Vanessa Chiasson is an award winning blogger, freelance writer, and digital strategist. Her work has been presented at TBEX, CBC Radio,and CTV Ottawa and she has been published by The Globe and Mail, The Kingston Whig Standard, Ontario Tourism, Plum Deluxe, The Establishment, and more.
Her blog, TurnipseedTravel.com, was named one of the 100 most influential travel blogs in the world by President Obama.
Read on to find out what inspires her to travel and explore the world.
What or who inspired you to travel and discover the world?
I lived and worked in Malawi for 4 months as a gender analyst – a challenging experience but one that I ultimately loved. At my house outside Lilongwe, the teenage girls who lived nearby were very curious about me and they loved to chase after me when I jogged, laughing hysterically the whole time. Did I mention I’m not the most grateful runner to begin with? I’m sure they viewed me as a bit of a curiosity (okay, oddity might be a better phrase!) but their infectious laughter is my fondest travel memory – and I hope to encapsulate their joy in my every travel experience.
Where was your first overseas trip and was it everything you expected it to be?
My very first solo overseas trip was to the Netherlands. It was an exhilarating combination of sheer terror and wonder. But in terms of it being what I expected, well………I was staying at a hostel and was curious about seeing the Red Light District – of course, only curious in an academic sense. Despite my best efforts to recruit both the guys and girls to come with me, I was turned down flat, by some rather shocked people. Turns out my inexpensive, clean hostel was sponsored by a church and it was hosting a large Christian youth group (who no doubt saw me as a corrupting influence!) Opps!
Since then, when I’ve stayed at hostel around the world, I’ve always thought twice before suggesting an outing!
What’s one travel tip you can give to anyone about to head off on their first overseas adventure?
Take joy and satisfaction in the little things. Buying guavas by myself for the first time at a market in Malawi stands out as a proud moment where I did something all on my own in what felt like daunting circumstances. Looking back, it seems like such a small thing, but sometimes little tasks can be really intimidating!
My blog, TurnipseedTravel.com is passionate about moments like this, digging a bit deeper for that authentic travel experience that makes for an unforgettable trip. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or even be all that adventurous to have an incredible travel experience.
Best travel experience so far?
There’s no competition: Taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise over the ancient temples of Bagan, Myanmar. It was one of those travel moments that you have to pinch yourself to believe it’s really happening.
What’s your biggest source of travel inspiration between trips?
I love watching culinary programs and cooking shows. Learning about new cuisine and cooking techniques makes me so excited about how much there is for me to discover around the world. It definitely sparks my wanderlust.
I never leave home without…… a full stomach and an empty bladder!
My favourite place is……. I love Hawaii – coffee, shave ice, snorkeling, beaches, scenic drives, and relaxing with local music.
Solo, couple, family or group travel…… Couple! (Though I don’t mind the occasional solo trip)
The best food I’ve eaten was in…… I still dream about a bread pudding with bits of peaches, covered in crème fresh, at a place called Café Concerto in York, England.
City, sea, mountains…….Sea!
Connect with Vanessa
Blog: Turnipseed Travel
Read more inspiring traveller’s stories here.
Over to you!
What or who inspires you to travel?
Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.