– What age are you, where are you from?
I’m 29. From Cork, Ireland.
– When did the travel bug bite you?
I guess I’ve always had the travel bug and back when I lived in Ireland I tried to go on holiday at least twice a year but this was only for a week or two at a time and to popular European destinations like Spain or Crete. But the ‘backpacking bug’ as I like to call it bit me when I was living in Australia somewhere around the end of 2011.
– Had you initially intended to travel for work and it grew from there or was globe trotting always the plan?
Every journey has to start somewhere and mine started in Sydney, Australia where I had been living for 4 years and working as an Event Producer. I was lucky enough to be able to travel throughout Australia with my job, say for example I had an event in Darwin on a Monday I would fly up the Friday before the event and cram as much sightseeing in as I possibly could over the weekend. I got to see very city in Australia thanks to my job and I guess it was during that time I decided I wanted to see so much more of the world.
– Who did you go travelling with and why? Did this change at all?
With my boyfriend Paul, who’s from Brighton, England. We met in Sydney through friends back in 2013. He’s travelled quite a bit more than me (which I hate to admit), he’s lived in Cyprus, Tenerife and travelled Southeast Asia before we met. Thankfully living in each others pockets every single day for a year and experiencing foreign and stressful situations didnt affect us as a couple in fact it probably made us stronger.
– Did you keep a diary and take pics along the way and if so, why?
Yes, I tried my best to keep a log of all our daily activities and we took a lot of photos, thousands to be precise. Paul is the photographer though, I dont have as much patience as him to wait for the right moment to take the photo.
– Where did the blog idea come from?
It’s been in the back of my mind for a very long time but I guess I was afraid to start out of fear of failure. I studied New Media and English at the University of Limerick and worked an internship for The Corkman Newspaper, and so writing has always been a huge passion of mine. Thankfully I plucked up the courage to start Snap Happy Travels and now we have our own little slice of the internet where we can share our travel tips and photographs with friends, family and even a couple of strangers.
– What has the reaction to the blog been so far?
Very good so far, I’ve been in contact with a few other travel bloggers and have been asked travel advice from friends and other followers. But I only started the blog a few month ago so it’s definitely still in the early stages. However, I do have big plans for the future of the blog.
– Is Canada home now?
For the next 9 months, yes it is. Whistler in British Columbia is where we’ve been living for the past year and honestly it’s the prettiest but craziest place we’ve ever lived. I’ve never experienced anywhere quite like it.
– Would you like to come home to Cork and if so why?
Cork will always be home. There’s nothing like the Irish people, even when I’m travelling or living abroad I’m drawn to the Irish warmth. I’ve always said that when I start a family I’ll move back home. There’s nowhere better to raise a family in my opinion, I know some people will disagree with me but I’ve lived in Sydney, San Francisco, Vancouver and now Whistler and I still believe Ireland is the greatest country in the world (if we could put a roof over it). We’ve got so much beauty in such a tiny country and my next step is to explore it in depth. Become a tourist in my own country.
– How has travelling changed you as a person?
Completely. Before I went travelling a lot of my family and friends would have referred to me as a Princess – I’d go out and spend half my paycheque on clothes and makeup, but the past year spending hours on sleeper buses in South East Asia and Central America, staying in cramped rooms in hostels, eating at roadside stalls, has transformed me. It has taught me patience, it has taught me that you can learn something from every person you meet, it has taught me that the best food can be found at these tiny roadside stalls but above all it has taught me how incredibly lucky I am to be able travel the world so freely.
– What was the highlight?
There were three once-in-a-lifetime activities I completed while on my travels. The first was a bungee jump in Cairns, Australia. Amazing but terrifying at the same time.
The second was a tour of the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Caves in San Ignacio Belize. A 7km cave system that was used as a Mayan burial site, its filled with swimming pool deep water and is incredibly dark so you have to wear a headlamp at all times. There are different chambers inside with skulls and bones and old Mayan artifacts scattered everywhere. Everything is left exactly how it was when the first explorers found it. Honestly ATM caves has to be seen to be believed, the best I can compare it to is being in an Indiana Jones movie.
And lastly, hiking for hours up an active volcano in Santa Ana, El Salavdor.
– What was the worst thing?
Packed, sweaty and sticky bus journeys that took hours more than expected. Having to use squat toilets. And food poisoning. It’s inevitable.
– If you could change anything about your travels what would it be?
That I had saved more money to travel for longer.
– Using just 3 words tell me about your travels?
Can I use five? Best thing I’ve ever done!
– What’s next for you?
Our work visa expires in May and we’re planning to transfer to the Caribbean for a year with my job. After that, who knows.