Spotlights 2024 - February
My name is Claire, 31, from the North West of England. I spent my working life as a risk manager. Outside of work, you'll find me either in the hills, in some
What/Who Inspired You To Become a Travel Creator?
In all honestly I got really bored in COVID and one of my friends suggested I should fill in the void of not travelling by blogging all the photos/experiences I had already. I found this hard at first as I've never really been fond of my writing style and also found myself writing like I was still in uni... I have learnt to not overthink that...thankfully. I then found a lot of similar people with similar interests and it spiraled from there!
Solo travel or with company?
I usually travel with my friends or my partner but I feel like a solo trip is getting ever closer. There's definitely something I'd love to do one day.
What is Best Tip/Trick You've Learnt?
Don't be too fussy about where you want to go and keep an open mind. SOme of my favourite places I've been are ones I'd not really heard of before finding a cheap flight on skyscanner. Also don't be put off by other people's experiences/bias. I remember before I went to Azerbaijan so many people asking if it was dangerous/why I was going. Only for it to be one of my favourites I've vistited.
What is Your Biggest Travel ICK?
Watching people who are just rude to staff trying to help. I always get 2nd hand embarrassment from it!
What is the Best Bit of Travel Gear You Own?
Probably my headphones. They keep noise away on the plane even if I don't have any music on. Just helps the journey go faster.
How has travel impacted you?
Definitely bought me out of my comfort zone. I'm pretty shy and very introverted so going to lots of new places is not something that comes naturally to me. It's also made me appreciate the amazing and diverse world we live in, everywhere always seems to exceed expectations.
What are the best/worst places you've been?
Based on my own experiences...although the actual place was so nice. I didn't have a fun time in Hong Kong. Ended up with a damp hotel room at a time where there were a lot of protests, so I didn't feel too safe. Especially walking around seeing rubber bullets on the floor. Definitely bought it home when the guy in the restaurant was very confused how we even made it in. Also walked out of the subway to about 12 vans filled of armed police. I have never walked so fast back to a hotel room. Best is so hard to decide. Everywhere has its own quirks for a city breaks, beaches, road trips but I'll go with Tromsø today. I love winter and this was a winter wonderland on steroids. Topped with seeing the Northern Lights after about 7 years of trying. Its one that is pretty hard to beat for me.
How do you plan your location?
Searching everywhere on Skyscanner and seeing what's available around dates I'm looking to go for the most time anyway. I'm pretty lucky with having flexible working life so it does help find some good flight deals. These tend to be more last minute though. There are times where I'll have somewhere in mind, I tend to plan these more just so I can get the best deals at the time. Budget wise I always have something in mind that's realistic for the place I'm visiting. For example; I wouldn't expect Norway to be super cheap so make sure I'm aware of any extra costs there might be! I always use cashback sites etc just to make sure I'm getting the best out of what I'm booking, can sometimes pay for the currency on the next trip. When I'm there I tend to do a bit of research but not to make it too organised so it doesn't feel like you have to be super busy all the time. Sometimes you find the best things to do when you're not looking for them.
Where are you heading next?
I'm off to Northern Finland staying in a couple of igloo-style places. I'm ridiculously excited as these have been on my list for years.
WHAT GOT YOU INTO WILD SWIMMING?
I was a competitive swimmer from the age of 10 to about 20 so I've always been a bit of a water babe. Spent most of my summers at the Lake, especially once I could drive. I used to swim a bit in my wetsuit and decided to ditch it one day because it got a hole in it and havent looked back since. It definitely helped connecting with people on Instagram who enjoyed swimming too as it made me go more often and fall back in love with the sport in a way that isnt swimming up and down the length of a pool every week. Going in the winter is definitely something I never thought I would do but here I am loving that cold water buzz.
What is one place you will never get bored of visiting?
Norway! I love it, its the best mix of good vibes and scenery which doesn't always involve a hike to see either. Plus its not too far away either which is always a win.
WHAT OTHER CReators inspire you?
There are so many but I'll just pick one @alittlebitofclaire will make you want to visit every single place in Scotland she goes so definitely check her out.