Tough question! My favourite cities are New York and Barcelona. Outside of cities, my favourite places have been the island of Kauai in Hawaii, and Monument Valley.
I’m half Scottish half American so I’m probably totally biased here, but my favourite countries overall are Scotland and the USA. The people are friendly, the cities are great, and the landscapes are gorgeous!
No, not really. But I’m a 6ft tall 200lb white man, so I’m not really a prime target for crime or harassment. I can totally understand why a woman or a person of colour might be scared to go solo.
But I also put effort into staying safe! For starters, I don’t go to unsafe places. When I do go somewhere, I don’t go out too late at night, or down any creepy alleys. I always make sure I have my belongings with me, and backup money / cards just in case.
So I’m not really scared, but am I anxious? Yes! Particularly when it comes to stuff like going to restaurants or events by myself. I also get nervous when going through airport security / immigration, and when I’m trying to deal with language barriers. It’s normal!
Longer trips require a lot of planning, but for shorter trips, I’ll just try to base it on finding a nice flight deal (either through an airline sale, or by generally looking on Google flights for cheap routes around the time I want to travel). Once some options have been highlighted, I’ll see where I can go to cross something off my bucket list.
A week or two before I leave, I’ll make up a little language cheat sheet’. This will include the translations and pronunciations for common words, such as Hello / Goodbye / Please / Thank you / Sorry / Bathroom / Do you speak English / I don’t speak much … , How much, and the numbers 1-10.
I’ll try to learn all of this, and I’ll also take a printed out version with me for reference.
Additionally, Google Translate is a lifesaver. It does instant text and audio translations! It even has a camera mode where you point the camera at text in a foreign language and it will instantly translate it on your screen. It is brilliant! It even works offline.
In reality though, if you speak English you’ll be fine in most places. It is the universal language. When I went to Barcelona and Malaga, everything was in English. In China it was more difficult, but still pretty easy to get by in the cities. Most signs were in English, and most people knew some degree of basic English.
If it comes down to it, simply pointing and smiling will always work!
No, definitely not!
I wouldn’t say my family is poor, but we are not rich. Our income is well below the national average. But thankfully we live in a town with low living costs and we don’t drive, so we can get by on it without too much difficulty. But my parents definitely can’t afford to pay for my trips, nor would I let them.
You could argue that the only reason I have the money to travel is because I still live at home and my living expenses are low, which is fair. But, I made that choice. Of course I’d prefer to move out and get my own place, and I can afford to, but I’d rather stay at home and save up more money to travel.
I also chose to stay at home for university rather than move out into student accommodation, I chose not to get my drivers license, and I chose to live a quiet life at home, never going out, never buying nice things, and never eating out. They’re all sacrifices I make to be able to afford my travelling!
I pay for my own trips, although there are some exceptions to this, where family and friends will help out with accommodation, food, and transport when I visit them.
I’m sure a lot of people are curious about this, so I’ll try to clear it up!
Firstly, I live in Scotland, so I have no tuition costs. My university is within walking distance, so I have no transport costs. I live at home, so I have low living costs. I don’t go out much, and I am single, so I have low existing costs. I also don’t drink on a regular basis, smoke, or do any of that stuff.
I try to save money on everything. I have a cheap phone bill, I search around for the cheapest prices when I want to buy something, I get student discounts whenever I can, I use cashback websites, and I strictly limit how much I allow myself to spend on things.
I just.. well, I live a boring and cheap life.
So that covers how I save money, but how do I make money?
Well, I get a student loan and a student bursary. While I don’t have a job, I essentially work online for an hour or two every day. This includes doing stuff like matched betting, completing surveys, and basically anything I can!
I’ve recently graduated so my income is essentially zero now, but I’ve been saving up for the past 5 years, and plan on using that money to support me for a year or two of travelling.
I do, but there’s too many to write in an answer like this. I’ll write a post about all my favourite gear one day. Until then, feel free to contact me or leave a comment asking for advice on something specific!
I deliberately try to set recommended budgets a bit on the high side!
Firstly, I’m not a super budget traveller, and that’s not really who this blog is for. When I’m travelling I don’t want to work, couch surf, hitchhike, or limit myself to free activities. None of that sounds enjoyable on a trip, so I make sure I budget enough money to avoid it.
Secondly, I like to set a buffer. If I think I’ll need £40 a day to comfortably visit a location, I’ll budget myself £50. Most likely something will pop up and the extra funds come in handy. But if that doesn’t happen, then I just have some spare money at the end and get a head start on saving for the next. Win-win!
I think that many websites are way too optimistic when it comes to budgets. Saying ‘You can travel the world for $30 a day!’ is just a cheap way to get views. Is it possible? Sure, but it’s not realistic for most people, and is certainly not what most people envision with the excitement of ‘travelling the world’.
You’d basically be a travelling hobo. Nobody wants that. Try to give yourself a comfortable and generous budget for any trip you go on. You’ll have a much better time!
Well, if you insist!
She was called Star, and she was the best. She was with me for most of my life, since I was about 3. Unfortunately she passed away in 2018 of old age (around 20 years old).
She was fierce! When she was smaller, she would hang outside with us as we all played football or kirby. When dogs walked past, she’d charge them. We’d have to warn people, who were walking their big German Shepards or Rotwillers, to look out for this crazy cat!
She hated all other animals, no exceptions. But humans? Oh she loved them, too much for her own good. She was the friendliest, sweetest Cat you’ve ever seen. Even to strangers.
She was also a bit of a traveller herself. Once she left home for about 6 weeks! We were worried sick and kept looking, but couldn’t find her anywhere. Eventually, someone found her and we got her back. She came home, had a snack, then immediately wanted back out. Sounds a bit like me when I get home from a trip!
