Here’s a Brummie home and abroad gal that has a passion for travelling, and also blogs about all things Birmingham. She believes that there’s no right or wrong way when it comes to travel. It’s about finding your own style. Agreed!
Midlands Traveller: Talk a bit about yourself (a few paragraphs about what you like doing when you are not travelling, etc):
Emmalene Fletcher: I’m a born and bred Birmingham gal, currently living in the heart of the city in the Jewellery Quarter with my husband.
Blogging is a part-time gig, my full-time job as an L&D Administrator for a construction company pays the bills. I blog about Birmingham food, drink and events but my main passion is travel – reading about it, writing about it and planning it!
MT: When did you start to be interested in travelling?
EF: When I met my husband back in 2007, we both knew that we didn’t want to settle down into “conventional” family life. Kids just didn’t interest us, so we took the decision that travel would be our baby.
We started with nice safe package holidays a little further afield from Spain and Greece, but once we planned our own USA West Coast road trip in 2010, we never looked back.
MT: What is your first travel-related memory?
EF: Although we didn’t go abroad when I was very young, we always had caravan holidays around the UK, and I loved them. Wales, Cornwall, Dorset, and Great Yarmouth – all hold great memories of the family being together.
One of my favourite memories is my grandad marching down from his adjacent chalet with a sausage on a fork at Butlins – I still have no idea why! And then in 1989, my parents and I went abroad for the first time to Spain.
We never found the beach, mom and dad got drunk in charge of an 11-year-old at a medieval feast and we danced to the magic fountains in Barcelona. Maybe that’s where my love of travel started?
MT: What is your favourite place (travel destination) in the world? Why?
EF: It’s so hard to narrow down a favourite travel destination! I think our Canada trip in 2017 tops my list, in particular, the two days we spent driving from Jasper to Banff via the Icefield Parkway. Waking up to snowfall, walking on the Athabasca Glacier, and then driving through the most incredible mountain landscape.
A bit closer to home, I adore Italy. The food, the wine, the language, the art, the gelato…what’s not to love?
MT: Have you ever had any bad experiences when travelling?
EF: We’ve always been extremely lucky when we’ve been travelling. The only bad experience we’ve really had was in Kenya when my husband fell ill a couple of days before we came home.
We called the doctor after he collapsed down by the beach. Turned out to be gastroenteritis and severe dehydration. Treatment cost us the rest of our spending money (although I did save a little back for a manicure…)
MT: Which countries have you travelled to?
EF: Not enough! I think we counted 27 recently, but that’s mainly Europe and North America. We’ve barely touched Africa or Asia, and South America and the Pacific are still uncharted territories for us.
I don’t think counting countries is particularly a healthy way to travel though, that sometimes prevents you from returning to countries you’ve loved just so you can tick another country off the list.
MT: Do you have any advice or tips for inspiring travellers?
EF: There’s no right or wrong way to travel. It’s about finding your own travel style; if that means doing the so-called “tourist” things on a package holiday, that’s fine. If you want to be spontaneous and not plan a thing, that’s fine. If you want to travel solo, or with a group, or in a couple, that’s fine too.
Travelling doesn’t have to mean backpacking, or staying in hostels, or seeing 12 countries in 10 days. If you want to travel, do it. There are so many resources out there to help – including advice from travel bloggers!
MT: What country or city is your travel bucket list?
EF: My travel wishlist is ever-changing – and ever-growing. I’m inspired by bloggers, pictures on Instagram and Pinterest, and articles from travel magazines.
High on the list at the moment are Singapore, Peru and New Zealand – my husband has a “0” birthday coming up in 2022 so maybe we’ll start making plans for one of these big trips!
MT: Future travel plans?
EF: It’s been a quiet year for us travel-wise with lots of stuff going on at home, but we’ve managed to fit in a few UK city breaks, hikes in the Peak and Lake Districts and a week in Switzerland. We’re off to Naxos for a bit of sunshine in September – it’s one of the Greek islands that’s been on my wishlist for a while.
We’re hoping to visit some German Christmas markets at the end of November, which coincides with our wedding anniversary.
But the most exciting trip we’re planning at the moment is to Japan next springtime for the cherry blossom season. I’m scouring as many travel blogs as I can at the moment to put a great itinerary together.
Emmalene on Socia Media