As part of the next instalment in my international version of Guests’ Corner, I chatted to Lizzie Pluta and Dave Finan, passionate travel bloggers at Wanderlust and Life.
For Lizzie Pluta and Dave Finan, travel has always been a fundamental part of their relationship: Lizzie’s from Australia, Dave’s from Ireland, they met in Canada – and now, they live in the UK. So, not only has travel cemented their relationship (and now marriage) bond but it has also united in them in their passion for blogging.
Their beautiful blog, Wanderlust and Life, shares insightful life hacks, ‘travel for two’ ideas and so much more – weaving a visual story as it goes.
Their goal is to inspire other couples to travel the world together and experience the same rush of excitement they feel every time the plane touches down in a new land… But more than that, they want to encourage ordinary people to travel and see the world.
Perhaps the best thing about Lizzie and Dave is their fearless, down-to-earth approach to travel: neither of them are super sporty or adventurous, Lizzie is terrified of flying and Dave can’t actually swim…
Yet, despite this, they show us how to travel as an ordinary person – while leading an extraordinary travel life.
1) Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?
I have always been into blogging before it was even a thing. Back in the day I used to have a Livejournal account and a Xanga page where I would document my days. Most of it was just documenting my teenage angst but still. I guess I have always been a fan of writing.
A few years ago we were travelling a lot and started an Instagram account, but I felt I couldn’t write everything I wanted in one caption. The Instagram was doing quite well (this is, of course, before the algorithm changed).
Eventually I started to notice other people’s blogs and I thought I really want to do that. It works well for us because I am more into writing and Dave is better on the analytical side of things, so we make a great team!
2) What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or some of everything?
We are probably more culture vultures and do love being out in nature too. Because our blog talks a lot about couples travel, we love sharing experiences when travelling.
And at the end of a long day exploring, we just love snuggling up in a bar, wine glass in hand.
3) Which are your top three most memorable travel experiences and why? Please list each one with a brief explanation.
1. Well, we (just) got married in Las Vegas so that has to be the top of the list and that is obviously a day we will never forget. We married in the little white wedding chapel – although we did draw the line at having Elvis marry us…
2. Apart from that I would say sand duning in Dubai. It was memorable because we flew home that same night and were both so sick on the plane because of it!
3. And the third would have to be waking up early in Prague to watch the sunrise over the Charles Bridge. There were not many people there – and it was absolutely beautiful.
4) What was your most humbling or eye-opening travel experience in your home country and why?
We are both from different countries, Dave is Irish and I am Australian and now we live in England. I think the most eye-opening experience was when there was a terrorist attack in Manchester where we live.
It was terrifying – and walking around town the days following it felt strange. We had actually just got back from a trip to Germany the day it happened and I remember being worried about going to Germany because of previous attacks there. We didn’t expect it to happen in our home though.
It was sad but in a way it was also a reminder to just live your life… You never know what is going to happen so you have to make the most of every moment.
5) Worst (local) travel experience?
Apart from getting sick while travelling which I guess is standard when you travel so much, my worst experience would have to be getting pick-pocketed in Dublin. It was St Patrick’s weekend and we were celebrating with friends. Some creep went into my bag, which was strapped to my side I might add, and stole my phone. It was upsetting mostly because I lost all my photos.
We spent an evening in a police station because I had to file a report for my travel insurance. We were there for ages in a line of about 20 other tourists who had things stolen… It has taught me to be more careful though.
6) Your top three travel destinations across the globe – either that you have personally experienced or would love to visit?
1) Toronto, Canada: It is where Dave and I met so it will always hold a special place in our hearts.
2) Brisbane, Australia: This is where I grew up, and it is such a beautiful city. There is so much to do – and you are so close to the beach as well.
3) Sligo, Ireland: This is Dave’s hometown. It is such a beautiful part of Ireland, with beautiful walks in the woods, gorgeous beaches and a lot of traditional Irish pubs. It is also not very touristy, which surprises me because it is so beautiful! It is a great place to go for an authentic Irish experience.
7) Any useful travel sites/blogs that you can recommend for following?
I am a huge fan of Hand Luggage Only’s blog. These guys are my total blogging goals! They always seem to be somewhere beautiful – and I would love to be on their level someday.
I am also a huge fan of the girls from Twins That Travel. They have an amazing podcast, which really gives you some amazing blogging tips.
8) If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I have so many places that I would drop everything to travel to.
Japan is certainly one. As well as Greece, Switzerland and Maldives because I could do with a relaxing break!
9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city (and please state which city it is)?
We live in Manchester, England and one of the best places to go has to be the Northern Quarter. It is a quirky area, with fun bars and cool eateries.
A lot of people who come here are also football (or soccer, depending on where you are from) fans – and a visit to Old Trafford Football Stadium is an absolute must.
10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?
If you visit Manchester, seriously bring an umbrella… It rains a lot.
To read about and see all of Lizzie and Dave’s travel stories and experiences, you can visit their awesome blog. Or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Thank you very much, Lizzie and Dave, for appearing in this guest travel segment.
Author: Tamlyn Amber Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.