Meet Samantha, the traveller behind Wanderlust blog www.samanthassuitcase.com. Having married the love of her life and settled down in Nashville, Samantha explains how her normal routined life doesn’t get in the way of travelling. Yes, you heard me, you don’t all have to quit your job and live out of a suitcase- although, that does sound nice.
Samantha’s Instagram is full of awe-inspiring images from around the world. She is seen on camel back in Morocco, bike riding through Amsterdam, posing with castles in Japan and relaxing in the crystal waters of Thailand. If this doesn’t scream work: life balance, I don’t know what does.
Over to you, Samantha!
I’m Sam! I’m originally from West Virginia but now Nashville, Tennessee is where I call home. My Canadian husband and I travel as much as our funds allow, which is always never enough. We taught English overseas in Japan and Korea for several years and would get on a plane anytime we had a few days off. Southeast Asia is very accessible once you’re on that side of the planet. South Korea could actually still be a second home to me because we were there so long; I miss it all the time. We usually do our traveling together, and somewhere we’ve never been. We are on a mission to check off all the continents; we have four of the seven. Australia and Antarctica are a little harder to get to, but South America will hopefully be next. Luckily, being in a “normal” life routine here in Nashville hasn’t stopped us.
Why do you choose to travel?
Nothing broadens your mind and thinking more so than traveling and you don’t realize how big the world is until you experience it yourself. My favorite places to travel are developing countries. Life is so simple and slow and seeing how other people live, watching families laugh and hang laundry and cook dinner outside of their bamboo shacks…you realize that you are no happier than they are just because of your westernized comforts. It opens your mind and helps you remember that we are all people, exactly alike, just born in different places. Plus, there are few things more relaxing than a hammock in the middle of some far-flung jungle.
Favourite place you have visited?
It’s taken a long time to decide, but I think I love Thailand the most. I’ve been to Thailand a few times, and I always find myself wanting to go back. Specifically, I love Koh Lipe. It’s small, and there’s nothing to do, but it has the clearest blue water I’ve ever seen. I’ve heard the tourists have discovered it so I’m not sure what I’d find if we went back. Next time I go, I’d like to hit up the mountain areas like Pai since I’ve mostly only spent time on the islands. You can read about our trip here.
How do you travel?
My husband has been by my traveling side 99% of the time. We met in college and got married shortly after, so he’s kind of always been around. Luckily he likes to travel just as much as I do. We are definitely budget travelers, always looking for a deal on flights, sometimes considering places simply because the tickets are cheap.
Your favourite travel quote
“It is a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don’t want to be most of us” by Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones. When he said that in that episode I was like yep.
Your favourite social media platform?
Definitely Instagram. It’s the best way to showcase content quickly and beautifully.
Favourite editing software
Oh, I just love Lightroom. And a little bit of VSCO on my phone.
What are your travel essentials?
Advil PM. I swear by sleeping pills for jetlag. Why people want to try and get over it naturally is beyond me.
Top tip for a first-time traveler
My best advice for someone traveling for the first time is to separate yourself from your home country. You are not home! The same rules don’t apply. Sometimes you have to be more vigilant or careful or self-aware than you would at home. I’m American, and I know a lot of Americans get a bad rap as travelers. I believe a lot of it is because they don’t have that separation and that they don’t need to behave a certain way or they think negatively about cultural differences. You just need to keep your head about you, be smart, and remember that you are not home.
Share your worst travel experience
My husband got wretched food poisoning from a food truck in Laos. We had a flight to catch, and he was sick the entire time in the air and the rest of the way to Phi Phi. He was laid out for days. He maintains to this day it was the best sandwich he’s ever eaten, however.
Best food you have eaten on the road and in what country?
The best food I’ve ever eaten would have to be the Tajines in Morocco. I’ve never tasted so much flavor in any food anywhere. The mixture of the cumin, cinnamon, ginger, saffron and tons of other things slow cooked with different meat or vegetables is wonderful.
Make sure you connect with Samantha on Instagram and subscribe to her blog.
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