Today we have our very first interview with Jenna Davis, a fun-loving Canadian travel blogger, content creator and small business owner. On her website you can read about her travels, get useful tips and much more…
Q: So, Jenna. Where are you now, at home or abroad?
A: I’m currently ‘home’ in a sense. At the moment I’m back in Toronto, Canada for a few weeks but actually just visiting family and catching up with friends. My new ‘base camp’ is in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Q: How long have you been traveling and how did you start?
A: Compared to most bloggers who have been traveling the world since they were born, I didn’t actually step foot on an airplane until I was in high school. My initial few trips with family didn’t do much for my travel bug, but when third year of university came, I left on my first missions’ trip to Peru and really never fully returned home after that date. It’s been 4 year since and I’ve loved every moment of it.
Q: Did someone have an influence on your decision to change you life and start traveling?
A: Nope, I wouldn’t say so. It was more of an inner conflict I was dealing with while at home. I suffer from anxiety and found that travel was almost an outlet that helped me conquer my fears. With a little passion and a lot of work, I was able to create my love for travel into a full-time career.
Q: What country was the first one you visited and why did you choose it?
A: The first country outside of USA and Canada that I was able to visit was Jamaica. This was my first real trip along with my family and it was for the sole purpose of meeting my Jamaican family along the beaches of Ocho Rios. Overall, this trip was a family decision. My first adventure was in 2012 when I had taken part in a contest to win a blog trip to South Africa on a 1-month backpacking adventure.
Q: Did you travel a lot when you were just a child?
A: Absolutely not. My extent of travel was driving a few hours north to the cottage or a campsite off the beaten track. However, this was certainly where my love for sustainable travel stems from.
Q: Do you always travel alone?
A: Not always, dependent on the situation and country I’m traveling to be where I choose whether or not I travel solo. I wouldn’t recommend women to travel alone in particular countries, so I always try and be realistic when it comes to choosing the right destinations for solo travel. I do believe that the trips I’ve taken solo are those where I learned the most about my ability to cope in different situations.
Q: What do you prefer; hotels, hostels or private accommodation and why?
A: Though I do enjoy the mix – between rest and relaxation at a luxury hotel, making friends at the hostels and meeting locals through private accommodations and AirBnb’s, I do tend to lean toward private rooms in hostel-like accommodations. This is something new in the world of hostels and I really enjoy the idea of staying in ‘luxury hostels’ – private, comfortable and affordable.
Q: How do you fund your trips?
A: Though most of my blog trips are offered via tourism boards and other tourism authorities, the remainder of my trips are funded through my freelance social media management business. I work alongside with my blog, writing new content and helping provide social media support to businesses.
Q: How many countries have you visited?
A: I’d say we’re getting close to 40 this year! Q: Where are you going next and what will your activities be there?
A: I’ll be heading back to Germany near the end of September to continue moving into my first real apartment since I’ve started my travel blogging adventure! I will also be taking some time in October to visit Costa Rica on a sustainable tourism exploration. I will be taking part in some of the countries most popular sustainable adventures while blogging about it along the way!
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: One Country – Nepal: When most people travel, they travel because they’re in search of vacation, a break from reality or a complete culture shock. Nepal did all of that for me within just a couple weeks of visiting. The people and the culture is what make this country so beautiful. One City – Budapest: I’m really not one to choose city life over an adventure in the wilderness. Budapest was a city that pleasantly surprised me. It was a place where I felt I could spend more than just a few days venturing around. It was filled with history and hope, it is hard to explain but the vibrancy of this city is what kept me hanging around for longer than I thought.
Q: Are there any places you don’t wanna visit and why?
A: Not necessarily, I’m always open for an adventure. I would love to go to every country I have never been before if I could, I would love to explore every inch of this beautiful planet. With a lack of time and a very concerned mother back home, there are a few places I’m saving for later in life.
Q: What’s your favourite gadget you take with you on your every journey?
A: No question about it – my GoPro. It’s small, sneaky and splendid. I capture some of my best shots with my GoPro rather than my hunky Nikon 5200.
