An Interview with Caity {the Bliss Seekers series}

Back in July, Caity of Where The Heart Is filled in for me on my monthly roadtripping/travel post, so when thinking of people would be a perfect fit for the Bliss Seekers series, she was one of several that came to mind & I was thrilled she was interested in participating …

For the Route Bliss readers who are not familiar with you, tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from, and your interests/passions.

Hey readers! I’m Caity, from Where The Heart Is – I am a 23 year old American (originally from Kentucky), who’s made her way across the pond to London, England. I’ve been living here for about two months now, where I am getting my Masters degree and working towards a career to keep me here long-term. When I’m not studying, you’ll find me in the West End seeing one of my favorite musicals, up in Liverpool with my roommate Heather dancing away to our favorite 60s bands, or planning our next adventure around the world!

Tell us about your blog …

Where The Heart Is is an expat lifestyle blog I began three years ago. I started it when I embarked on a study abroad semester in 2012 over to, of course, London! I was randomly paired to live with Heather, and we spent the next 5 months living, (not)studying, traveling, and seeing the world like I never had before. When my semester finished and I came home, I knew that I had found where I belonged, and spent the next few years working my way back to the UK, which finally happened this past August for both Heather and myself. My blog was an overall look at the attempts and preparations towards moving back. And now, I focus on life in London, and living out my dream!

Why do you love to travel?

There are so many aspects to traveling and so many things to love about it, but I see two reasons as the most important which deal with how you see yourself, and how you see what’s around you. There is so much culture and life throughout this world, which I always knew, but never truly understood until I was physically placed in these areas to experience it myself. Looking at another way of life takes you away from what you know and opens you up to things that are apart from your standards – gives you another point of view. Traveling is also a complete soul-searching experience as well. I know that everyone says that and it’s such a cliche, but it is so true to word. I’ve learned what I am able to accomplish, the strength that I have, the ability to loosen up in a situation, to go out of my comfort zone – travel is just an absolute life-change.

Of all the places you have visited, which one is the most memorable (in a good way)?

I obviously have to say London because look where I am! But that’s such a given, so we’ll pass that one. The most memorable trip I took was either to Cinque Terre, Italy or to the Highlands of Scotland. Something about those places and the sights you will see – absolutely stunning. I have and will never see a view like I did there. Just incredible.

What is the worst travel experience you have dealt with to date and how did you overcome it?

Oh man, where do I begin – we’ve had our fair share of things not going our way. How about that time Heather and I jumped on the wrong train and were in an overnight carriage filled with old German men telling us we’d be arrested for being on the train? That was probably a pretty bad one. Overcoming it was pretty easy – stuck together, tried to communicate, and once we reached the destination – high tailed it off that train as fast as we could!

Tell us about your dream trip …

I don’t know exact details, but I do know that my dream trip would be to South America. There are SO many beautiful places there, I would love to take a few weeks down there and see as many as I could!

What is one food you are unable to eat ‘at home’ again because you have tasted the it where it originated and you have been forever spoiled?

Of course we all know that Italian food is OBVIOUSLY significantly better when you are in Italy. Although I do still eat my fair share of Italian, nothing has tasted better than the food I ate in Italy – and it was everywhere too. Spaghetti in Florence, Pizza in Rome, it was all just so amazing. And the gelato! Also better than I’ve had it anywhere else. I clearly gained about 12 pounds from the week I was in that country..

What is one impractical thing that you wish you could bring with you when you travel?

My family and my friends – every one of them! It’s a balancing act – understanding that this is your dream, and that in order to live your life how you want to you have to sacrifice who you are near. Thankfully we have Skype and all those things to keep in touch, but anyone who’s taken these trips knows that it’s not the same. If I could somehow just have everyone I love with me everywhere I went, that’d pretty much be it. What else would I need?

Do you have any irrational fears that traveling has have helped you overcome? How?

I have a pretty irrational fear of looking stupid in public – I never want to stand out or be ‘that person.’ Placing yourself in a foreign country where you are bound to stand out, you kind of have to deal with it head on. I’ve definitely been able to loosen up a little bit, and begin realizing that nobody is judging me. It’s still tough and I can close up very easily, but I’ve seen a huge change since I’ve been forced to deal with it and make a change.

Any common travel/travel blogger wisdom that you disagree with?

I just wrote a post on why you should travel with your best friend. I’ve seen so many articles on why you need to travel alone, or why you can’t possibly go backpacking with people who are close to you. It’s ridiculous if you ask me. I would have never wanted to experience anything without Heather – and three years later, I feel the same.

In closing, do you have any words of advice for newbie travelers and/or travel bloggers?
There’s no better feeling than making your dreams come true – and if it really is your dream, work for it. Don’t be afraid of anything. If something seems so far out there and unreachable, make ways to reach it – just do it. All it takes is a moments of insane courage, and you can do anything. I mean, what’s the harm in trying?

(linking up with Travel Tuesday via A Compass Rose)