As part of the latest instalment in my international version of Guests’ Corner, I chatted to travel blogger, Ellie-M of Ticking The List.
Adventurer and traveller, Ellie-M is the fun creator and author behind the elegant travel blog, Ticking The List.
In 2016, wanting more from life, Ellie-M – who originally hails from Ireland – decided to move halfway across the world to the UAE… There, she started a bucket list – and she’s been checking items off it ever since!
For Ellie-M, her bucket list shows her everything that she has already accomplished, while also inspiring her future goals.
Her beautiful travel blog, Ticking The List, is all about dreaming and making life what you want it to be. With her blog, she hopes to both inspire and teach others more about blogging, travel and of course, pursuing your dreams – one bucket list item at a time.
Outside of blogging, Ellie-M also loves all things Harry Potter, Christmas and musical theatre.
Follow her lovely blog for the best travel tips, bucket list stories and inspiration around!
1) Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?
I always wondered whether I could be a travel blogger, given that I work full-time.
I’m not a digital nomad and, for some reason, I thought I needed to be in order to write about my travels! Sounds silly now, right?
It wasn’t until a friend pushed me at the beginning of this year to start a blog that I actually did it… And I haven’t looked back!
2) What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or some of everything?
I’m definitely a bit of everything – but if I had to choose one, it would have to be adrenaline junkie.
I love zip lines, jumping out of planes or dune-bashing in the desert.
And any time I go away, I always check out any crazy adrenaline-inducing activities that I can get involved in.
3) Which are your top three most memorable travel experiences and why? Please list each one with a brief explanation.
While I had been on short solo trips before – this was the first time I travelled through a country on my own.
Not only did I love Vietnam as a country – but it was an exhilarating experience travelling from north to south of the country by myself and realising what I can accomplish on my own.
2) South Africa
In 2017, I had an opportunity to volunteer at LIV Village, just outside of Durban. Living in Dubai means you’re sometimes in a bubble from ‘real life’ – so this was a much needed, humbling experience.
After the week of volunteering, we also got to do a safari, which was something else!
Earlier this year, I went on a trip with Flash Pack to Lapland. We were a group of 11 solo travellers and while we didn’t get to see the Northern Lights (the dream!), we had the best time together and have stayed in touch every few days.
What made this more memorable was that it was the last trip for any of us before lockdown… In fact, I only made it back to the UAE the day before they closed their borders for three months!
4) What was your most humbling or eye-opening travel experience in your home country and why?
I’m living in Dubai at the moment and most people who visit Dubai come to see the beaches, the malls, the tall buildings etc… It’s all about the biggest and best.
When my mum came to visit, we took a trip up to Dubai Old Town. It was a great reminder of the history and culture of the UAE – and that it’s not all about expensive cars and Friday brunches.
5) Worst (local) travel experience?
I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad travel experience here – or back home in Ireland!
6) Your top three travel destinations across the globe – either that you have personally experienced or would love to visit?
Oh, gosh, only three?
I’ll go with three I want to visit, as I tend to try to experience new places before going back to ones that I’ve already visited.
1 . I really want to visit Cappadocia – and all going to plan, it will be next year.
2 . I’d love to see Japan during the cherry blossom season.
3. Kilimanjaro was planned for this year and it’s now been pushed back to next year… Fingers crossed all goes to plan in January.
This list could really go on and on (as you’ll see from my bucket list on my site)!
7) Any useful travel sites/blogs that you can recommend for following?
For booking travel, my go-tos are:
- Flights: Skyscanner.com
- Hotels: Booking.com
- Tours: GetYourGuide
Other travel blogs I follow (other than Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust!):
8) If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Right now, it would be home to Ireland. I have always made it home every four months but, because of the current situation, I haven’t been in over nine months – and it’s likely to be another few months, if not more… I’ve never been away from home this long before!
9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city (and please state which city it is)?
Most people living in Dubai have an app called The ENTERTAINER where you can get 2-for-1 offers.
If you’re visiting and know someone living here, download the app and they can send you any 2-for-1 vouchers. You can save so much money using this app for things like tourist attractions, restaurants and hotels.
Also, check out Groupon for offers.
10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?
The best time to visit Dubai is between October and June. The weather after June gets really hot and humid, which many tourists (and residents) aren’t used to.
Also, it is possible to do Dubai on a budget. There are many free things to do, such as watching the fountains next to the Burj Khalifa or taking a stroll down JBR at night.
I do think every tourist should do a desert safari when they visit, as it is like nothing else that you can experience in other countries.
To read about and see all of Ellie-M’s travel stories, you can visit her awesome travel blog or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
Thank you very much, Ellie-M, for appearing in this guest travel interview.
Author: Tamlyn 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.