On a press trip to Northern New York this summer, I had the pleasure of meeting and befriending Victoria Philpott of Vicky Flip Flop Travels. We seemed to hit it off right away and bonded quickly over our love of travel.
Victoria writes about festivals, travel and blogging at Vicky Flip Flop Travels. Her aim is to show you how you can do any of the three, or all, more easily and better than you ever thought before.
Who is your favorite person to travel with? Why?
My best mate Chloe, she likes exactly the same amount of eating, drinking and adventure as I do when travelling. She’s also a laugh a minute.
I know it’s hard to narrow down, but what are your three favorite places in the world?
Japan – I love Japan! Everything here is so different to what I’m used to – what you eat, where you sleep, the past, the future, the people, the culture and traditions, it definitely makes for an interesting holiday destination.
Philippines – probably the most beautiful country I’ve ever been to, the beaches are incredible.
Spain – it’s so varied and there’s so much to do there, it’s also super close to England.
What’s the one place you’re hoping to visit this year? Why?
I want to go to Montenegro. I don’t really know anyone who’s been there but it looks beautiful from the pictures. I’m pretty clueless about the country too, so I’d like to just go and explore, without the help and knowledge of the internet or any sort of guide.
What advice would you give to people who want to travel solo but are too afraid?
Start off by joining a tour. That way you’ll have a readymade group of friends to start of and hopefully at least a few of them will be following the same sort of route that you are. It’s so much easier to make friends on a tour rather than just going up to random people and introducing yourself. Also, stay in hostels, you can always get a private room.
Have you ever been sick or hurt abroad? Tell us what happened.
When I was in Guatemala I was so ill. I don’t even know what it was. I was hallucinating, my jaw hurt, my eyes hurt and all my muscles were in pain. It was such an odd feeling and it didn’t help that I felt dreadful emotionally as well. It’s one of the most scared I’ve been as I don’t know what it was that was wrong with me. It went after a few days in Belize but it’s meant I have bad memories of that time in Guatemala, which is unfortunate.
Do you overplan before you arrive, just show up at a destination, or have a mixture of both?
I do a mix of both. I like to know where I’m heading from the plane, and that I have a place to sleep but then I don’t want to tie myself in to months of plans, which is something I’ve been guilty of in the past.
What’s your most embarrassing moment abroad?
I was very unwell in a train squat toilet in Taiwan. Very unwell. When I went back for round two they’d cordoned it off with a barrier that looked like police tape. I had to go down to the next toilet and when I came out there was a little boy holding onto his groin hopping about desperate to go. I didn’t have the language skills to suggest to him he wait a few minutes. I ran off back to my seat at the other end of the train hoping no one would come after me for desecrating a public space. Not my fault.
What’s your favorite way to keep busy on the plane?
I have my laptop for when I’m feeling alert – I work – and when I’m tired I’ll just watch the movies. I really don’t mind the hours I spend on a plane, you get waited on, free booze and there’s nothing better to do that concentrate on what you’re doing at that moment. It’s a great time for being in the moment and not thinking about everything else going on in your world.
In your home country, what’s a destination that you think people should visit?
I recently went to Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye and loved both. I’d definitely recommend you visit those.
How do you keep in shape and stay healthy while on the road? Do you have advice for others?
This is a bit of a problem for me. I travel to different destinations pretty much every week and I like to try the local specialties. ‘Who knows when I’ll be here again?’ is what I like to tell myself. I’m also partial to a beer in a hot country, so I’m not the thinnest I’ve ever been right now. I try to avoid bread and anything I’ve had before. I also drink a lot of water to fill up. Good luck with this one!
Hopefully, I’ll be able to join her in some of her travels this year. To keep up with all of Vicky’s adventures, be sure to follow her: