World Travel in between Semesters – Interview with Emma Gray

Emma gray lives her dreams of travelling around the world. However, she's not the typical backpacker that you would normally read in travel blogs.

She's a regular person with a regular life that includes a job, a home and full time university studies. That doesn't stop her from pursuing her passion for travel and in the last few years she has traveled in more than 20 countries during her university breaks.

I really like Emma's story and happy that was able to take time for this short interview. Enjoy!

1. So you're not exactly a backpacker, can you tell us a bit more about your travel style? (activities, length of trip, accommodation, etc). Why did you choose this way of travel?

I don’t take off around the world indefinitely with just a backpack and stay in hostels. I prefer to take shorter trips, be that a city break or a few weeks exploring different places. I usually choose to stay in hotels or apartments as hostels don’t really appeal to me. I like the idea of meeting people in a hostel but I also really enjoy my own space, and I think hostels would be too full on for me. Plus, I never find it hard to meet people when I want to.

2. Why traveling? What makes traveling so important to you?

Why not travelling? I honestly don’t know why more people aren’t as obsessed by travel. I’m always curious to visit other countries, sample the culture and traditions, see the sites, enjoy the architecture and immerse myself in a way of life that’s different to mine at home in Scotland. I guess it’s the attraction of the unknown.

3. How do you manage to juggle traveling with full time university studies, part time job and various other aspects of life?

With difficulty! I never have a spare moment to myself. Although I’m getting ready to graduate from university next month, I’m lucky that an English Literature degree involves a lot of reading, and you can read from anywhere. The last time I had a week off classes for ‘reading week’ I took off to Murcia in Spain and read from there instead!

4. Are you apprehensive about traveling by yourself? Don't you get lonely sometimes?

Nope I don’t really do apprehensive. I’m a very laid back person and it takes a lot for me to feel stressed or worried. I relish the challenges that travelling alone brings and I like being able to do and see what I want, instead of having to always please travel companions.

5. What are a few of the best/worst aspects of traveling in your opinion?

The best things…there are so many! Discovering new places that you fall in love with, natural beauty, art and architecture and most of all culture. Travelling often opens up your mind and challenges you to notice things around you that you would often ignore at home. The worst bits are often the airports. For some reason people seem to leave their brains at home before they go to an airport and act completely ridiculously.

6. What were some of the most interesting experiences you had during your travels?

So many! Seeing wild kangaroos earlier this week in Western Australia was amazing. Visiting St. Petersburg in Russia was awe inspiring from start to finish. Learning about the rich history of the country and taking in the architecture, some of the best I’ve ever seen, was incredible. Another was getting to drive a Ferrari in Monaco last year. I’m a car lover so it was an amazing experience. It was also a complete surprise that my parents had set up for me, I was shaking with excitement!

7. Why did you decide to start a blog? What is your intention with this?

I used to read loads of travel blogs and my friend suggested I should start one too as I travel a lot, so I did. Since then my blog has grown to way more than I thought it would, and has brought me some amazing opportunities, such as various writing jobs and a press trip to Nantes in France. I blog for enjoyment, and anything else that comes from it is a bonus.

8. After so much travel, do you still get excited before a trip?

Yes! I’m a very excitable person and often find myself unable to sleep the night before a trip. How sad!

9. What are some of the most important lessons you learned on the road?

Patience, confidence, and independence. Travel nurtures them all, especially confidence. You have no choice if you find yourself alone in a foreign country.

10. The world map in your blog mentions that you covered 12% of the world. Any plans to get it closer to 100%? What are you long term traveling plans?

Well, the map needs updated as I’ve now been to Australia too, thanks for reminding me! I’ll be crossing another 3 countries off my list this year alone. After that I’ll see what I can do. It’s thrilling to visit new countries but always depends on the circumstances.

11. I know its hard to pick, but what are your absolute three favorite places so far?

Barcelona, the south of France and St. Petersburg in Russia.

12. And finally, where are you off to next?

I’m in Australia at the moment. Heading back to Scotland at the end of this week and I’ll spend just over 2 weeks at home, before going on a Mediterranean cruise. Then Italy in July as part of BlogVille and after that, who knows?!

Thank you

Emma Gray is a 22 year old student who has a unique and inspired passion for travel. For more about Emma, visit her website at


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