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In this interview, say hello to Jasmine from Kiwi Talks Travel!
After visiting 18 countries and 80+ cities, I wanted to take advantage of my writing skills and love of travel, which is why I decided to create a blog based on helping other people make the most out of travelling! My name is Jasmine, a journalism graduate from Auckland, New Zealand currently living in Brisbane, Australia, and I’m the owner of Kiwi Talks Travel.
How long have you been blogging for?
I launched my blog on 10 January 2020, so I’ve been blogging for nearly six months now!
As a journalism graduate and a huge travel lover, I always knew I wanted to start a travel blog, but I didn’t know when.
Last year, I had a burst of enthusiasm and knew it was time to start my blog! After a careful six months of planning and writing, my blog was ready to go live!
I started my blog as a way to connect with other travellers, to help them learn something they may not know, and to have it as a portfolio of my writing for my future career!
Do you have any tips for new travel bloggers?
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH.
I cannot stress this enough. Before my blog was even launched, I spent six months researching and studying up blogging; how to do it, SEO, marketing, and so much more!
If you want your blog to succeed, you really have to invest a lot of time and energy into it, but trust me, it’s so worth it!!
What do you wish you knew before you started traveling?
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. My family is massive travel lovers. I went on my first trip when I was only a few months old and I’ve been travelling ever since!
I think one thing I would tell people before they start travelling is to ensure they’ve thoroughly researched the place they’re going to, there’s nothing worse than being let down as soon as you arrive at your destination!
Why do you love to travel?
My mum is a flight attendant and has been most of my life, so I think that’s where I get my love for travel from.
The main reason I love travelling is the experience you gain. When you go travelling, you learn so much about the city or country you’re visiting and a lot about yourself! You can’t be taught anything in the classroom that you learn while travelling!
What’s your best and worst travel experience?
I think my best travel experience was when I moved to the Netherlands in 2017. I moved there for student exchange and was there for seven months.
During that time, I visited over ten countries in Europe and even got to the USA! I’m from New Zealand, so moving halfway across the world was a huge change. I knew no one.
I learned so much during my time over there, and I have travelling to thank for that. All of the different countries I visited provided me with rich memories that I will never forget and taught me so much about myself.
I came home a new person, and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to move across the world and experience an entirely different life!
My worst travel experience was definitely my trip to Casablanca, Morocco.
My boyfriend came to visit me while I was living in the Netherlands, and as an early birthday present for him, I booked a weekend away in Casablanca.
I was so naive and thought Morocco is Morocco; Casablanca will be beautiful like Marrakech. Well, boy was I wrong.
As soon as we landed in Casablanca, we were disappointed. The drive to the hotel was even worse. Walking down the streets was probably the worst experience I’ve had in my life.
Even though I was fully dressed, wearing jeans and a sweatshirt to keep fully covered, I kept getting glared at by all the men and women. After a disappointing night, we walked back to the hotel, and that’s when it happened. I got spat at.
Just outside our hotel, a man walked past me, said something in Arabic, and spat at my feet. Safe to say I’ll never go to Casablanca ever again.
Solo travel or traveling with other people?
I love travelling with other people!
I’ve never travelled solo, and so far, I don’t think I ever will!
There’s something so magical about being in a different place with either family or friends, you create special memories that you wouldn’t be able to do at home.
I’ve travelled around the USA with my best friend, and they are some of the happiest memories I have!
I am definitely a lover of travelling with other people!
What’s the best place you’ve been to?
My favourite city in the entire world is New York City!
In 2014, my best friend and her family moved to Washington DC as her dad is in the Military. At the end of the year, I decided I wanted to go there for Christmas and my birthday!
Two days after I arrived, they gave me a birthday card with a bus ticket inside, it read “DC to W 33rd St.” I burst into tears, I was going to New York!
I had been dreaming of going to NYC my whole life, and as soon as I stepped off the bus I was in absolute disbelief; it was so surreal!
I was blown away! Everything that I’d seen on TV or in movies looked exactly the same; the sights were beautiful, the food was delicious, and it just exceeded my expectations!
The fact that I was able to experience this beautiful city with my best friend makes it so much more special, making it my favourite city in the entire world!
What’s your best travel tip?
Take washing powder wherever you go!
This may seem weird to many, but it totally comes in handy!
Whenever I go on holiday, I always take a ziplock bag of washing powder in case there isn’t laundry at the destination!
If you run out of clean clothes, it’s so easy to make them fresh again!
All you have to do is fill up the sink or bath, sprinkle in some washing powder, mix it all around, and voila, clean clothes!
What do you like to do, see, or buy with every place you visit?
Now that I think back on all of my travels, I realise I always go to a high vantage point to see the beautiful city I’m in!
In New York, I went to the Top of the Rock; in LA I went on the Santa Monica Ferris Wheel; in Geneva, I went to the top of a mountain, and so many more glorious places around the world!
What’s the best food you’ve had while traveling?
This may seem weird to many, but it’s just delicious!
I’m a huge fan of Mexican food and regularly eat burritos here in Brisbane!
When I went to Washington DC for the first time to visit my friend, she introduced me to Chipotle, and I instantly fell in love!
I think the fact that it’s made fresh before your eyes, is so tasty, and comes in a big portion so you can enjoy it for two meals is the reason I love it so much!
Plane or train? Plane
Hotel or hostel? Hotel
City or nature? Nature
Popular site or off the beaten path? Off the beaten path!
Suitcase or backpack? Suitcase
Fast travel or slow travel? Slow travel
Professional camera or iPhone photography? iPhone photography
Warm or cold weather? WARM (I love the beach!!)
All photos used throughout this post are taken by Jasmine from Kiwi Talks Travel.