What is The Department of Wandering?
The Department of Wandering is a travel and lifestyle blog for those looking for tips on how to experience the very best of a destination. The blog appeals to travellers looking to avoid the common tourist traps to discover the true heart of a place instead. The Department of Wandering is also a space for finding information and advice on living abroad (specifically in Berlin), as well as being a resource for those interested in quitting the 9-5 and making the transition into freelancing.
How did you come up with your blog’s name?
My fiancé actually helped me come up with The Department of Wandering’s name. I wanted to name the blog something that was a bit interesting and unique and I really like the paradox we came up with! The two ideas in the name are at odds with one another; it’s contradictory. After all, how can you compartmentalise memories, musings and all the lessons learnt while travelling? You can’t of course!
How did you begin blogging?
I began blogging in 2014 when I was living in Berlin and unhappy in my job. Not only was it a therapeutic outlet, but was also a way for me to share my expat experience abroad. The Department of Wandering became my late-night refuge, a place I could pour my creativity into and it became a place that replenished my energy. Eventually, after a year or so, I just had to listen to my heart and quit my full-time job to focus full-time on blogging and freelancing instead.
Where have you travelled to?
I’ve visited 30 countries so far and you can find a list of all the countries I’ve travelled to on the My Travels page.
How do you afford to travel so much?
The answer’s simple really. While other people choose to spend money on things like clothes, nights on the town or even a mortgage, I prefer to spend it on travel and making memories. I’ve always made travel a priority in my life because it’s the thing that makes me feel most alive. Every year, I’d spend most of my savings on travel and I honestly have no regrets. My life is so much richer for having seen the world. Now, because The Department of Wandering has grown so much with tens of thousands visits every month, tourism operators are keen to partner with me to reach my travel-loving audience.
What camera gear do you use?
For the blog, I mainly use a Nikon D750 with a 24-70mm f/2.8 or a 35mm f/2.0 prime lens. In situations where I don’t want to take my big DSLR camera, I’ll use my Sony RX-100 MII, which is a seriously great compact camera.
Who takes your photographs?
Most of the photographs on The Department of Wandering are taken either by me or my fiancé, Ben, who doubles as my photographer or ‘Instagram husband’ when needed!
Why don’t we see more of your fiancé on the blog?
He’s a pretty private person and doesn’t like to share a lot of his personal life online and I respect that. I think this is one of the only posts where you will see him!
Help! How do I grow my Instagram following?
You’ll find a good range of Instagram tips in the social media category.
How do you make money?
Aside from the fact that this is kind of an awkward question to ask somebody, it’s definitely a question that people are curious about. My income comes from a number of different streams that include sponsored blog posts (like this) and sponsored social media content, affiliates, freelance travel writing, brand collaborations and social media consulting. If I ever receive any monetary compensation for something you see on the blog, you’ll find a note in the disclosure at the bottom of the post.
How do you decide which destinations to travel to?
Really, a lot of my inspiration for travel planning comes from Instagram and from reading other travel blogs or travel magazines. I’ve been to lots of the same places more than once too and every time I visit I have such a different experience than the last time.
Which country have you been to that you’ve found the most challenging as a female traveller?
India. Read about some of my travel experiences here.
Can I write for The Department of Wandering?
Yes! The site is now accepting contributor submissions so if you have a great idea for a story, we’d love to hear from you. Please visit the contribute page for more information and to find out how to submit.
How did you make the decision to quit your full-time job?
My full-time job was sucking my soul dry, but I’m so grateful to have had the experience because if it wasn’t as bad as it was, I might not have made the decision to leave and pursue my true passion. You can read more about my decision to quit the 9-5 here.
What are your best packing tips?
I wrote a whole blog post about them here.
How do you stay motivated when you work from home?
Staying motivated while working from home can definitely be a challenge! It’s been a trial-and-error process figuring out how I can be the most productive and motivated while not having an office to go to. It’s important for me to have a quiet, dedicated work space with my own desk that I sit down at when it’s ‘work time’. I also find that I’m quite productive if I head out to a cafe to work.
What’s your favourite country?
Oh that’s too hard to say! Every place I’ve been to has been so different to the next and I’ve loved them all for different reasons. But if I really had to pick it’d have to be between France, Japan, and New Zealand.
Where do you want to travel next?
So many places! I’m desperate to visit Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Iceland, and return to New Zealand (surprise!) and Indonesia. Oh and I’d love to go on safari in Africa one day soon!
I’m a brand. How can I get in touch?
Please visit the Work With Me page to find out more.