Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am Julie, a travel blogger from Always On The Way. I live in Toronto and love exploring new places, getting to know culture and people. Before blogging, I was completing my master’s degree before working as a social worker. I love the ocean and the Aurora Borealis, and I do not like sweet food except for chocolate and ice cream.
What inspired you to travel?
I did not start travelling until 11 years ago. I had an opportunity to participate in an exchange program in the USA during my third year at the university. Once I was in the USA, I realised there is a whole new world out there and my curiosity piqued me to get know more of it. After finishing my bachelor’s degree, I decided to study abroad again. This time I went to school in my dream place, Hawaii. I took my time to explore the island and travel to the mainland during the holidays. That is where my journey around the world started.
Tell us about your blog
I blog at AlwaysOnTheWayTravel.com. It is a travel blog focusing on insights of a destination through the insiders’ perspective and inspires travellers to explore places beyond the tourist attractions. I have lived in North America (the USA and Canada) for eight years, and it gave me ample time and opportunities to know the places and culture regular travellers are not aware of.
How do you afford to travel? Do you blog full-time?
I am now blogging full-time. I used to live at the place where I was working, and that helped me save up for travel. I also learned to be flexible and travel on a budget. I usually book the trip during the low season for discounts and low airfare. I stay at the hostels and with locals to save on my budget and meet people. Meanwhile, I work with tourism boards and hotels to get sponsorship. It is a different travel experience and is very rewarding.
How do you like to travel?
I tend to focus on long-term and budget travel, and that way I can have an extended period to get to know a place and make connections. However, I get travel burn out sometimes, and splurging is a good way for me to get out of the burnout situation. For instance, I did a month-long train trip in mainland USA. After three weeks of sleeping on the train and staying at the hostels, I was tired of not having my own space and so much movement. I checked myself into a hotel outside the city centre in San Jose. I stayed at the hotel for half day just to sleep and relax. The next day, I was ready to go out and continue the journey.
What has been your favourite destination, and why?
Alaska. It has the most incredible views and greatest adventure. Winter is cold but the northern lights and the pure white snow turned the northern and central part of Alaska into a winter wonderland. Summer is when Alaska becomes alive with a dynamic landscape and the people there are very welcoming and have a strong sense of community.
What are the top 3 destinations on your bucket list?
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia/Greenland/Churchill, Manitoba (Canada).
Tell us about your best and worst travel experiences!
Best travel experience
I saw the Aurora Borealis on Christmas Eve in Fairbanks, Alaska. It was the best Christmas gift I have ever received and it was magic.
Worst travel experience
Lost my passport in Seattle.
Where can we find you online?