In my latest interview on World Travellers I catch up with Emma Higgins, a well travelled UK lass who is living the travel dream…from Barcelona to Uyuni to Marrakesh to Leamington Spa. Emma and her website Gotta Keep Movin’ offer proof that it really is a small world after all. Over to you, Emma…
Who are you?
I’m Emma, the 20-something nomad that runs Gotta Keep Movin’.
Where are you from?
Originally I’m from the UK – I moved around a lot as a kid but my home town is a little place in the centre of England called Leamington Spa. After so much travelling England doesn’t feel like home so much anymore, and having lived in Barcelona last year that feels more like my base now.
Where have you been?
I went interrailing round Europe back in 2009 for two months, so that’s the continent I’ve done the most of. Ever since then my life has revolved around the next place to travel to and I’ve managed India, Morocco, six countries in South America, the USA and Canada so far.
Where are you now?
For once I’m actually back home! I got back from South America in February and currently waiting on a work permit and passport renewal for my next trip. It’s strange being home for so long but I’m taking the time to get up to date on the blog and explore some more of my own country, too.
What are the top 3 places you’ve visited?
India would be number one, the country just has a kind of beautiful simplicity of happiness that I connected with, and it was by far the most unlike my own country which probably made it more interesting to me. Argentina is the second, not only for the steak and wine (although that does play a big part!) but the huge range of nature they have, from mountains to deserts and everything in between. Finally I’d have to say Barcelona because I had the best summer of my life living there in 2012 and the city has everything you could ever need.
What is the best travel experience you’ve had?
Again probably Barcelona as it was a chance for me to really get to know the city having lived there for 6 months. I think in terms of a specific time it would be watching the sun rise over the salt flats in Bolivia, hands down the most incredible sight I have ever seen.
What is the worst travel experience you’ve had?
I’m incredibly lucky to have no had anything really go all that wrong on my travels. I had some absolutely punishing food poisoning in Morocco, which is never cool when you’re in a 12-bed dorm with the bathroom attached to it. Luckily, so many people had it that it reached the point where bathroom breaks were the main topic of conversation – what a way to make friends.
What is the funniest travel experience you’ve had?
I’ve had so many hilarious times on the road, most of which are kind of ‘you had to be there’ moments, but the funniest in hindsight is trying to free a goat that had managed to get its head stuck in a fence on a farm I worked on in Canada. This involved me trying to pull the chained gates apart with two hands, whilst kicking my boot on the goat’s head to push it up and out, at 6am on a very cold and dark morning in January. We managed it and the little guy was fine, but it was just the most ridiculous situation and the tangle of all my limbs made it hilarious!
What is the scariest travel experience you’ve had?
If I’m talking good scary, I’m terrified of heights and to face that I decided to go cliff jumping in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Definitely well worth the experience, even if I wanted to throw up at the thought of it beforehand. I haven’t had too many bad scary moments; a guy grabbed me on a bridge in Paris on my very first solo trip, but I managed to get him off me and swiftly walk away.
What 3 tips would you give a new traveller before they set off on their adventure?
Be open to new experiences as they’ll lead you to the best places, use your instincts and trust your gut as it’s one of those untapped human senses that can really help you out, and anti-diarrheal tablets are your number 1 best friend.
What are your future travel plans?
I’m currently waiting for my Canadian visa to come through, and I’ll be heading out to live in Toronto as soon as it does. I’ll be working out there and travelling around Canada, the US and the Caribbean as much as possible as well. Can’t wait to explore more of North America!
Emma Higgins has been writing and travelling on and off since 2009. Her blog, Gotta Keep Movin’ is full of stories and advice from her trips, which include Europe, India, Morocco, South America, the USA and Canada. Her main focuses are budget travel and volunteering, and she has been involved in sustainable farming in Argentina, animal shelters in Peru, and even tried her hand at making goats cheese in British Columbia. Follow her travels on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Thanks to Emma Higgins for being the latest in my series of World Travellers! If you travel the world and run a travel blog or are a travel writer, please get in touch, you can be featured (there’s a HUGE waiting list at present), either e-mail jonny (at) dontstopliving (dot) net or head to my contacts page and get connected! You can also subscribe to Don’t Stop Living by filling in the form below! Safe travels!