Today in the Departure Lounge I have a real treat for you all. I managed to secure a sit down with one of the most popular travel bloggers on the internet, Mapping Megan Jerrard. For those of us who’ve been travel blogging and/or travel vlogging for a while, Megan is a household name. If you haven’t yet heard of her then you need to get out from under that rock. If you’re new to travel blogging then grab a chair.
Megan and her husband Mike are the only travel bloggers I know so far that have visited all 7 continents.
Megan is from Tasmania, an isolated island state off Australia’s south coast. This means that she can officially call herself a Tasmanian Devil. Yeah, I know this may not seem relevant but it sure is cool. As a fellow travel blogger, photographer and videographer, Megan and her husband have always been a source of inspiration, so grab your seats cause your geography lesson begins now!
Please turn off all mobile devices and pay attention…unless of course your using your mobile device to read this post.
Class is in session.
• How do you incorporate adventure travel into general travel Itineraries? How do you prepare? Can you give us some tips?
I personally believe that adventure is all about jumping out of your comfort zone, trying something new, and experiencing something incredible. So in that sense, it’s fairly easy to incorporate adventure into general itineraries, because travel is an adventure in itself.
Volunteering in Kenya
• Share one of your
Volunteering in Kenya was by far my favorite travel learning experience and the one which triggered the most profound shift.
Having traveled as part of the World Scout Moot, a camp for Rover Scouts aged 15-26 from all around the world, we were placed into groups of 50 for the two-week camp, each group with a mix of different nationalities. During the day we worked side by side to complete our various volunteer projects, whether this was building a bus shelter, visiting locals schools, or planting trees, and each evening we were all equally in charge of cooking group rations and eating together. This was more of a challenge than you would ever believe, and on that first night, no-one ate.
With clashing cultures, language barriers, and immense hunger, tempers boiled high as 50 individuals attempted to have their say about how the group would be cooking/eating. Opinions on standards of hygiene and sanitation varied, and ingredients those from Western nations considered waste, (like bone), were thrown back into pots as key cooking ingredients by those from third world nations.
There was no open communication, only 50 individuals trying to charge, and it was an absolute mess. Each of us quickly realized that in order to eat, communication was vital, and while it took a few days, it wasn’t long before everyone was working together, strategically divvying up cooking ingredients, and then enjoying a dinner each evening with samples of cuisine from multiple nations.
I think this experience really taught me that people are all the same, no matter which country you come from or which language you speak – people are all the same, and this realization fosters an appreciation for world cultures which I think is sorely lacking in today’s modern society.
- What are your top 5 travel rules that you follow every time you travel and why?
- Always pack a spare change of clothes in your carry-on should ever the airline lose your bag. Otherwise, you’ll have nothing to change into for 24-48 hours – don’t forget clean underwear.
- Prior planning prevents piss poor performance. Do your research before you travel anywhere and it will vastly improve the experience.
- Drink, but never get drunk in a foreign country. You’re in a foreign country, potentially with little knowledge of the local language, customs, and laws, with people you may have only just met, and it’s very likely you have no idea where you’re staying.
- Learn a couple of words in the local language. It’s an icebreaker, and locals are much more willing to help if you’ve attempted to immerse yourself in their culture.
- Keep an open mind when thrust into new environments. They may be different to those you’re used to at home, however, remember that foreign countries are not designed to make you comfortable, they’re designed to make their people more comfortable.
- Scan your passport, identification card, and itinerary and email them to yourself. This provides an extra copy of each in the event of loss or theft.
- Use a glasses case for chargers and cables.
- If you forget your international adapter or wall plug, you can charge devices through the USB slot on a TV.
- Book flights on a Tuesday – airlines tend to announce deals on Monday evenings, which means by noon the next day, competing airlines are scrambling to match the lower prices so they can stay in the game.
- When reserving seats for two people, choose the aisle and window seats. If no one takes the middle seat, then you get the full row, and if someone does, then just ask to switch seats so you can sit next to your partner.
• What are your top 5 travel things you must bring in your carry-on, purse and/or satchel?
- Laptop & electronics
- Spare change of clothes
- Toothbrush & toothpaste – you would be surprised how refreshed one thing like cleaning your teeth after a long haul flight can make you feel
- Gum – stops my ears from popping on take-off and landing
- Noise-canceling headphones – because I’m always seated near a crying child
• What is the most prized souvenir you brought back from abroad and what’s its story?
My husband! I’m Australian, he’s American, we met in Africa!
• Where are you off to next and what are hoping to experience, eat, see and/or learn?
Inside scoop: we are about to announce that we have bought a house in Tasmania! So our next big adventure is exploring this beautiful island state, of course, the move, and slowing things down to enjoy one trip at a time from a permanent base.
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