Traveller Tuesday with Lauren from Twirl the Globe

Each Tuesday from now on I'll be hosting interviews with other travel bloggers, to help you discover more blogs and even more inspiration to travel. If you want to be part of this series please contact me.

1.       For those who don’t know you, introduce yourself and your blog

My name is Lauren Marinigh and I’m a part-time travel blogger and full-time social media professional that is based in Toronto, Canada. My blog, Twirl the Globe, started back in 2009 as an easy way to keep my family and friends in the loop, but it officially re-launched with a new design, as well as better and more consistent content this past January.

My focus for my blog is to share experience I’ve had while traveling, and hope to encourage others to travel and see the world as well. I don’t solely focus on budget travel, but as a 25-year-old working on an entry-level salary, budget travel is all I do!

2.       Are you a light packer or an over packer, what one thing won’t you leave the house without?

I’m definitely a light packer, but I wasn’t always that way! I looked back recently at a suitcase I brought on an exchange I went on when I was 15 years old for 3 weeks in Spain, my suitcase could have fit my entire family in it! Since then, I’ve come a long way. I now manage to fit most things in a small school bag when traveling short term (1 week) or a carry-on size suitcase. When traveling long term I ALWAYS use a backpack. I have an Eddie Bauer Alchemist backpack that I’m absolutely in love with! No matter how long I’m traveling, I can’t leave the house with my iPhone. I know it sounds cliché, but as a blogger, having a device I can do everything on from update my social media, blog, or take photos is critical for me!

3.       Do you plan trips or just go with the flow?

I’m one of those types of people that love to be organized, and as much as I love the idea of just solely going with the flow, it gives me severe anxiety to not have anything planned. I usually book my accommodations, and transportation between countries or cities ahead of time. Then I’ll look at specific tours and day trips I want to do and make sure that I don’t need to book in advance in order to guarantee a spot. Otherwise I’ll leave most of my daily activities open until I get to the destination.

4.       Where has been your favourite place to visit to date?

I always find that question hard to answer, as every place I’ve been to is SO different from one another, and every place has something else to offer that makes it beautiful. If I had to choose, I’d choose Siem Reap, Cambodia. I have no idea why I fell in love with this place. Perhaps because I had no expectations of Cambodia before visiting it, so when I got there and was pleasantly surprised, I fell in love. I loved the people, the food, the hostel I stayed in, Angkor Wat, everything about this city was just unlike any other I have been too.

5.       Is there anywhere you don’t want to go?

I’m very open to experiencing just about anywhere in the world, and other than the places that are too dangerous for travellers to go to, there are very few places I would refuse to go to. But if I had to choose, many of the states in the USA, and lots of the provinces in Canada don’t necessarily interest me. Maybe it’s because I grew up in North America and feel that these places don’t push me out of my comfort zone like other countries and cultures would.

6.       What is the most important item on your “Bucket List”, or if you don’t have one what one place or thing don’t you want to miss out?

My bucket list is constantly growing, but recently I have been very set on going to India, Jordan and Myanmar. I have no idea why those places are at the top of my list right now over others on my bucket list, but if I had to choose where to go next, it would be one of those. I also would love to do Australia and New Zealand, but due to them not being cheap places to visit, and needing excessive amounts of time to see those places, I know that bucket list item won’t be fulfilled for a while!

7.       What is the best experience you’ve had whilst traveling?

One of my highlights at this point in my life was visiting the ElephantNature Park in Thailand. I absolutely loved learning about these animals, being able to get up close with them, and learning their devastating, yet interesting stories. This place is definitely close in my heart and a memory I’ll never forget!

8.       What tip would you give other traveller’s?

Go into each country you visit with an open mind and a sense of adventure. Do not just sit in your hotel or on the beach the whole time. Step outside your comfort zone, learn about another country and culture, and be open-minded to putting yourself in situations that you may not do at home. Travel is all about experiencing something you’ve never experienced before.  Be a traveller, not a vacationer.

9.       If you had to choose one place to live forever, where would it be and why?

The Thai Islands or somewhere in Southeast Asia near the beach. I love the atmosphere there; people are laidback and live truly like island hippies. I love that there isn’t a worry in the world, that life isn’t all about what you do for a living, or whether or not you are “successful”. I also love how you can live cheaply in comparison to North America. I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world, where people don’t aspire to buy a house or condo here because it’s just not a realistic goal for most people, so living in a place where money goes a lot further would really be a place I believe I’d enjoy!

10.   What’s next for you…

Well I attended BlogHouse in Milwaukee with a select group of bloggers in June where I’ve learnt what I should be focusing on next to get my blog to the next level. On top of that, I’ve really just been working on getting myself out there as much as possible. There are hundreds of travel bloggers out there, and the community is so friendly and welcoming, but it’s still hard to stand out and get noticed, so building myself as a brand is really crucial for me in the coming months.

In terms of travel, I’m really hoping to visit Nepal and India in December. I had plans to do this prior to the devastation in Nepal, so I’m not sure how that will potentially affect that plan yet. I also recently won a trip to Great Britain from a Travel Massive event I attended in Toronto, so trying to figure out when I’ll fit that trip into my limited vacation days I have will also be next for me!

Lauren can be found around the internet at:

Twirl the Globe Blog


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