If you’re looking for a travel blog with tips for simple, sustainable travel, ideas for working along the way, or posts about life as an expat, then Charlie on Travel is for you. Charlie is a professional house sitter currently working in Central America. Her house sitting lifestyle means she is able to enjoy slow travel and pursue freelance writing work. She was previously an English teacher in Taiwan. She shares her insights, experiences and a lot of helpful tips on her blog.
Get to know more about Charlie and follow her adventures at Charlie on Travel.
But before you leave this page, check out my short interview with Charlie.
How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“At university, I had the squat little concrete room. The walls were grey breeze-blocks with no plaster, and I had a tiny window that looked out onto nothing but sky because I was on the 12th floor. Sitting in that room, I realized that I wasn’t meant to live like that, in between the same 4 walls. I decided to travel there and then. I applied for the Study China programme, to my amazement got on, and went travelling in China the following summer.”
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?
“The only really horrible experience I’ve had on the road was seeing elephants being poorly treated in Vietnam. It was my first time seeing an elephant and was a silently horrific experience for me. The metal chairs harnessed on their back, the wooden stick used to whip them, and worst of all, the other tourists riding on their backs. But, it gave my travels more of a purpose – I now often write about ethical, sustainable, and socially aware tourism.”
3. What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
“All of my travel experiences have been awesome in their own individual ways. Right now, my current travel experience is my highlight – I’ve just begun my indefinite travel adventure in Central America. I’m in Costa Rica, house sitting in a little barrio up in the mountains surrounding San José. The coffee is good and I wake up to incredible views every morning.”
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
“That I don’t want to work a lame job to save up to buy a house which I then have to work harder to fill with stuff that I don’t really need.”
“Travelling has made me realize that I like the simple things in life, and that I can live well for less in other countries.”
What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?
“I’m really into slow travel – taking a long time to see only a few places. I like to actually ‘live the life’ there rather than speed through. I’m always motivated by being fully ready to leave a place without the regret of having not spent enough time there.”
This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?
“It’s a bit of a tactical choice, but given the crazy chance, I’d want to travel with Nomadic Matt. Like all other travel bloggers, I really admire his writing and the career he’s carved out from it. Not only would I learn a lot from travelling with him, but it would also be awesome fun I’m sure.”
Where’s your favorite place in this planet and why?
“I’m going to say Taiwan. I spent a year there teaching English, exploring the country and going on some incredible hikes. I studied Taiwan cinema at university and had become so engrossed that the experience of travelling there was even better for me!”
What’s your best tip for newbie traveler?
“If someone says something is impossible, it’s because they can’t imagine it. People told me long-term travel was impossible, being a successful travel blogger was impossible and being a writer was impossible. None of those things are impossible.”
What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
“I tried a soursop for the first time the other day – not realizing what it was – oh my gosh, my face was so puckered up! It was like eating a weird, chewy lemon. I looked like such a dumb-bell.”
How do you fund your travels?
“First, I worked as an English teacher in Taiwan. After having saved half of my wages from the my year there, I took the time to establish myself as a professional writer, set up my travel blog and go after the career I really wanted.”
“I now work under the job title of ‘Writing Ninja’ for a British online marketing company. I love my job because it means I make money from writing, and it’s location-independent, so I can work and travel at the same time! I have also just begun working as a professional house sitter, which is a real commitment, but a completely amazing thing to be doing. Right now I’m taking care of 8 dogs and 1 cat in Costa Rica.”
How do you keep yourself safe on your travels?
“I’m a careful person by nature, probably to the extent that I’m over-cautious. I never take taxis, I never get drunk in an unknown place, and I never take much money out with me. I’ve been very fortunate to never have had anything bad happen on my travels, but I’ve also been very sensible too.”
What do you think about yourself?
“I’m actually quite self-conscious, but at the same time dislike fluffy talking so usually come across as being a bit harsh sometimes. I spent years hiding my writing from people and worrying about being criticized by other people. One day I realized you can’t worry so much else you’ll never do anything. That’s when I decided to just throw myself out there and start blogging. It’s made me a lot more confident in my writing and in myself as a result. I mean, I’m still self-conscious, especially when trying to speak in a foreign language or asking for directions, but I’m working on it.”
“Charlie On Travel is about travelling green with just a few pennies and a good moral compass. I’m an advocate of eco-travel and being a socially-responsible travel, however I don’t make much money, so I write a lot about living a simple life.” – Charlie Marchant of Charlie on Travel
Editor’s Note: All pics are provided by Charlie.