EVERYONE SHOULD TRAVEL SOLO AT LEAST ONCE - AN INTERVIEW WITH TESSA JULIETTE
This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Tessa Juliette, an inspiring travel addict and lead behind the concept “Where to Next”.
With a website that boasts huge amounts of advice, information and inspiration, Ohkari has a quick chat with Tessa on dedication, spontaneity and building a community.
Check out her Website here, Facebook here and Instagram here. Also have a look at her amazing travel wedding photos here!
Your story sounds incredible. We get the feeling that traveling solo was a really important step in your journey...
It definitely was. I was always the girl who wanted to travel. I was constantly asking people to come with me. Finally, one day, I realized I shouldn’t wait for someone to travel with. Instead, that was a huge excuse I was using because I was scared. So when my husband (then boyfriend) got an internship in Switzerland I said I was coming. I traveled on weekdays, alone, and on weekends came back to Switzerland. I learned a lot about myself in three months and think everyone should take at least one solo trip in their lifetime.
What advice would you give to travel writers just starting out that may be alone or without any clear direction?
Work at it... every… single… day. Writers just starting out need to do so much. Build up a contact list, research publications, brainstorm topics, figure out a unique angle. You have to be a workaholic and love it. Because, I’m not going to lie to you, it is really hard in the beginning.
What does the next step look like? Do you plan to do workshops, talks or lead tours?
I’m so bad at thinking about the next thing. I like to take it one day at a time. Right now I really love traveling, sharing, and promoting destinations. Maybe in the future I would love to lead tours and help travelers discover a new destination. I am very interested in photography and constantly expanding on my skills. Photography tours are definitely something I want to look into in a couple of years.
What are the most important things you take with you on a trip?
I should probably say something like my camera, or laptop. But every trip, I also have to tell myself not to leave my confidence behind. Even though I may look like a pro, every trip I have to give myself a mini pep talk. Getting on a plane alone never gets easier. And I have to tell myself, that this will be great and whatever problems arise (because they always do) I can fix.
Although a difficult question, what has been your favorite place so far?
So difficult!! I generally love every place I travel to. It’s a serious problem. But my absolute favorite, so far, was South Korea. I love the culture and the countryside is just beautiful. The people are amazing and friendly and I’m obsessed with their food. I want to go back so badly.
Your bucket list is extensive, and the “free dive with sharks” scares us a little. Is it possible to be spontaneous in your lifestyle or do you feel that planning is everything?
I’m actually the most spontaneous person you have ever met. I generally plan huge overseas trips less than a month out. And I by plan, I mean just buying the plane ticket. Booking hotels, and figuring out the best sights are usually done mere hours before.
I do this because I like talking to locals once I arrive. Where they think is the best, what coffee shop they go to. Plus, if I research too much I get preconceived notions in my head. I don’t like that. Forming a true opinion about a country is very important to me.
What do you feel has been pivotal in reaching a large following, especially given the quantity of travel writers out there?
I got a nice boost after my wedding. My husband and I took wedding photos around the world and when we released them on our blog a few websites picked up the story. But, it actually wasn’t as huge as you would think. Everyday, I spend a lot of time on social media. Way more than you can imagine. I try and reply to comments and check out my followers profiles, comment on their pictures, or their stories. I want to build a community rather than a following.
Is there a piece of travel gear that you wish existed?
Probably a teleporter so I wouldn’t have to endure 15 hour flights.
With unlimited cash and reach, what thing would you endeavour to change in this world?
I’m a huge animal lover, so it would most likely involve clearing out shelters and finding all animals good homes. Or lobbying the government to make it legal to murder animal abusers. Just kidding… kind of.