Q: What is your favourite travel app for your smartphone or tablet?
A: I’ve downloaded so many travel apps and a lot of them I find convenient for different purposes. However, the one app I use day in and day out no matter what country I am in is Google Maps, good old Google Maps.
Q: What camera and lens you use?
A: I use the Nikon D5200.. but it’s far too bulky for me. If I had the choice to buy a new one right now it would definitely be the Alpha 6000 Mirrorless Camera!
Q: What did you learn on your travels, and how has traveling changed you?
A: What haven’t I learned on my travels? As much as parents don’t want to hear this, I learned more in my travels than any history book has ever been able to teach me. The more I travel, the more I learn and the more appreciation I gain from each and every experience. My last few years adventuring across the globe is the reason I now blog about sustainable and philanthropic travel today – it has inspired change throughout my entire life.
Q: I see many interested things already crossed on your bucket list. What do you plan to do next?
A: You know, I don’t really plan what I’m going to do next and that’s the best part about it. If I choose one thing to do while I’m in Costa Rica for example, it’s a disappointment if I’m not able to do it due to weather conditions, safety, time, etc. I keep my bucket list online for the world to see and wait for the perfect opportunity to come my way. There’s enough on that bucket list to keep me busy for life so I’m not at all worried.
Q: One of the things from your bucket list is “Fall in love”. I see it crossed, did you met one of your journeys?
A: I love my family more than anything else in the world, but I had never experienced that heart aching pain that you get when you are truly in love with someone. When I crossed that off my bucket list, I crossed it off because 3 years ago my sister adopted a baby boy from Iqaluit, Nunavut who I fell absolutely in love with. It was the first time I had ever cried so hard I didn’t know what to do with myself when I had to leave that sweet little man.
A few questions about your visit to Croatia
Q: What attracted you to visit Croatia?
A: As a Canadian you hear a lot about Croatia. We’ve got quite the population of Croatians in Toronto and I’ve always been envious of their remarkable photographs they bring back with them after their family holidays.
Q: How long were you in Croatia?
A: Just a short week, but it was enough to convince me to go back and explore some more!
Q: What places did you visit?
A: I drove in through the south of Bosnia so I was lucky enough to drive the scenic route along the coast and into Split. I spent most of the week in Hvar, but was able to make way to a small AirBnb in Split, which ended up being my favourite part!
Q: What was your favourite moment?
A: It was the end of my two month trip across Europe and I spent my very last day sitting along the quiet beach near the Split airport where there were no tourists drinking and hollering. This evening I had the most incredible meal and sat along the waters edge waiting until the sun went away.
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; though I think next time I’ll take the more local route and spend time with some local families. Hvar was breathtakingly beautiful, but it was a little too touristic for my travels.
Q: Any funny/interesting stories from your Croatia visit?
A: You know… I have thousands of stories to tell from my life abroad, but for once I don’t have any stories. It was the last leg of my journey on my two month backpacking trip and all I wanted was to sit back and relax with an ice-cold glass of water – that is exactly what I received!
Q: Did anything bad happened to you while you were here?
A: Nothing at all!
Q: What did you not like in Croatia?
A: As mentioned above, there are certain areas in Croatia that are overrun by tourists. Though tourism can make a significantly positive contribution to an area, the tourism in Hvar, Croatia was more disruptive than anything.
Q: What do you think about Croatian people?
A: Kind, open and boy can they cook! I absolutely love Croatian food.
Q: And what about the sea and the beach? Would you recommend it?
A: Croatia is SEA and BEACH. Croatia has some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in my life.
Q: How was the food?
Q: Do you have any tips for travelers thinking of visiting Croatia?
A: I would suggest avoiding large search engines when making your decision to travel abroad to Croatia and suggest you look into local tours and private accommodations in the area you’re looking to visit.
Q: Do you wish to add anything else that’s not covered by my questions but it’s worth mentioning?
A: Not for now!
Q: Where can we find you online, beside your website?
A: On Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.