Travel Blog of the Month: Teacake Travels
The Backpax ‘Travel Blog of the Month’ winner for July is Teacake Travels penned by Alice Teacake, a solo female traveller determined to face her fears, push her boundaries and inspire other women to do the same! We asked how she first stepped into the world of travel blogging, some favourite destinations & travel memories, as well as what important lessons she’s learned from being on the open road…
Name: Alice Teacake
Travel Blog: www.teacaketravels.com
1. When did you start your travel blog & what inspired you to set it up?
I kicked 2015 off with a bang and a fresh start. On 1st January, I started tapping the blogging keys and it hasn’t stopped since then. It was in mind that I wouldn’t mind sharing my travel stories but it wasn’t until my friend asked me to write a piece about teaching English in China for her blog, that I really got the kick up the butt I needed.
2. Name one of your favourite overseas travel destinations, and why.
It’s a difficult question to answer, because every country I’ve been to, has given me its own unique gift and experience. I use travel to challenge myself rather than have a holiday. If the destination pushes my boundaries and helps me reach my full potential, then I’m really excited about it. I’m also a firm believer in woman empowerment and fighting stereotypes, so I like to go to places where this can happen too. To date, my most exciting experience has been Bangladesh. I love it because it is still very much off the beaten path for tourists. Yet what you will find there are beautiful historical sites, rolling green tea fields, hidden tigers, lush mangroves and one of the kindest populations I’ve ever known.
3. Can you tell us a couple of great travel memories?
I’ll never forget my epic adventure driving from the UK to Mongolia with an all-female team for the Mongol Rally. It took us 2 months of blood, sweat and gears to get to the end of the journey. It was a real challenge but an amazing one. I loved it so much, I decided to drive back again rather than fly.
I also cherish my time in Shanghai as a burlesque dancer with Anna Fur Laxis. It was a beautiful lesson to see and understand my own feminine power and just how amazing a woman can be.
I’m proud to have driven around Vietnam for 3 months by myself and getting stranded on Lanyu Island in Taiwan for a week was the best ‘incident’ ever. I have so many wonderful memories and I feel like a cat with nine lives. Hopefully, the cosmos sees it that I’ve only used up a third of them so far.
4. Which European city do you love most?
Ooooh that’s a tough one but I’m going to go with Kiev! It’s incredibly creative there, with edginess, strength and hope. There’s a really good vibe going on over there and I’m thinking that I’d like to go back and hang out there as a digital nomad.
5. What’s your favourite travel blog you’ve written called & why?
I’m a very honest writer. I always tell it like it is. Solo female travel is highly rewarding but also a rollercoaster. It’s not smooth sailing for a reason. Travel is there to be your teacher and you need to cherish the highs as well as the lows. One of my most viewed articles is about the time I fell pregnant in Thailand and had to go to Cambodia to have an abortion. I believe many people read it because it’s something that is happening much more than women will speak of, and women need help. It’s understandably highly controversial. Some people agree with me, others think I’m seriously rotten.
6. What future travel do you hope to do?
I aim to continue to push the boundaries and see what I’m capable of! I seize opportunity when I see it, so who knows what life will bring. Plans which are set in stone this year is a trip to India in September. I’ll be volunteering and working with women in different empowerment programmes and after that I hope to pop over the border again back to Bangladesh.
7. What three items are must-bring things for you on your trip (other than the essentials like passport etc)?
A compact tripod (a solo female traveller’s essential!), a 50s bikini and a bar of solid shampoo.
8. What’s the best thing travel has taught you?
That you are capable of anything if you’re brave enough to throw yourself into the world feet first (and that everyone is brave enough deep down).
9. What book would you recommend as a good read on a long trip?
How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
10. Finally, what’s your favourite tipple?
If it’s wet and it’s alcoholic, I’m game. Korean soju has fueled many an adventure in Asia but in Europe I don’t mind a good old shot of Czech Becherovka.