To say that Amanda has a passion for travel would be an understatement. Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Amanda has been traveling for most of her life, beginning at age nine when she spent six months in Europe with her parents. Since then, she has traveled to many parts of the world and has lived in Japan, Slovakia, and Germany.
Now back home, living with her son in Perth, Amanda travel blogs on NotABallerina.com and hosts The Thoughtful Travel Podcast and is on a mission to convince everybody in the world that travel is a great thing to do. She believes that if everyone traveled, we would have the opportunity to get to know each other better, which would resolve many of the world’s problems and lead to an overall more peaceful world.
Want to know more about Amanda and her adventures? Read more in our interview below and connect with her here on Backpacker Travel and her Facebook page.
Our Interview with Amanda
BT: Your blog is designed to encourage people to get out and see the world. Why do you think this is so important?
Amanda: I think travel has the power to change everyone – in a very positive way. Getting out of your comfort zone and discovering how people live in other places and cultures – both the similarities and the differences – can teach you a lot about yourself and help you see the world as a much smaller place, full of people who are really very similar. I think travel helps promote understanding between different religions and nationalities and if only everyone would get out there and see the world in a way that gets them interacting with locals, then I think we could solve an awful lot of problems!
BT: What are the most important lessons you have learned about yourself while traveling?
Amanda: Travel is amazing for self-development and I have learned all manner of lessons about myself during my travels – I would be a completely different person if I had never traveled! Most importantly, I think, is learning that I actually can do anything I put my mind to. I’ve survived in countries where I couldn’t speak more than five words of the language. I’ve held down a job in cultures completely different to my own. I’ve tried crazy new foods and liked them, I’ve spoken with people I would have been too shy to talk to before I started traveling. When I’m at home in my day-to-day life, if some kind of issue comes up, I know I’ve dealt with something trickier before and I can really do anything!
BT: You have lived in many different places. Where did you enjoy living the most and why?
Amanda: Tough question but I would have to say Japan. Its culture is so unique that every day – even two years in – was a learning experience, and I loved that about it. The food is also extraordinarily delicious and varied, the people are so friendly and welcoming, and there are so many amazing sights to see. My caveat is, though, that I was glad to live there as a foreigner. Some aspects of being Japanese – working really, really hard, and the fact that women are even less equal there than here – mean I don’t wish I’d been born in Japan – but I’m glad to have lived there and to be able to keep returning for more visits.
BT: Any advice for those looking to travel, but feeling a bit nervous?
Amanda: It’s normal and healthy to be nervous, and I was terrified at first, and I promise you’ll get over it and it will be completely worth it! I moved overseas with a boyfriend at first and I’m not sure I could have done it on my own (though now I would do it in a heartbeat) – so find a friend to go with if it helps. Whatever you do, just take the first steps you can, and keep expanding and trying newer and more distant trips.