Introducing Olivia

As I'm away for the next three weeks, I've got some awesome bloggers writing posts for me. This week we're lucky enough to have Olivia from Halfway Somewhere, and I thought it'd be fun for those who don't know her, to get to know a bit about her...

Hey Olivia, can you introduce yourself and your blog?

I'm a student from Melbourne, Australia, though I try to travel around and get out of the country as much as I can. Right now I'm living and studying in Spain. My blog is called Halfway Somewhere. A lot of people think they don't have the money to go travelling so I try to show how I've travelled without having much money. There's a mix of articles about places I've been, travel in general, and the time when you're waiting and preparing for a trip.

What gave you the travel bug?

I have no idea. It never came to me one day; I just always remember growing up and knowing I would travel as soon as I was old enough. I get restless when I'm in a place too long - I remember asking my mum and dad to move house when I was probably 6 or 7. There was nothing wrong with where we were I just felt I'd been there long enough. But when I was 16 my family went overseas for the first time on a holiday to New Zealand. I remember one night we stayed in a hostel and I was sitting in the lounge chatting with some people from all over the world and I thought it was so cool. So that kind of cemented my plans to travel.

What sort of gear do you travel with, what couldn’t you live without when you’re travelling?

Probably too much! I downsized my backpack for this trip and it's been hard trying to balance what I want to take and what I need to take. I have very little actual travel gear, but I love using packing cubes to compartmentalise my bag and make finding things easier and quicker. I also take a lot of cameras and the gear that goes along with them.

You’re currently studying in Madrid, how do you find life in Spain?

I absolutely love Spain. It's got a great lifestyle. I've got very used to taking siestas in the evening and not eating until 10 or 11pm. I'm about to leave Madrid and I'm really sad about it! I would stay here for months more if I didn't have to go home to finish uni.

Madrid isn’t the first city away from home you’ve lived in; do you find it easy to settle into new environments for long periods?

I think so. This time I knew more or less what to expect, and studying I found it pretty easy to meet people to hang out with in the early days. I haven't lived at home for several years now so I very rarely get homesick. Sometimes it's the little things that get to you, like when something that's so easy to do at home is a huge pain in the arse to do here.

You’re originally from Australia, have you travelled much at home? Are there any places off the tourist- trail you’d recommend seeing?

I've been to every state except two so far. Everybody goes to Sydney, but I don't love it there. I really like northern New South Wales for a quick trip from Brisbane, the city I study in. They've got great beaches there. And Victoria, where I'm from, has so much to offer. There's Melbourne, which I'll always maintain is the best city in the country, but there's so much more. Phillip Island, the Great Ocean Road, the Grampians, so many options.

Also, being an Aussie does that mean you can surf like a pro?

Haha! I wish. I've never lived close enough to the beach, I've always been an hour or two away. I've tried a few times over the years but I can never commit to doing it enough and I keep having to start to learn from scratch.

What are your plans after you finish your degree, in an ideal world what you do?

Keep travelling! Right now I'm considering going to Korea to teach English to save some money up and pay off some loans. Ideally, I'm just going to keep working my way around the world doing working holidays in different places until I'm too old to get the visas.

Where has been your favourite destination so far and where is your dream destination?

My answer to this question changes with every new place I go! I always used to say Stockholm was my favourite place, but recently I went to Turkey and completely fell in love. Not with any one place, every city and town I went to was amazing. As for my dream destination, I'm finally going to Iceland in a few weeks! I tried to go last time I was in Europe but flights were crazily priced then. I've also really wanted to go to Morocco for a long time. It's actually going to be my first stop when I start travelling after leaving Madrid and I'm so excited to finally get to go! I guess I'll need a new dream destination then! Maybe Egypt. And I really want to get to New Caledonia one day.

We have a dream in common, to live in a bus and travel around. Do you think you’ll achieve that one day (and can I come, too)?

Of course I'm going to do it! Ideally that would be next year but I need to save the money up. I want to do it while I'm still pretty young, so maybe in 2016. And you're totally invited!


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