On the Road with Pommie Travels
Victoria Brewood has been trotting the globe on her own for a while now – since 2008, to be exact. In true hobo style, after polishing off a journalism degree, this ballsy Brit packed a suitcase and set off to see whether the world could offer her more than Manchester’s nine-to-five rat race. She’s never looked back, and today is the brains behind the internationally-acclaimed blog Pommie Travels. The babe herself recently took some time out of her permanent vacation to chat with Olive Yasmar about what it’s like to make a living out of being a global hobo.
Where are you currently, how long have you been there and more importantly, where to next?
I’m currently on a 10-day rail trip through the Baden-Wurtennburg region of Germany, but shortly I will be heading to the UK for World Travel Market, which is a big travel fair held in London each year. After that I have plans to visit Iceland and Barbados before the end of the year!
So you’ve been traveling for years now – are you always on the road or do you go home in between “holidays”?
Sometimes I’m on the road for months at a time, but I do head home between trips. It’s usually only for a short period and then I’m off again. This year I estimate I’ve spent about 80% of the year travelling away from home.
You’ve got a huge fan base (including a coupla global hobos), so I’m interested to know what inspired you to start Pommie Travels. When did you realise you could make a career out of it and do you still seek and follow other bloggers for inspiration?
I started Pommie Travels after I graduated from University. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a living, so I went travelling and met a cute surfer from California who happened to be a web designer. He told me about bloggers making money online, so I started Pommie Travels with the aim of showcasing my travel writing. We’ve since split up, but it all blossomed from there. I have quite a few blogging friends now and we chat on a regular basis, so it’s good to bounce ideas off each other.
Do you ever feel that blogging can get in the way of your adventures? Like… are you a notebook and pen kinda gal who seeks a computer when you get time, or do you schedule in “blog time”?
I rarely ever carry a notebook and pen when I’m traveling; I’m afraid I’m well and truly addicted to technology. I do find it difficult to balance blogging with travel, and sometimes I neglect my work because I would prefer to go sightseeing or join a pub-crawl with people from my hostel! These days I share a lot of stuff on social media using my iPhone, and then I try to schedule blog time for half the day. I sometimes feel a little bit jealous thought when I meet carefree travellers who don’t have to travel with a laptop or worry about emails.
Imagine you were about to travel 10 hours on a bus but could only upload one song to your iPod – what would you choose?
Only one song? Oh that’s not fair! If it’s a current song I would go for “Wake Me Up” by Avicii, but to get me in the mood for solo travel I often play “Here I Go Again on my Own” by Whitesnake!
You’re in a hostel and it’s dinnertime – what‘s your specialty?
I make a mean spaghetti carbonara. That one always goes down well.
Ideal getaway – bikinis and mojitos or a parker and pint?
Bikinis and mojitos any day! I’m a sun-worshipper. No cold for me!
You told us you’d recently found a Norwegian babe, very impressive – I hear they’re divine! But what are your thoughts on holiday romances… have you ever fallen madly in love or (even worse) been through something messy because of the long distance thing? Care to share?
Trust me, Norwegians are some of the most beautiful people I have ever seen – they’re absolute babes… tall, blond Adonis-like creatures. I don’t talk about my love life on the blog really, but I have had a fair few holiday romances. I’ve had a couple of messy incidences – let’s just say I have flown across the world for a guy before and it hasn’t worked out… that’s really tough. When you’re travelling, it’s easy to fall madly in love very quickly because you’re spending so much time with that one person. Time is sort of condensed, but unfortunately it can fizzle out quickly. It’s really difficult when you’re always travelling and you’re not staying in one place. Ultimately, someone has to make a sacrifice and move to be with the other if it is to work.
I know a number of people (myself included) who love to use a Pommie accent to pick up members of the opposite sex – does this work for you too or have you got your own tricks?
When people meet me they say my accent is REALLY weird. They say, “You don’t sound like you’re from Manchester at all!” In America, everyone thought I was Australian; in England people often ask me where in America I’m from! I definitely pick up other accents wherever I go, and I think I change my accent according to who I’m speaking to at the time. What can I say – I’m a chameleon.
Being an Aussie myself, I can’t help but feel a bit chuffed to read that Australia is one of your favourite countries, and the place your journey and blog began. What was it about my home nation that captured your heart and why would you recommend it to first-time travelers? I’ve also gotta ask – what’s your fave city?
Australia just has absolutely stunning beaches and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. As a backpacker travelling on my own for the first time it was really easy to meet new people and it wasn’t too much of a culture shock. There are so many adventure activities to do there, like skydiving, swimming with dolphins, snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, sailing in the Whitsundays and 4x4ing on Fraser Island. I’ve been all over Australia but I think Melbourne is my favourite city. Last year I spent three months there over the Christmas period and I got to know the place a lot better. The city itself has some great bars, live music and loads of places to eat, but you can also venture down to the Mornington Peninsula or the Great Ocean Road – both of which are stunning.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in a country other than your own? (Quick – first thing that comes to mind)!
Um I went to Monaco for the day with some people I met in my hostel in Nice, but we missed the last bus back because we were too busy partying. To cut a long story short we all ended up sleeping on a billionaire’s yacht for the night!
Can you leave us hobos with your top 3 (or 5… whatever you fancy) tips for travelling on a shoestring?
I could list 100 tips, but: 1) Book everything yourself because it will be cheaper than doing it through a tour company or travel agency; 2) Make international friends on the road… then stay with them when you visit their country; 3) Try to book flights as far in advance as possible and use Skyscanner to find the cheapest; 4) You can always save money on a night’s accommodation by taking night buses/sleeping in airports; and 5) Eat street food or pick the restaurants with lots of local people in them… both are cheaper and better a lot of the time!
Do you think you’ll ever settle down and reside in one country or do you hope/plan to be a globetrotter forever?
I don’t think it’s possible to be a globetrotter forever. For a while now I have been thinking about putting down some roots; it’s just that I’m not sure where I want to live. I’ll never quit travel altogether, but it’s losing the excitement for me and there are some projects I want to start that I simply can’t do from the road. Inevitably, it’s hard to have relationships and it’s difficult saying goodbye to friends all the time, so I would like to have a base and then do some shorter trips from there.