundry room, living room, and wrap-around porch. All of the guests and staff were travelers and it was really cool getting to know people, going out together, and listening to their stories.
Social media is the easiest way to connect with other travelers, both locally and internationally. I have noticed that travelers are incredibly friendly, whether they have hundreds of thousands of followers or only a couple hundred, and most will respond to emails and direct messages if you send them your travel questions. I have chatted online and received advice and encouragement from people all over the world. I love talking with other travelers, reading travel tips, and seeing all the great travel photos people post from around the globe.
My favorite social media platform has been Instagram, but I am also starting to get into Snapchat. People all over the world are going on awesome adventures, and I love seeing their pictures and videos! I found out about the Amsterdam Coffee Festival and Songkran, the Thai New Year celebrations in Bangkok, which are now on my bucket list, via Instagram. I connected on Facebook and Instagram with a part-time- travel junkie on who lives in my home town of Wichita, KS. She is a teacher and does quite a bit of traveling during summer break, and has a blog dedicated to her “Breathtaking Adventures.” We met up for drinks in Wichita a while back and bonded over our mutual wanderlust. It was really cool meeting a fellow wanderer from my area, and I encouraged her to do some traveling abroad.
Another great way to connect with other travelers online is forums. The only one I have used is on Nomadic Matt (forums.nomadicmatt.com). They have been a great resource for me, especially for questions that I could not easily find an answer to on travel blogs. All in all, the travel community is wonderful. If you are interested in traveling or planning to travel, I would highly encourage you to get connected with some folks online. It’s a great way to learn about your destination, discover new places to add to your bucket list, and network with like-minded people.
ABOUT KANSAS GIRL
If anyone has questions about my travels and preparations, please feel free to contact me via email or social media, I’d love to chat!