Travel Blog of the Month: Wonderful Wanderings
August’s winner of ‘Travel Blog of the Month’ goes to Wonderful Wanderings which is penned by Sofie Couwenbergh, a Belgian with a severe case of wanderlust! She tells us what made her become a traveller blogger, how she conquered her fear of heights and what’s top of her ‘travel destination’ wish list…
Name: Sofie Couwenbergh
Travel Blog: wonderfulwanderings.com
1. When did you start your travel blog & what inspired you to set it up?
I launched my blog in August 2012 because I wanted a creative writing outlet of my own. I had a job as a copywriter and marketing coordinator at the time, but didn’t feel that that was what I wanted to be doing. As I’d always loved to travel, combining writing with travel was a logical step.
2. Name one of your favourite overseas travel destinations, and why.
As you say overseas, I’m guessing you mean abroad :-). I live in Belgium so I don’t really need to cross a sea to get to many different countries.
I always love going back to London. It’s just a city that’s so alive and always has something new to offer. The Austrian mountains bring peace to my mind. Canada is always welcoming thanks to its friendly people and I love to road trip through the Southern part of Europe, because it’s sunnier there :D.
3. Can you tell us a couple of great travel memories?
I have a terrible fear of heights. Climbing a high tower will make me dizzy and nauseous. It’s one of the reasons I never went on a ski trip. My parents never go skiing either and I never learned as an adult, not because I was afraid of the skiing part, but because I didn’t want to take those ski lifts. Then one day, I got an email from a ski resort in Canada. Would I be interested in reviewing them?
Now, funny as things sometimes are, my boyfriend is an absolute snowboard fan. He goes snowboarding several times a year and streams the big competitions whenever he can. So I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t say no to. While I usually travel alone, we traveled to Canada together that time so that he could test and film the expert slopes, while I took my first skiing lesson. I only had 1.5 hours and after not too long, my teacher looked at me and said “We’re going up the mountain”. I was terrified, but I survived that first bubble lift and even took an open ski lift a couple of other times that week. I don’t think I ever felt that victorious. And it turned out I quickly got the hang of skiing as well!
4. Which European city do you love most?
That has to be London, even though the weather usually isn’t the kind of weather I like (warm and dry) :D.
5. What’s your favourite travel blog you’ve written called & why?
Oh dear, I’ve written over 600 already and now I need to choose? I wouldn’t say this is my all-time-favorite, but I’m pretty proud of this 7000+ words post I wrote about one of my road trips in Austria simply because I’m proud that I’ve finished it :D. A runner up might be this one on how to spend a weekend in Rotterdam as it’s pretty popular with my readers still, even though it’s already over a year old.
6. What future travel do you hope to do?
I’d love to do a long road trip through Australia. There are so many places I’d still like to visit but I’ll say Australia because it’s a bit harder to accomplish because of the distance, the budget involved and the time you’d ideally need for it. I’m hoping I’ll get there in the next three years or so.
7. What three items are must-bring things for you on your trip (other than the essentials like passport etc)?
I always bring earplugs because I’m so used to sleeping with them. Other than that, I also always pack food. Yes, food :D. I get unwell pretty easily when I’m really hungry so I always make sure to have an apple or something less healthy with me. And lastly, I’d like to say an open mind. I know, I know, that sounds so fluffy, but I really think it’s important to try and see every destination and every experience there not just from your own perspective, but also in light of the culture and history of the place you’re visiting.
8. What’s the best thing travel has taught you?
That I can rely on myself without things turning into chaos…
9. What book would you recommend as a good read on a long trip?
While I studied Literature & Linguistics, I tend to mostly read marketing books nowadays, but “The Shadow of the Wind” is the one book that always pops up in my mind when someone asks me to recommend a book.
10. Finally, what’s your favourite tipple?
Haha, I’ve never heard the word “tipple” before 😀 It’s definitely tea. Tea is both a pick-me-up and a relax-the-job-is-done drink for me. I prefer herbal teas to fruit teas.