I'm so excited to share this interview with you today as it's with such an awesome blogger, Sophie whose travel content will make you want to book a flight asap. But it's a little bittersweet as this is going to be my last interview for the foreseeable future and over the years I've loved putting together these interviews every month. So I hope you'll love the last one as much as I did and enjoy getting to know more behind such a lovely blogger.
CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT YOURSELF SOPHIE?
Of course! My name is Sophie (hence the blog name) and I’m a 19 year old student studying History and Japanese. However, I don’t live the typical student life in halls, I commute daily to Cambridge to study. Waking up at 5:30am for a 9am lecture is pretty painful, but the rewards in return make it all worthwhile. This is because If you haven’t gathered already, I am a little bit of a travel fan, trying to get away as often as I can. Not that the UK isn’t beautiful as it is, but I crave new experiences and a new environments that are different from what I’m used to. This is most probably why I have a such a strange fascination with Japan and its culture - it really is so alien in such a magical way.
AND WHAT ABOUT YOUR BLOG?
My little space on the internet is all about travelling! But not just travel diary posts, but travel inspiration and tips and advice to help anyone travel. Being a student who only earns just above the minimum wage, to travel frequently you have to be strategic about it. None of this booking the first package deal I see, nor will I just spontaneously go to the popular places. I try to illustrate to my readers that strategic booking can really make or break a trip, and your bank account. I really believe that most can travel if they put their mind to it - its all about priorities.
WHAT WAS IT THAT GOT YOU INTO BLOGGING?
I started my blog around a year ago. When I started university and began travelling independently much more without my family, I started documenting my travels more and more so they could see what I got up to both on Instagram and my blog. However, over time people asked me more and more about how I was able to afford to travel so frequently whilst studying, and about the destinations I visited. Which is why I started to put a lot more effort into my blog, not only is it a wonderful way for me to look back on my travels, but its also great to know it’s inspiring others to travel and providing people with advice.
YOU RECENTLY TOOK A TRIP TO POLAND WHICH LOOKED COMPLETELY DREAMY, HAVE YOU GOT ANY TRAVEL TRIPS FOR THE AREA?
Well I’ve written a few posts about my time in Poland, for anyone interested in the fine details. But the most important advice I'd say is that you would need to know what you're doing in advance, especially if it is transport – basic English is spoken but south of Krakow many do not understand any language other than Polish. I also recommend eating a variety of street food or go to a buffet, that way you can try many of the various foods very quickly – plus any excuse to eat a lot of delicious food right?! Try and be adventurous too and leave the town and city centres, the rewards come aplenty for those who make the effort.
HOW DO YOU JUGGLE BEING AT UNIVERSITY AND RUNNING YOUR BLOG?
I don't struggle to blog alongside university on the whole, however, by working twenty hours a week or more and sometimes volunteering in addition to studying already, I’m not going to lie it can be a struggle at times. However, when I do successfully juggle everything it's all down to good organisation which is a result of planning and keeping a positive mindset! Plus I’m 100% a work hard play hard person, hard work is worth it if you know you’re going to be rewarded in the short and long term.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ORGANISATION TIPS?
If you allot time for all of your tasks, it's more manageable, less stressful and you're much more likely to get it all done. To put it simply, get a planner or create a bullet journal! I find allowing myself at least an hour a night doing nothing really helps too. In regards to the positive mindset I mentioned earlier, if you try to see everything positively you'll be much more content and less stressed. I know there is no magic cure to horrible situations or feelings, but even the smallest positive spin on an unpleasant or stressful moment, you're going to feel a little better, if not a lot!
AS WELL AS RUNNING A BLOG, BEING AT UNIVERSITY, WORKING IN RETAIL YOU ALSO VOLUNTEER AT A HEDGEHOG HOSPITAL. WHAT'S THAT LIKE?
It's a pretty rewarding experience. Of course the hospital gets in a lot of sick and weak hedgehogs, which can be quite distressing, especially since we know how drastically their numbers have declined recently. However, seeing many of the hedgehogs come in as sick tiny orphans to then be released a couple of months later well and content is so rewarding. Most of the work is based on curing them of life-threatening parasites and ensuring they are of good weight. Although, some will never be able to return to the wild, such as bald and blind hedgehogs, but they do go to live a life of luxury under a carer. You can google 'Hedgehog Street' if you're interested in finding out how to help Hedgehogs nationwide (I'm sure the little guys would be thrilled!).
FINALLY, CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU'RE LOVING RIGHT NOW?
Beauty – By All Greens cleansing mask by Origins
Instagram – @acchi_kocchi & @kingy0hanabi
YouTube – absentabroad & Kara & Nate
Books – A Diary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton & Inventing Japan by Ian Buruma
Blog – Theomgdiaries
Catch up with Sophie on;