Emily Luxton is an award-winning writer and travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper, more intelligent travel. In an attempt to really get to know the world, Emily seeks out adventure, cultural exchanges, food experiences and more whenever she travels.
So far, Emily has travelled to more than 25 countries across five continents, favouring slow, long-term travel over collecting passport stamps.
Interview With Emily Luxton – Travel Blogger Extraordinaire
Why do you travel?
There are a lot of reasons, but I think it stems from a weird streak of adventure that I’ve had for as long as I could remember. There’s a part of me that’s always craved adventure and excitement over the ordinary and easy.
But these days it’s more than that; it’s the fact that travel seems to make the world a better, more understandable place. It reminds me that there’s more good in the world than bad. Every time I set out I’m reminded what a special place our planet is, and how rewarding it can be if you’re open minded and ready for a challenge. There’s so much beauty to discover that I simply can’t stay in one place!
How has travel changed you as a person?
I’d say it’s made me a fair bit braver and more confident. I used to be a very timid person, unable to order for myself in restaurants or ask for assistance in a shop. I have a lot of fears and anxieties, but travelling has helped me manage them better and stay on top of them. This year, I’ve been trying to do one thing a month that scares me. The list has included a bungee jump in India, a 200ft abseil in the UK, and skiing for the first time in France. It’s really helped to bring me out of my shell and to remind me that nothing is too much of a challenge. What I’ve discovered is that I’m a lot tougher than I once gave myself credit for. Whenever I feel afraid these days, I force myself to push on and do it anyway, and that’s led to some wonderful new experiences and adventures.
What are the five things you pack in your travel bag, aside from your passport and credit card?
Besides the basics, I never travel anywhere without my camera, phone, and laptop – all vital tools for a travel blogger. I always take coconut oil, because it’s such a versatile little wonder product. And I never leave home without a notebook.
Tell us your favourite place you have visited?
My favourite country is Colombia. It’s really difficult to explain why; there’s just something wonderfully warm, welcoming, and exciting about that place. It was the first country I ever backpacked in and I just fell in love!
Your favourite travel App?
I love Wikiloc; it lets users upload the GPS route of a hiking trail they’ve completed so that other people can follow the same route! So useful for taking hikes and walking tours of new places without needing to hire a guide.
Who is your ideal travel companion?
Anybody who’s fun to be around, up for a laugh, and loves food as much as I do!
Best budget/luxury hotel you have ever stayed in?
The best luxury hotel would be the private villa at Thanda Game Reserve in South Africa, where I stayed recently. The best budget hotel I’ve ever stayed in is probably the Generator Hostel in Barcelona. It’s the nicest hostel I’ve ever stayed in!
Share with us your favourite travel book?
I love both of Kira Salak’s travelogues, Four Corners and The Cruellest Journey. These were the first travel books I read, and they’re what made me want to be a travel writer.
Best single travel resource on the web, aside from your blog?
Between the guide books, the blog posts, and the forums, Lonely Planet is a seriously big help. But when I’m planning a trip I turn to Instagram to search for and save posts from bloggers around the net. It’s the best way to find a lot of awesome resources in one place!
What’s the best tip you can give other travel bloggers to get more traffic to their site?
Again, it’s probably Pinterest. That’s the second highest driver of traffic to my site after search engines (recently it’s even higher than search engines some weeks). You can make an eye-catching title image for your blog post, share it to Pinterest, and you’ll attract a lot of highly engaged readers – provided your content is good and you’re writing about something people want to learn more about.
Travel blogger that you most look forward to reading every week?
The lovely Wanderlust Chloe – especially when she publishes her London roundups.
What’s the most common misconception about Dubai you have heard?
I think a lot of people assume there’s no culture or history there because so much of the city looks brand new. But it’s not true; there’s plenty of history to discover!
What’s your personal list of Dubai must visit attractions?
The old town and the souqs, a food tour, the Al Ain camel market, the Grand Jumeirah Mosque, and the Fountain Show.
What’s your memorable travel moments?
One of the most memorable moments of my life is sitting at the Sun Gate looking down at Machu Picchu in Peru. It was something I’d been dreaming about for years, so to have finally made it there – especially after three days trekking and a very hard climb that morning – was something really special. A real dream come true!
Where is your Next Destination
Actually, there’s nothing set in stone just yet! I’m still working on my plans for the year, but I hope to be heading away soon for a couple of months. Ideally, I’d like to head back to my favourite region of the world, Latin America. So watch this space!
Emily is currently travelling in Mexico.