While I’d love another cat, my life just isn’t stable enough for one right now. I’m away from home too frequently, and plan on moving house within the next few years. Although once things have settled down again, I’m totally becoming a crazy cat person.
My gear has changed over time, so all the photos/videos you see on this website may not have been taken with the below devices. But this is what I’m currently using:
Camera: Sony RX100VI with 128GB SD card
Tripod: Joby GPod Mini Magnetic Gorillapod
Smartphone: iPhone 13 Pro Max
Not really. I’m not a photographer. I wish I was, but 90% of the time I am shooting on auto. Sometimes I get lucky and a photo turns out nice! But I mean it’s hard not to take a nice photo in some places.
I guess my advice would be just to take as many photos as you can. You can delete the bad ones, but you can’t get any more once you’ve left. Take lots of pictures, and don’t forget to get some selfies too!
I’m pretty terrible for this, always going somewhere amazing and not getting any pictures of myself there. Trust me, the pictures you get of yourself will be worth much more to you than the generic landscape ones.
BUT, make sure the picture is about the location, not you. It should be a picture of the location with you in it, not a picture of you with the location in the background. Does that make sense? Selfies with your arm aren’t great, try to set your camera down on a timer, or maybe ask someone to take a picture for you.
I design then in Adobe InDesign, and then get them printed through Blurb.com. The first one was a pain, but now it is basically just editing a template. Blurb has a plug-in to use with InDesign so the whole process is really easy. Printing them is expensive though!
I get the images of the maps through a site called MapBox. I basically just scroll to the image I want, then take a screenshot. You can check out my style of map here.
If you want to know about specific fonts or anything then just send me a message!
I edit my videos entirely in Adobe Premiere Pro. Not really sure what else to say about it, but if you have any questions then get in touch! 🙂
Here’s a little step by step process of how I made this blog. I could make a more detailed post about it, and one day I might, but there are already a million guides on how to do it. Although if you want to know something specific, feel free to get in touch!
Step 1: Choosing a name. It took a lot of brainstorming, but eventually, I came up with Travelling Tabby. I used this website to ensure it was free on all social media platforms.
Step 2: Getting the domain name & hosting. The domain name is basically the web address (www.travellingtabby.com), and hosting is paying for the website to be online. I got both from NameCheap on a 1 year subscription!
Step 3: Designing my logo. This was the hardest part in all honesty. Thankfully I had just completed a 1 year course on this, so I had an idea of what I was doing! I made mine in Adobe Illustrator, after doing some sketches on paper. It took a few attempts.
Step 4: Deciding what will be on my blog. I basically listed out what my blog will be. What pages will I have? What will the navigation bar look like? What content will I have? What design styles will I have? I wrote it all down in lists.
Step 5: Designing my blog. I made designs for all my pages in Abobe InDesign. They were quite rough, but gave me a good starting point. I chose the colours, fonts, images, ect. A draft of something to create.
Step 6: Setting up WordPress. This was a little confusing and I watched a lot of video guides! Eventually I got it connected to my domain name/hosting, and I was ready to go.
Step 7: Deciding on a theme. There are so many themes to go for! In the end, I choose.. none. I went down another route and decided to use Elementor, which is sort of like a ‘build it yourself’ theme. It’s great for me, as it’s really customizable.
Step 8: Making my header and footer. This was tricky, especially making it mobile responsive, but I got there! You make these once, then they are on every page.
Step 9: Making my homepage. This was the trickiest page to make, as it had to look nice and have unique elements. You want to make people think ‘cool!’, and get them to go to another page/post on the site.
Step 10: Making all the other pages. I then basically just made the about me, FAQ, bucket list, destinations, and everything else on the website! This took forever, and ever. And ever. Like, over a year, on and off.
Step 11: Done! After this, it was just content creation. The site was up and running, and I just had to start making posts! I also had to start sharing my blog around and try to attract some readers, and begin studying the analytics to see how things were going. 🙂
I designed and made it all myself. I’m no professional, but I think it looks mighty fine and divine! If I’ve used someone elses photo somewhere, I’ll have chosen one via creative commons, and gave appropriate credit.
Domain Name: £7 per year
Hosting: £25 per year (also includes SSL security and UK server hosting)
Elementor Pro: £40
Interactive Maps Widget: £20
Total: £92, then a future running cost of £32 ish a year
Since the start of 2020, the running costs are quite a bit higher than this due to the increased traffic resulting from the Coronavirus Tracker Pages. But the above costs are what it would cost to run the travel blog on its own.
I didn’t really make this blog to make money, it is more of a hobby. But if I can get to the point where I earn enough to cover the running costs (£30 a year), that would be fab!
When I make my first penny I’ll be sure to update this question! 🙂
Update* I’ve still not made any money from the travel blog part of Travelling Tabby, but I have made money through the Coronavirus Tracker part (primarily via donations). So I guess the new answer to this question is… sorta!
Thank you for the thought! A simple message is always appreciated 🙂
Sharing the blog also helps me out greatly, and if you want to help contribute, then maybe consider supporting me on Ko-fi!
I’ll use the money to keep the blog running, keep it ad-free, and produce more content.
Do it because you want to, not because you want to make money. There are millions of travel blogs out there, most of them won’t ever make a penny. Besides, it takes a lot of work, and if you aren’t really enjoying it, you have zero chance of getting to the money making levels anyways.
But as for actual advice? Uh.. not really. I am just starting myself! I’ll update this question in a year or so to talk about what I’ve learned. 🙂
Oh, please let me know what it is! I have a horrible habit of looking over typos, and if the error is a piece of wrong information, then I do apologize.
A lot of the information I provide here, particularly on the country pages, comes from my own research rather than my own experiences. Sometimes I get it wrong! I would appreciate you letting me know so that I can update it for other people.