Here’s our new adventurer! Victoria Sully is a full-time blogger responsible for the successful blogs such as www.lyliarose.com and www.healthyvix.com. It’s on her most recently blogging project Travel Vixta that she talks about her family travels abroad, kids-free adventures and days out in Britain.
Midlands Traveller: Please, talk a bit about yourself.
Victoria Sully: My name is Victoria Sully and I’m from Gloucestershire, UK. I live with my husband Ben and our two children, Bella age 7 and Reuben age 4. I’m a full-time blogger and it’s one of my biggest passions! I probably spend most of my time blogging – day times and evenings!
If I’m not blogging, then you’ll find me at the gym where I love to run and climb. Healthy living is another of my passions, so I love to exercise several times a week and I’m a vegan, so I love to eat as much healthy plant-based food as possible.
It’s something I’m really interested in, so I regularly read health books and watch plant-based documentaries and talks.
We’ve also been busily doing up an old dated home for just over five years, so that takes up a lot of our home. I’m not sure I like DIY so much, but I enjoy the end results of our efforts as our home is finally beginning to take shape, have style and feel like ours.
MT: When did you start to be interested in travelling?
VS: I’ve become more interested in travelling over the past eight or so years, which is typical as it’s as soon as I’ve had children and time/money is limited! In my late teens and early twenties when most of my friends were taking gap years to travel around the world, I lacked the desire.
I was quite happy at my full-time job at the time and staying put. I definitely regret that now as I now have the travel bug, but we are restricted somewhat with our responsibilities. I can’t just pack up and travel the world, as much as I’d like to!
Maybe it’s because I’m now in my thirties and feel I’m getting older and have so much to see! I feel like I’ve barely started my travelling journey.
MT: What is your first travel-related memory?
VS: Going to Argeles-sur-Mer in the south of France each summer from the age of 11 to 15 with my mum and sister. It was the first time we started going abroad for holidays and it was a real budget holiday!
We’d go on a 24-hour coach from the UK and stay in the tiniest caravan in which the dining table turned into a bed for us all to share.
Every year there was a disaster of some sort, such as the coach driver falling asleep at the wheel, our caravan getting infested with ants or us being told to pack up and leave the campsite as our holiday company hadn’t paid them!
Most people would never return, but they always offered my mum such an amazing discount as an apology each time that she couldn’t turn down the chance for another two weeks in the south of France.
I think one of the years it only cost around £150 for 14 nights for all three of us, so it’s no wonder my mum couldn’t refuse. As far as we know, the holiday company went bust in the end, which was no surprise!
MT: What is your favourite place (travel destination) in the world? Why?
VS: My favourite so far is California, USA. That’s my favourite that I’ve been to, but I don’t think it will be my favourite ever as I have so much more of the world to explore. I spent five weeks there in 2010 and returned for just over two weeks in 2011.
It’s the first time I’ve just travelled around, finding places to stay as we go and not pre-booking anything and that really excites me. I loved just being free to roam and to choose where to stay as we travelled.
Usually everything is so organised and booked in advance, so I really felt like a traveller on these trips which made it more of an adventure. Ultimately, I loved the long drives from California through Arizona and Nevada to Las Vegas!
The drives were long, but the scenery and experience were amazing. I’d hate driving for six hours here, but I loved it there! I really want to go back now I have a family and go on a road trip around the USA in a RV. It would be so fun!
MT: Have you ever had any bad experience when travelling?
VS: Oh yes, I did on my second trip to California. The first trip was with my ex-boyfriend (boyfriend at the time) and that was great, but the second time I went was with a friend and it was awful.
California is great, but she wasn’t! Long story short, she hooked up with a guy she’d met there on a previous trip and wanted him to come and share all our rooms with us! Awkward! He had no money and expected us to pay for all the accommodation for him, drive him round, buy him food, drop him off here, pick him up there, etc.
It was not the fun girly trip I had expected it to be with my friend and she treated me really badly. We ended up arguing a lot and she even ran out of money, having lied to me about how much she had at the start of the holiday, so I had to share my spending money with her too, so money was really tight.
We didn’t end up doing anything on our itinerary as she was just obsessed about this guy. I’d really looked forward to my second trip to California as there was a lot of things, I wanted to see that I didn’t get a chance to first time round, but again I didn’t get to do them and she totally ruined the holiday. Needless to say, we aren’t friends anymore and the only benefit to the trip was me seeing her true colours.
MT: Which countries have you travelled to?
VS: So far, I’ve visited 11 independent countries. I’ve been to the USA and also visited Mexico for a day by crossing the border from California. In Europe I’ve been to the Greek islands of Corfu, Rhodes and Zakynthos.
I’ve been to the Spanish Canary Islands of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. I’ve visited mainland Spain, Majorca, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. I’m from England and I’ve been to Wales several times.
MT: Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
VS: Take the opportunity to travel when you can! I should never have worried so much about my job when I was younger, as I would always have been able to find another, and I should have taken the opportunity to travel before I had so many responsibilities.
Of course it’s never too late and we planning on travelling to different places each year with the kids in the school holidays and lots once the kids are adults, but I wish I’d done the around-the-world trip I am now so jealous of others doing! Seize the opportunity to go travelling when you are young and carefree!
MT: What are the challenges of travelling with family?
VS: Travelling with babies and toddlers is always a challenge! We did it several times as my husband has family in Germany, so we wanted them to meet the children and see them as babies and toddlers. It’s mainly a challenge as you can never predict what mood they’ll be in – whether they’ll scream as a baby on the whole flight or have a tantrum as a toddler.
They are so unpredictable. They can be perfectly fine the whole journey, or totally irrational! It’s also all the stuff you have to take. There’s no packing minimally with a baby and toddler in tow.
You need pushchairs, car seats, baby food and milk, nappies, toys, spare clothes (for you and the baby in case of any accidents) and you need to be prepared for delays, so you need extra of everything! It’s much easier to travel on your own or with older children who don’t need so much stuff lugged to the airport!
MT: How your travels changed you?
VS: Travelling always makes me appreciate being alive. It makes me feel lucky to live on this planet and have a chance at life. I love experiencing different countries and seeing all the landscapes.
I can get stuck in a rut when I’m at home and in one place all the time and forget to appreciate how amazing planet Earth is. It also makes me appreciate my home as it’s always nice to return to my own comforts after travelling.
MT: What country or city is your travel bucket list?
VS: Top of my travel bucket list is to do an African Safari. That’s a once in a lifetime trip that I have to do. I think it will be a great adventure when the kids are older, perhaps young teenagers, so they can experience it too.
I think it must be such an incredible experience to stay in one of the National Parks and get up close to the animals in their natural habitat.
MT: Future travel plans?
VS: This year we will be visiting London for a short break which will be our children’s first time to the capital.
We are also staying in Wales for a few nights towards the end of the year. Next year we have booked a week-long trip to Portugal which will add another country to my travelled list!
My brother-in-law moved there earlier this year, so we are due a visit! We’ll be staying in a place called Castello Branco which is the closest town to his rural location.
Victoria Sully on Social Media
Did you like it? You might also enjoy the other interviews in the Meet The Travellers series so far: