As part of the latest instalment in my international version of Guests’ Corner (which I am so happy to resume), I chatted to travel blogger, Maya of Travel By Maya.
Maya is a 20-something travel addict, blogger and planner, whose greatest passion is travelling – and sharing her wonderful, budget-friendly travels with others.
Through her blog, Travel By Maya, and social feeds, Maya shares useful, exciting tips, hacks and great travel guides on how to travel more while paying less. (Because, as Maya’s blog tagline says, “Money can’t buy you happiness – but it can buy you a plane ticket!”)
Maya believes that it is entirely possible to travel on a budget without missing out on anything… And she can show you how!
For budget-friendly tips and inspirational travel guides, please follow Maya’s gorgeous blog here.
1) Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?
I’ve always loved travelling but started taking it much more seriously in the past three years.
I love writing; I love travelling; and I love talking about travelling… So the idea of writing about my adventures sounded amazing to me!
Also, in the past three years, I have managed to travel the world a lot (around six times a year) as a 19-21-year-old with no special job and without a whole lot of money.
I stayed at nice hotels/apartments; ate at delicious restaurants; went shopping; and visited all the places I wanted to visit in each destination.
This is what mainly inspired me to start my travel blog – I wanted to show people that travelling doesn’t have to be super expensive. And if you are travelling on a budget, you don’t need to pass on things you want to do.
Basically, eating the cake and keeping it.
2) What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or some of everything?
I think I am a combination of everything.
I am definitely a culture vulture. I love exploring new cultures and that is one of the main reasons I love travelling.
I also love nature; I am definitely an adrenaline junkie (especially with ziplines).
I also love city life trips, shopping and also, a relaxing beach trip or beach vacation.
3) Which are your top three most memorable travel experiences and why? Please list each one with a brief explanation.
1) Ziplining in Sochi, Russia: Until last year on that trip, I had a fear of heights.
On that trip, we went to the Skypark in Sochi that has a long zipline between two mountains.
I really wanted to do it – but I was scared. Eventually, I decided to go for it.
It was one of the best few minutes of my life, and since then, I have become an adrenaline junkie – and I always look for ziplines in every destination I visit.
2) Climbing the Eiffel Tower: Since I was little, I developed a true love story with Paris.
I had never been there but it was the dream of my life to visit Paris, climb the Eiffel Tower and learn French.
So climbing the Eiffel Tower with my dad (who made my dream come true when I was 16 years old by taking me to Paris) was one of the best experiences I have had.
We climbed the Eiffel Tower by the stairs… It was a hell of a workout but it was so much fun!
The funny thing is, that I was 16-year-old (and I thought I was in great shape) and my dad, who was 55 at the time, climbed the stairs like it was nothing while I was heavily breathing with each step I took. 😉
3. Earthquake in Greece: This was an experience I will never forget.
Thankfully, nothing happened and everything was okay – but this was definitely something I will never forget!
My boyfriend and I went on a one-week vacation to Rhodes three years ago.
One night, we watched a movie, fell asleep and, after two hours of sleep, we suddenly woke up because we felt the bed moving and heard the walls move as well!
After 30 seconds, it stopped. We both looked at each other (while we were half-asleep) and asked if the other felt that too.
Then, we were shocked. And like two, stupid 18 years olds, we didn’t go outside. We just wrote to our parents that we think that there was an earthquake and fell asleep.
You can imagine how many phone calls we received the next morning…
4) What was your most humbling or eye-opening travel experience in your home country and why?
I currently live in Israel. And I think the most eye-opening travel experience I have had in Israel has been floating in the Dead Sea and rubbing myself with its special mud!
The thought of being in a world wonder, knowing that I am at the lowest place on earth, is amazing.
And also, floating in the Dead Sea is an experience of its own!
It is so much fun – and, if you add the mud masks for your face and body, it makes the experience even better!
5) Worst (local) travel experience?
I actually can’t remember a bad local travel experience.
Things have gone pretty smooth for me on my trips (and I hope they will continue to be smooth, ha, ha!).
6) Your top three travel destinations across the globe – either that you have personally experienced or would love to visit?
I will answer both because, as I said before, I love talking about travelling!
1) My top three destinations that I have visited – and can go back to a million times – are: NYC, Paris and London.
2) My top three destinations that I would love to visit (even though it’s hard to choose only three) are: Japan, Philippines and Tanzania.
7) Any useful travel sites/blogs that you can recommend for following?
The top travel sites I use to plan my trips are:
– Skyscanner: For booking cheap flights.
– HotelsCombined: For booking nice hotels at an affordable price.
– Airbnb: For booking nice apartments at an affordable price.
– GetYourGuide: For booking my attractions in the destination I am visiting.
I mainly watch travel YouTubers and my favourite ones are:
8) If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I think Philippines. It’s been a dream of mine for a while.
9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city (and please state which city it is)?
My city isn’t touristy enough, so I’ll talk about Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv is honestly one of the best cities in Israel.
I highly recommend going to the beach. My favourite beach is the Gordon Beach.
Also, Tel Aviv has a beautiful area with vintage-looking buildings. You feel like you are in Europe but you are in Tel Aviv… The neighborhood I am talking about is Neve Tzedek – highly recommended!
10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?
My best travel tip is not to plan every detail to the fullest.
Be spontaneous; get lost in your destination a little bit; and don’t plan everything to the smallest detail.
Even if you plan a full day, don’t decide exactly what day it will be.
What I like to do is plan day trips – and once I get to the destination, I decide day-by-day where I want to go and what I want to do.
To read about and see all of Maya’s travel stories and experiences, you can visit her awesome blog or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
Thank you very much, Maya, 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.