This week I’m featuring Nicola Easterby of Polkadot Passport. Nicola is a 21 year old photographer, travel blogger and non-stop adventure. She is originally from Brisbane, Australia and has recently moved to Sydney after spending last year living abroad in New Zealand.
My first big adventure was a solo adventure to Europe when I was 19. I had three and a half months traveling through over 14 countries and I had THE most incredible time. That’s when my love affair of travel truly began! I was so glad I took a risk and went over by myself (even if it was terrified of doing so) because it made me grow SO much in my confidence. Amazingly enough, it worked out that I spent most the time traveling with people who I met along the way or friends who happened to be in the same place anyway. Things always work out, you just have to take that initial risk.
What made you decide to start blogging?
I used to get so inspired by reading travel blogs, and I always knew I wanted to start one myself. On my first overseas trip I made a blog so my family and friends could keep up with me, and I guess it just developed into something more from there.
What inspires you to travel?
More than anything, photographs inspire me to travel. Not just any photograph, but beautiful photographs that tell a story about the place it was captured. That inspires me to go to that place so I can tell my own story.
Where has been your favorite travel destination, and why?
It’s almost like picking your favorite child, I love so many places for different reasons! I think Switzerland takes the cake in terms of the most mesmerizing place I’ve ever been, even if I’ve only seen a small glimpse of the country.
Of everywhere you’ve traveled, where is the one place you could see yourself settling down?
Budapest in Hungary! It’s such a fun and livable city, I would move there in a heartbeat.
What is your favorite part about traveling?
Discovering the unknown and learning new things. I feel I’ve learnt more from traveling than from anything else. Being able to capture it all on my camera is also so rewarding for me.
What do you enjoy writing about most?
I really enjoy writing little descriptive musings about places. They are more my personal memoirs than blog-worthy writing, but they hold a special place in my heart.
What is the one thing you need to buy on your travels?
Clothes! I’m a big sucker for expanding my wardrobe (and suitcase), especially when I visit cool vintage and second hand stores in other countries, I can never resist.
How can you afford travel?
My past two trips have been self-funded through multiple casual jobs and the running of my photography business! I’m lucky enough to have a trip coming up to the USA/ Europe that is being funded but this will be the first.
What is the one thing you cannot travel without?
My camera. I would be SO lost without it. And headphones. Travel sucks without music.
What song is always on your travel playlist?
I Lived by One Republic. It gets me every time.
How did you get into travel writing and photography?
I’ve always loved photography so during my first big overseas trip it just felt natural to take lots of photos and share them online. The writing sort of followed on from there!
What’s next for you? What are your future travel plans?
In my university break in June/July, I’m heading off to do an American road trip in collaboration with Top Deck Tours, then I’m popping over to Europe to explore Italy, Turkey and Croatia!
What do you like most about being in a new place?
The excitement of getting to wander the streets aimlessly and making new discoveries. Tasting new foods, hearing new languages, seeing new sights. It’s such a thrill.
What other hobbies do you have aside from travel and writing?
I don’t know if I would call it a hobby but I LOVE dancing. Like crazy, over-the-top kind of dancing. If the opportunity arises I’ll alway be first to hit the d-floor.