KarisAbroad (K): Thanks for stopping by, Megan! Can you introduce yourself for us? Who are you?
Megan of Mapping Megan (M): I’m Megan and I’m a travel-a-holic! I started traveling in 2003 when I was 14, and ever since that first trip to Japan (with school) I’ve had a severe case of the travel bug; one which I hope I can pass on to others through my travel blog!
After taking a year off after graduating High School to explore the UK and Europe I did the “normal”, expected thing and went to University. I’ve just recently graduated from a 5 year double degree in Journalism and Law, but not even my dedication to my studies could keep me on Australian soil! I spent every single second I possibly could travelling, which meant I went on a LOT of study abroad courses (Czech Republic, Netherlands, Costa Rica) and spent a lot of time as an international volunteer during University semester breaks! Can’t hold me down!
|Studying in Costa Rica.|
K: We've waited in anticipation all summer for the launching of your travel website, Mapping Megan. We’re so excited that it’s here! Tell us all about it!
M: “Mapping Megan” is the final product of years worth of travel blogging. For the last 7 years I’ve been blogging for my friends and family, however now I’m at the stage where I want to inspire the whole world! So the brand new travel website is also the launch of me as a professional travel writer.
The website homepage is an interactive Google Map to which I have pinned my favorite blog posts. Readers can scroll around the world map, zoom in and out on different countries, and click on the posts I have written on locations which interest them. I absolutely fell in love with this concept when I heard about it and so far it’s been a pretty big hit!
K: You are the definition of a Fearless Female! We love reading about all of your adventures around the world. Of the 30+ countries you’ve traveled to what are your favorite and least favorite travel destinations?
M: This is my least favorite question!! Honestly I really don’t have a favorite or a least favorite destination; I think that each destination is amazing in its own right – it’s hard to compare, for instance, the history and culture of Italy to the skyscrapers and bustling cities of America, or the endless savannahs in Africa. Each place I’ve been to has been completely different – although I was disappointed with Paris – controversial opinion I know!!
Paris to me was overhyped. It wasn’t the magical destination every-one speaks of; I found it very overcrowded, very touristy and very dirty. The attractions were great, and I loved the opportunity to have been – but it didn’t live up to my expectations. I’ve since learned to travel with no expectations!
K: Anyone who has seen your youtube videos has surely been charmed by your Australian accent! How has growing up in Australia inspired your wanderlust? What destinations in your home country do you recommend to other travelers?
M: Hopefully I won’t lose the accent from lack of time spent in the country!! Growing up in Australia meant that I was pretty isolated from the vast majority of the world. I mean this in terms of it’s a 22 hour flight to get to London, or a 16 hour flight to get to New York. So when you travel, you make it worth it! If I was taking that 22 hour flight to London you better believe that I was taking in the whole of Europe while I was in the area and had the opportunity to do so!
You could spend years in Australia and still not have seen the whole country! Such an amazing and diverse country; but I definitely recommend the Outback (Northern Territory), the Great Barrier Reef (Queensland), and Tasmania. Sydney is obviously a must but I would try to spend the majority of your time off the beaten path discovering the “real” Australia. Check out my Australia Destination Guide for more ideas and details!
|Discover the Outback! Ayers Rock, Northern Territory|
K: Congratulations on your recent wedding! Tell us about your destination wedding! How is your husband a part of your travel life?
M: Thankyou! My husband is from America and I’m from Australia – we met in Africa!! After 2 years of a long distance relationship we finally tied the knot…in Hawaii!! We were married this past February (Valentine’s day…just to be cliché!) on the island of Maui, and had 40 friends and family join us from Australia and the States. The hotel actually had noise complaints from our reception (even though we were on the outdoor lawn!) – I guess they weren’t used to how Australian’s party!!
Now being married we travel together. I’ve travelled on my own for the last 7 years, which was absolutely great, but now I love that I have someone to share my experiences with.
K: You’ve recently moved to the United States with your husband. How do you like life in the US? Where in the US have you been able to travel so far? Is there any destination in the US that you’re dying to see?
M: LOVE life in the United States! It’s very similar to life in Australia; the culture is almost the same – except we drive on the opposite side of the road in Australia so that’s taken some getting used to!
Of course I’m using the time that we’re based here to explore as much of the States as possible! We have just returned from a trip driving from Florida to Washingon DC where we were able to take in North and South Carolina as well as Virginia. Looking to move to Arizona next year and drive from Florida which means we’ll see the whole South along the way!
K: You received some exciting news in June. Congratulations on wining Double Tree by Hilton’s DTourist Competition!! Tell us about the contest and what you won.
M: Thankyou!! So DoubleTree by Hilton have launched a new website in conjunction with YouTube called “DTour”. It’s a new interactive way to share your travels by pinning photos and videos from your trip to a world map. Anyone can pin posts to the map and anyone can scroll around and view each different submission for ideas and inspiration!
To kick start the website they’re sending 6 “DTourists” around the world – each to document a different continent! Super excited to be one of the 6, meaning next year they’ll be sending me on assignment to write about Central and South America! Super excited – as you can imagine!!
K: Between getting married, moving across the world, running a successful travel blog and exploring your new country, you’ve had a busy and exciting year! How do you manage to keep a balance between all of the facets of your life?
M: Honestly – I don’t know! During my university degree I became great at managing a ridiculous schedule; in the end I was working 4 different jobs, full time university, full time social life, and volunteer positions at a number of different organizations like Scouts Australia and the Aboriginal Legal Service. I would do 16 hour days, 7 days a week until it was time to travel again…so this year has been a holiday for me!!
It’s difficult to balance everything, but it comes down to priorities, determination and really good time management!
|Time Management; catching up on blog work while in the car on our roadtrip to Washington! All a girl needs is a laptop, mobile internet and a wireless mouse!|
K: I think we can all expect to see some exciting content at Mapping Megan. Tell us what’s in store for you and your blog?
M: My goals include having a Destination Guide up for every country in the world! Currently I have 4 guides written; only 194 odd to go! Also looking into upgrading my current video equipment so that I can start producing professional travel videos – onwards and upwards!!
K: Do you have any parting words of wisdom to offer to the other Fearless Females out there?
M: To quote Richard Branson “Screw it – just do it!”. Life is too short to worry about the meaningless. Figure out what you truly want out of life and make it happen. If your dream is travel and you have to sell your house do it! You don’t need possessions or “things” to be happy – trust me! People thought I was crazy for moving to the States and throwing away a career in law when I had everything pretty much set up for me. It came down to wanting to live life now instead of dreaming about it later from a corner office.
Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure! Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.
Meg has recently launched “Mapping Megan”, an up and coming travel blog which aims to give you the best tips and advice on travelling, volunteering, living, working and holidaying abroad. She hasn’t been everywhere, but it’s on her list!
Read our previous Fearless Female Interviews here!
If you are a Fearless Female (or fearless guy!) and would like to be interviewed please email Karisa at Karisa.Blake@gmail.com