Interview with Stephanie Yoder

Stephanie Yoder is a full-time freelance travel writer. Her storied you can find on her website. She’s been to over 40 countries and has poured the things she learnt into her website. One of many useful things you might find on her site are articles, tips and photos of good eats she’s had on her travels.

Somewhere along the way she fell in love with another travel blogger Michael. Although she’s now married and has a permanent home, she never misses an opportunity to travel. Now, let’s proceed with the interview...

Q: Stephanie, where are you now, at home or abroad?

A: I’m at home, in Seattle, Washington.

Q: How long have you been travelling and how did you start?

A: I’ve been traveling on and off for basically the past decade. My passion started when I studied abroad in London my senior year of college. I just fell in love with the independence and the constant discovery and novelty.

Q: Did someone have an influence on you to change your life and start travelling?

A: I was already in love with travel when I met my future-husband Michael, but he was the first one who really showed me that I could travel indefinitely by working online.

Q: What country was the first one you visited and why did you choose it?

A: My first foreign country was England, with my parents when I was 15. I didn’t really choose it but I loved the rich history and culture, so I went back to study there, and then again to live there in my twenties.

Q: Did you travel a lot when you were a child?

A: We did a lot of domestic travel around the US, but not much international travel. The US is so diverse and varied with a lot of natural beauty, so I think my parents felt like there was enough to keep us busy here.

Q: What do you prefer; hotels, hostels or private accommodation and why?

A: I used to be all about the hostels but nowadays I prefer apartment rentals because they are more private and give you the comforts of home. It makes me feel more local and gives me a better understanding of a new place.

Q: How do you fund your trips?

A: I make my living as an online travel writer, soI pay more of my trips out of pocket. Some are the result of working with sponsors.

Q: How many countries have you visited so far?

A: I’m not great at keeping count, probably around 40+? I could have visited more but I tend to spend a long time in each place.

Q: Where are you going next and what will your activities be there?

A: I’m not sure yet actually! I’ll be at home the rest of the year probably- we are moving, and maybe getting a dog so pretty busy. Next year I’ve got possible trips to Iceland, Turkey, Japan, maybe somewhere else! Who knows.

Q: If you can choose one country and one city (doesn’t have to be in the same country) which you would recommend visiting and why?

A: It depends! I usually recommend Vietnam for the food, Colombia for the diversity and southern Europe for the culture.

Q: Are there any places you don’t want to visit and why?

A: Not really, I want to see everything! There are parts of the Middle East I don’t feel able to visit right now, but hopefully someday.

Q: What’s your favorite gadget you take with you on every journey?

A: My kindle! I’m an avid reader and it beats lugging around huge books.

Q: What is your favorite travel app for your smartphone or tablet?

A: Probably TripIt. It’s great for keeping track of my many flights and reservations.

Q: What camera and lens do you use?

A: Honestly I mostly just use my iphone but when I’m feeling fancy I pull out the Rebel T2i.

Q: What did you learn on your travels, and how has travelling changed you?

A: I’ve learned many, many things but the most important probably is how extremely capable I am. Setting my sights on something, then doing it, is immensely empowering and I now know I can survive in a foreign country on my own, deal with all kinds of emergencies and generally just live the life I choose. That has been a very valuable lesson.

 

Now a few questions about your visit to Croatia:

Q: What attracted you to visit Croatia?

A: I visited Croatia as part of a larger backpacking trip around the former Yugoslavia. I had read an article about the area while I was living in London and it just sounded so interestiing and (at the time) less discovered. I think I also saw some pictures of Dubrovnik and was amazed!

Q: How long were you in Croatia?

A: About 10 days.

Q: What places did you visit?

A: I did a cruise around the islands with stops in Hvar, Dubrovnik, Korcula and a couple of other places, then I spent a couple extra days in Split and Plitvice.

Q: What was your favorite moment?

A: Probably wandering around the amazing waterfalls in Plitvice National Park. They were so beautiful, it felt like visiting the land before time.

Q: Would you like to come back, and if so what would you like to see and do?

A: I would love to come back and spend more time in Zagreb. I was only there for a couple of hours but it seemed like an amazing city. I would love to explore deeper.

Q: Did anything bad happened to you while you were here?

A: Not to me but my friend stepped on TWO sea urchins! It was totally his fault though. Don’t go swimming while drunk!

Q: What did you not like in Croatia?

A: I can’t really think of anything I disliked. I had a great experience there.

Q: What do you think about Croatian people?

A: The Croatian people I met were all very nice and welcoming.

Q: And what about the sea and the beach? Would you recommend it?

A: The beaches were definitely rockier than I expected but the water is so clear and beautiful it didn’t matter. Loved hanging out on the shore in Croatia.

Q: How was the food?

A: Fantastic! Lots of great seafood.

Q: Do you have any tips for travellers thinking of visiting Croatia?

A: Definitely go! I would take some time to research what you want to do. There are so many different islands and they each have a different character. Also if you are going to somewhere super popular like Dubrovnik or Plitvice book your accomodations ahead of time.

Q: Where can we find you online beside your website?

I tweet at @20sTravel.