This month’s travel blogger interview is with Hannah Logan of Eat Sleep Breathe Travel. I personally love Hannah’s blog – she travels to destinations that I also find myself interested in, and she’s one of the nicest travel bloggers I know (even though we’ve only “met” via email)!
Let’s start with an easy question – tell me about yourself and your blog.
My name is Hannah Logan, I’m a 20 something Canadian travel addict. I only started travelling when I was 22. After graduating university I decided to skip the job hunt and apply for an Irish Visa. A couple months later I was on my first ever plane with a massive suitcase ready to begin my Irish adventure. Although I totally failed on the job front (mainly because I discovered how cheap it was to travel throughout Europe and spent only half my time actually in Ireland) it was the best decision I ever made. Nearly 4 years later, I’m still hooked on travel.
I started my blog, Eat Sleep Breathe Travel, a year after I came home just because I loved writing and wanted to share my stories. To be honest, I was pretty surprised when strangers starting following and commenting but it was enough to push me to amp up my game. In the past year I have revamped Eat Sleep Breathe Travel into more than just a journal of funny personal stories, but also as a travel resource for solo and female travelers. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some brands and tourism boards along the way, but the best part about my blog will always be the messages I get from readers about inspiring them to visit a certain spot, try something new, and travel.
What’s your favorite UNESCO world heritage site?
Funny story, I just (as in a couple days ago) started to count how many I have visited. I’ve been to 33 for sure, maybe as many as 36. I have a habit of just going to see things that are of interest to me without considering whether they are UNESCO or not. That being said, of my small list of those visited I would have to say that the old town sections of European cities are always my favourite, and if I had to pick one it would be Venice. There is something magical about that city.
Why do you travel?
There are a million and one reasons why I travel. I love the thrill of throwing myself into something completely new and different. I like to test myself, and although sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating, I’ve never regretted a single thing. Even missing planes and trains have become fond memories because they all ended up being great stories despite breaking the bank. I love the freedom of solo travel, being completely in charge makes me feel strong and powerful. I’m also a huge dreamer and everything; from watching the sunset from a luxury rooftop infinity pool to being crammed into a chicken bus for hours sounds like an amazing experience to me. A friend of mine recently told me I suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) I didn’t bother to argue because its true- I want to see it all.
What are your top 3 essential travel items?
I can’t go anywhere without my camera and a journal! I take hundreds of photos and write down what I did every day when I travel. My photos and my travel journals are probably the most important things I own. I love being able to look back on those memories, and hopefully one day can pass on those journals to my kids and grandkids in the hopes that they will inspire them all to be adventurous. Not quite as essential as my camera and journal, you will always find me with a book or e-reader. I can’t sleep in cars, busses, planes, or trains, so I read to pass the time.
Favorite “off the beaten path” destination?
Last year I visited Slovenia for the sole purpose of visiting the fairytale Lake Bled- pretty much the poster child for Slovenian tourism. It was as amazing as I hoped, but what I didn’t expect was that I would fall in love with the whole county. Ljubljana was incredible to explore, with a gorgeous old town and it’s within easy access to a lot of great places in the country. One of the best day trips I’ve ever done was to hop on a bus to Piran, and just walk along the shores of the small sea-side village, hike up to the old wall for the views, and spend a couple hours relaxing in a café overlooking the ocean with Croatia to the left and Italy to the right. I’d go back to explore more of Slovenia in a heartbeat!
Most awkward travel moment
Oh god, where do I start? My friends and family like to refer to my travel as (mis)adventures since I have so many fails and awkward moments. The most humiliating was probably at a pub in Belfast where two guys I was out with each bought me a beer pretty much at the same time. I said it was ok because I was ‘good at double fisting’. The shocked looks I received from everyone around me were enough to make me want to disappear. I quickly tried to explain that in Canada it meant one drink in each hand but by then it was too late. It was so embarrassing, and of course they didn’t let it go. I was the brunt of a lot of dirty jokes that night!
Most memorable travel moment?
In 2011, when I lived in Ireland, I spent a week or so hoping around some of Europe’s famous Christmas markets. After a busy day exploring the markets of Salzburg I took the bus back to my B&B which was about 20 minutes outside of town. Turns out, along the way, there was a local festival of sorts telling the story of Krampus, basically the anti-Santa Claus. There were half a dozen men dressed as Krampus (think evil, hairy, demons) chasing around the local children with whips. I outed myself as the only tourist by taking pictures and was soon being chased with the children. It was kind of intimidating, but I loved that even though I was a total stranger, and a foreigner, I was included. It was a completely unique experience that is one of my fondest (and weirdest) travel memories.
Here’s a question most travelers hate, but reader love: What’s your top 3 “favorite” travel destinations (if you’re absolutely forced to choose)?
This really is the worst question ever. But, if I HAD to pick…
Venice, Italy: most people think it’s overrated and touristic, but if I had to choose a favourite city, Venice would be the winner. Nothing beats getting lost in the narrow alleyways, or watching the sun set over the Grand Canal while sipping on a spritz aperol. I’ve visited twice, both in spring, which means the weather is great but the crowds haven’t arrived yet. I also stayed in a B&B outside the main tourist area, which I think allowed me more of a local and authentic Venice experience.
Ireland: I was lucky enough to call Galway home for a few months after graduating from University. Nearly 4 years later, I still feel like I’m coming home when I fly into the Dublin airport. There’s something about Ireland that keeps bringing me back. Maybe it’s because the Irish are some of the friendliest people (huge perk as a solo traveler), or because (despite the rain) most of it looks straight out of a fairytale, or maybe it’s just the pub life and the beers. Without a doubt, everyone should visit Ireland at least once.
Stockholm: Forget the ridiculous price tag on everything, Stockholm is amazing and one of my favourite cities. It’s beautiful, easily walkable, the people are friendly, and it’s full of amazing stories and a cool history. One of the best things about the city is that I was never harassed and never felt unsafe walking around on my own, even at night when I was out by myself to take pictures.
.Do you have a travel tip or pearl of wisdom to impart upon my readers?
The biggest thing I have learned as a solo female traveler is that it’s ok to ask for help, whether it’s for directions, or if you are in an awkward situation. There’s a lot of negativity about solo female travel, and a lot of ‘advice’ that tells us to keep to ourselves, but I disagree. I have experienced so much kindness from strangers, even those who don’t speak English. If you need help- ask for it. Despite all the scary stories and the handful of jerks, 99% of people are kind and willing to assist you however they can.