GAFFL Interview: Get to know me!

This story was originally posted on GAFFL, the app that helps you find a travel buddy.

What is GAFFL?

GAFFL connects solo travelers with similar itineraries to explore destinations together. Whether you are backpacking in Asia, road tripping in Australia, or exploring national parks in the US, simply type the destination you are traveling to, find travelers who are going there at the same time as you, connect with them, plan trips, meet, and travel together.

Stacey is a 24-year-old travel blogger from the UK. Full-time, she’s a construction professional and mother to two husky & husky X dogs. She’s visited 31 countries, has a caravan and COVID cancelled her plans for a beautiful Italian wedding! You can follow along on all of Stacey’s adventures by heading over to her blog and on Instagram @staceyexplores.

Why I Travel The World

Firstly, I was a huge geography nerd in school, and I think that’s mostly where the inspiration came from. I was always outdoors as a child; I was a scout & an air cadet, and then spent my summers exploring the UK with my family on camping & caravan trips.

I traveled to the United States with my family when I was very young, but between then and a school trip to Iceland in 2013, I never stepped foot on a plane – a 10-year gap! I did however begin to see Europe with my family, traveling by car.

I blame that trip to Iceland for giving me the “travel bug”. Since then, my interest in the natural world also intertwined with a passion for the built environment – so my trips are largely focused on seeing as many natural & made-made landmarks as I can.

I Met My Soon-To-Be Husband During My Travels!

I went on holiday with a group of friends to Tenerife when I was just 17, and he came along as a friend-of-a-friend last-minute addition to the trip. Just over a week later, I was his girlfriend, and 4 years after that I became his fiancé – also in Tenerife!

Having been with him my whole adult life, we’ve experienced almost all our travels together – a total of 25 countries together so far.

We Try To Travel Often

Pre-COVID, we tried to take a weekend break every month. These were pretty intense 1-night breaks! To list a couple of examples, we visited both Oslo & Copenhagen in one weekend, and have also driven to various places in France between finishing work on Friday & starting again on a Monday. We do balance our travels around full-time work, so we make sure to take a couple of “big breaks” a year and make the most of bank holiday weekends.

Because we want to see everywhere, we don’t have a list of places to travel. Therefore, our trips are often dictated by the availability of cheap flights. Weekend trips always seem to be within 3 hours of flying, and “big breaks” are reserved for longer hauls. 

Biggest Challenges We Face While Traveling

In short, we are totally limited by our holiday entitlement. Although I think our bank accounts are thankful for that! We also have other commitments back at homes such as the mortgage and our two beautiful dogs. This year, however, we purchased a caravan, so keep your eyes peeled for more travel with doggies content!

One Of Our Best Travel Memories

One of my favorite trips was a quick 7-day road trip in Croatia. One of my favorite things to do is rent a car abroad and search for hidden beaches – and Croatia is perfect for this! 

After spending 4 days rushing around in Rome, we were desperate to chill out a little. So, after flying to Dubrovnik we searched for a beach to spend the afternoon and evening. We were intending to visit sea Sveti Jakov beach when we accidentally took a wrong turn and walked towards an enclosed jetty. I wouldn’t be able to direct you any further than that, but if you ever manage to make the same wrong turn as us – enjoy it! 

The sunset is beautiful from this angle of the shoreline. This is a must-do whilst visiting Dubrovnik – but don’t forget your water shoes! The coastline of Croatia is full of nasty sea urchins.

My Recommendation For A Quick Multi-Country Trip

For a quick stop multi-country trip, I would recommend an itinerary of PragueVienna, Bratislava & Budapest – as they can all be accessed easily by train from one another. We did a similar trip last Christmas, where we visited Brno, Vienna & Bratislava in 4 nights.

For a longer trip, to absorb the culture a little more, I would recommend our favorite place – Italy. We have toured throughout Italy and continue to visit every year. We most recently visited Eastern Sardinia where we hiked down the Gorropu Canyon & rented a boat to explore the Gulf of Orosei. You can check out my favorite places in Italy outside of the main cities here.

The most memorable moment of traveling in 2020 was our drive towards Italy, where we decided to skip the toll roads through Mont Blanc and take the scenic route – and oh boy, it was worth it! We pulled over in our car to take in the views of Fort Victor Emmanuel (France), only to find a high-ropes center where you could zip line across the mountain valleys! Even if you don’t like heights, I’d recommend this route simply for the views.

My Travel Bucket List

My sisters and I had always planned to do the Route 66 road trip in the United States when my youngest sister turns 21 – so I’ve still got 2.5 years to wait for that one!

A lot of my travels so far have been based in Europe and therefore I’ve still got a lot of Asia, Africa, Australia & the Americas to explore. We were due to be on a 40-day trip to Asia as I write this, but you can probably guess what happened to those plans?

My Advice To Anyone Who Wants To Be A Full-Time Traveler

I would recommend looking for a traditional career that has the potential to go digital. I’m a construction estimator, so I prepare cost plans and feasibility studies for projects in pre-construction ranging from £5 million to £25 million. It may sound complicated, but almost all my work can be done from my computer. In reality – this was one of the factors that drew me to the career.

If anything good has come from 2020, it has forced many companies to realize the opportunities presented with remote working. It’s even happened in more traditional industries such as construction! I would suggest not buying into pyramid schemes & quick-fix remote working “careers” that are all too commonly advertised on social media. Instead, invest your time in a traditional profession that can be carried out remotely. The digital age has arrived, and it looks like it’s here to stay!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, it would be greatly appreciated if you could enter your email below for notifications on new blogs. Also, if you have liked my photos, you can check out my Instagram for more!

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