For Travel Blogger Thursday, we interviewed Lauren of The Happy Bandit.
Lauren is the writer and photographer for her travel blog, The Happy Bandit. She’s from New Zealand and currently living and working in Alberta, Canada. Lauren has a huge passion for photography and capturing moments all over the globe. She’s inspired by her father who traveled for 10 years around the world. She also really loves music and has seen pretty much every single movie. Let’s learn more about Lauren and her love for travel!
What inspires you to travel and what do you enjoy most about traveling?
When my dad was twenty-one, he set off and traveled the world as a chef for ten years. I’ve grown up with his tales of far, distant lands and his old chucky photo albums. It’s pretty much been bred into me and now that I’ve started traveling I can’t see myself stopping any time soon.
Where is your favorite destination and why?
Ooh that’s a hard one; there are still so many potential places to make it on to my favourite’s list. However I absolutely fell in love with a little town called Pai, in Northern Thailand. The chilled people, the night markets with questionable food, the scootering around, I fell in love with the happy vibe of Pai and will definitely be going back there.
When did you start to travel, and where did you first visit?
I was four when I first went on a plane to Canada. Even being 40 inches in height, I can remember finding the whole thing fascinating. My first “real” trip however, was at sixteen with an organized trip through my high school. We spend a week in Venice and checked out the Biennale, (which was an amazing experience in itself). We headed to Paris via train for another week after that. I distinctively remember a moment in Paris where the teacher’s rules had driven me to madness. I just thought, “You know, I could do this better if I had my way” and from then on I knew I had to see what else was out there, but on my own terms.
Why did you start your blog, and what do you enjoy most about blogging?
My passion for photography and my love for adventure was the main driving force for my blog. I was about to move to Canada and wanted a place to show my photos and experiences without clogging up everyone’s Facebook feed. I enjoy writing but never had an reason to do so and that’s where the blog stepped in. This is the 21st century after all! I absolutely love the fact that I have to put effort into my photos for the sake of a good post or Instagram.
You travel with food allergies to dairy and gluten. What are your best tips for others who travel with food allergies?
CARRY YOUR OWN SNACKS!! I often head straight to the supermarket and search high and low for something that my body can handle (often nuts or gluten and dairy free cookies). If I eat out or at someone’s house it can be a real pain to try find something for me to eat. By bringing my own just-in-case snacks it’s a life saviour, not just for me but also those who otherwise would’ve been forced to experience the wrath of my “hanger”.
What do you like to bring back from the places you’ve visited?
I have a weird thing about colorful, bohemian fabrics. I don’t even realize I’m collecting them until I come home, unpack and I’ve somehow gathered about nine brightly colored fabrics, in the form of two headscarves, four bags, two tapestries and a bloody pillow case. I don’t even know.
Where do you plan on visiting next?
If I can get my ducks in a row, Mexico could be a possibility. As far as long-term travel goes, I’m planning a trip to South America next. I have always been fascinated with plain old ancient things, so naturally Machu Picchu is calling my name.
Thanks so much for the awesome interview, Lauren! To follow Lauren on social media, please check her out here:
On Thursdays, we feature a fellow travel blogger and highlight their journeys around the world. If you’re a travel blogger and would like to be interviewed for this weekly series, please contact us.