It is that time of the week again: time to meet another wonderful travel blogger!
Today we are wandering with Kelly from Girl with the Passport. Hi Kelly, please tell me a little about yourself.
My name is Kelly Duhigg and I am originally from New York. I grew up there with my family but have always wanted to see what was just beyond the horizon. I guess you could say I was just born with wanderlust in my soul. But my traveling really took off after my mom got sick with Ovarian cancer. We had planned a trip to her dream destination, Rome, but we had to cancel the trip due to her last minute hospitalization. Sadly, she never got to take that trip and passed away a year later. Because of this, I swore that I would travel enough for the both of us and never live in a life full of, “what ifs”. I created my blog to inspire others to do the same and to make travel more financially accessible to others through various budget guides to notoriously expensive destinations. My only hope is that people let go of their fear and follow their travel dreams.
Where are you currently?
Currently, I am located in White Plains, New York where I nanny for a local family. However, I am looking to relocate and hope to do so in the future.
Where do you want to go next? What are your future travel plans?
Edinburgh, Scotland and Belfast, Northern Ireland. I fell in love with Edinburgh when I visited in July. It was the first place I have really felt at home in since the people were so kind, warm, and hospitable. Plus, their awesome sense of humor didn’t hurt either. Throw in some awesome, historical attractions and a scone with clotted cream, and I never wanted to leave. Can’t wait to get back.
Where is home? Name one thing that you always recommend to people that visit?
Home is in the suburbs of New York City. If I had to recommend just one thing to do in the city, it would be to see a discount Broadway play by getting tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square. I would also recommend checking out the Metropolitan Museum of Art (and the Cloisters) before the show. Such an amazing place that is full of history, charm, and beauty. The MET truly has a transformative power that makes you feel like you are traveling the Globe.
Where has been your favourite place to visit? Why?
Hands down Edinburgh. It was amazing how this capital city felt small and intimate in spirit., even though it is a large city. Plus, I loved the culture, food, people, and history here. I mean, we don’t get castled with a side of scones and clotted cream at home. I was charmed by the historic struggle of the Scottish people and their warmth of spirit. And did I mention how amazingly beautiful Scotland is? I hiked to the top of Arthur’s Seat and was amazed by the lush greenery and stunning views all around. Would love to check out the Highlands and see what else Scotland has to offer outside the big city.
Where didn’t you like/where were you disappointed with? Why?
Oh, this one is always awkward because I wish I liked everywhere. But sadly, I was not a fan of Berlin or Bangkok. I found Berlin to be rather Sterile and while I was there, I felt like the people weren’t overly friendly. In Bangkok, I just felt like I was being ripped off all the time and being charged way too much because I was obviously foreign.
What is your favourite picture you have ever taken? Where was it taken?
My favorite picture I have ever taken was at the demilitarized zone in Korea. It was such a powerful experience for me. It reminded me how lucky I am to have civil liberties and basic human rights. I also saw the pain and hate in the North Koreans and felt a deep sense of loss for them and all the Korean people who have been torn apart by this conflict. Puts things in perspective and makes me eternally grateful for the life that I lead and the family that I have.
What has been the craziest thing you have done/place you have been on your travels?
I went skydiving on a whim. My friend chickened out but I really liked it. A very freeing and peaceful experience. Made me feel totally free.
Three things on your wander list
I need to get to Italy, Madagascar, and Tibet.
Weirdest/most interesting form of transportation you have taken?
This one is tough because I usually take fairly normal forms of transportation but I think dog sledding was probably the craziest way I got from one place to another. I also bobsledded to the bottom of a mountain and that was pretty cool too.
What is your best travel hack?
My favorite travel hack is to pack light and only bring a carry on back pack. Rolling bags are the worst and a pain to cart up and down the stairs when you are traveling long term. Plus, no one wants to schlep around a huge backpack. It hurts your back and is generally not fun.
What items do you never leave behind when you travel?
Obviously, my passport because I literally cannot get anywhere without it. But I love Netflix. I love watching Netflix on my tablet because it connects me to my home and helps me decompress after a long day of travel.
How much does your luggage weigh?
I always make sure it is under the 10 kilos.
How do you track your expenses whilst you are away?
Oh God, I am the worst at this. I really don’t if I’m totally honest. LoL.
What is one weird thing you miss when you travel?
So weird but I really miss the protein bars in the United States. That are somewhat healthy and taste like candy bars so it is the best of both worlds.
What are your top tips for staying fit and healthy on the road?
I am terrible at staying fit and healthy. I just try to eat fruits and vegetables and walk most places. I don’t really think about it though and try and have fun.
What are you reading/listening to at the moment?
I haven’t read in awhile which is absolutely terrible. I love to listen to music though and Sia, the Lumineers, and Mumford and Sons. Just to name a few.
If you could go back in time and be the first person to explore/find a place in the world, where would you want it to be?
God, this one is so hard. I think I would love to discover Australia. I mean, how cool would it be to discover a whole new continent? Plus, it would be amazing to witness some of the unique animal species they have there for the first time.
Thank you so much, Kelly, It has been a pleasure getting to know you.
For more travel blogger interviews, check out ‘Wander With’.
Kelly Duhigg currently lives in New York, where she nannies full time. Every free moment she gets is devoted to travel and inspiring others to follow their own travel dreams, regardless of financial circumstance. In the future, she hopes to relocate and teach English as a second language.