Traveling for a living is the dream of many! How do you stay fearless and inspired while on the road? We asked Krista Simmons, travel writer and YouTuber extraordinaire about her travel tips, packing secrets and falling in love while traveling. Keep reading to get inspired!
How did you first start out as a travel writer?
I first really started covering my experiences traveling after I sold all of my stuff and traded it in for a backpack, then went on to work on organic farms through a program called WWOOFing. I’ve always loved working in the food industry, and being able to write about those experiences farming through Australia and Southeast Asia really helped launch my career.
Where’s your all time favorite travel destination?
Gosh, that’s a toughie. I adore the food, culture, and people of Southeast Asia, and it’s so simple to get around the region. I recently went back to visit Myanmar and Vietnam, which were both so breathtakingly beautiful, and also had some pretty incredible culinary cultures. I’m always open to spending more time there.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve eaten while abroad?
Turkey testicles, scorpion, and calve’s brains probably top that list. I’m a really adventurous eater. The only one that really weirded me out was the scorpion. That crunchy exoskeleton is a tough one to get past, both literally and figuratively.
How do you survive exceptionally long flights?
I always try to set my clock to the time of my destination to avoid jet lag. In terms of entertainment, I usually try to purchase a book about the destination I’m headed to. If I’m going to be spending more than a few days somewhere, I pick up one of those mini Lonely Planet language books to practice some of the native language, mainly focusing on the section with food words, natch. Some I always learn are “delicious,” “thank you,” “beer,” “please,” “I’m full,” “hello,” and “beautiful.” You’d be surprised how many doors speaking just a few (admittedly mispronounced) words opens.
What’s something you tried while traveling that you never would have done back at home?
Honestly, I stay pretty true to who I am when I’m traveling, which is to say, I’m open to wild experiences both at home and on the road.
What is your favorite way to document your experience?
I am loving Snapchat right now. I honestly feel like the medium was built for travel. It really gives you a full 360 degree view of destinations, hotels, markets, restaurants, and more. Plus I love being goofy on camera, so it’s perfect for me. It’s like a mini, unedited version of my YouTube channel.
Have you ever fallen in love while on a trip?
I have definitely had my travel flings, but I’ve never fallen in love while on a trip. That said, I adore traveling with my boyfriend these days. We make great travel buddies. Traveling together is my personal litmus test for if we can be together in the long run, and thankfully we do well in that department.
What’s the longest you’ve been away from home?
I spent a year working on organic farms in Australia and Southeast Asia through a program called WWOOFing, and I could have stayed longer, but darn those winter holidays made me homesick.
Given most airlines have done away with peanuts, what’s your must have carry on snack?
If I’m being good, I’ll bring almonds and Go Raw’s pizza flavored Flax Snax. They totally taste like Hot Pockets, but are packed with good fiber to help keep your system regular and feeling full. But to be honest, sometimes I’m naughty and nosh on peanut M & Ms while reading the latest issue of Afar from the news stand. They are the best.
Who’s your travel style icon?
I’m all about the balance of high-low. I know this is going to sound totally cooky, but I think I’d be a hybrid of Anthony Bourdain and Gwenyth Paltrow. (I’m sure he’d have some choice words for being mentioned in the same breath, but whatever.) I totally dig Gwen’s laid back, effortlessly chic, eco-conscious street style, and love that she’s savvy when it comes to high brow city life. But at the same time, I adore going off the beaten path, chowing down on cheap bowls of noodles in shady alleyways a la Bourdain, rocking my rugged boyfriend jeans and a leather jacket — minus the tats and ciggies, of course. Let’s be honest, they’re both pretty connected, so it’d be dope to tag along on one of their adventures.
Learn more about Krista Simmons by visiting her website: www.kristasimmons.com
Follow Krista on Instagram @kristasimmons and Snapchat: krista_simmons
You can also follow photographer Michael Kretovics here!