Following on from last week’s interview, we are absolutely thrilled to introduce our newest member of the team behind The Department of Wandering, Samantha Elisabeth! The third contributor in our triangle of three writers (get to know Mikkel, our other writer here), Samantha has only just come on board but already we are so excited to press publish on the first of her travel articles. To get to know her a little better, we quizzed her about her travel style and colourful travel stories. Please join us in giving her a warm welcome to the team!
Meet the Team: Introducing Writer Samantha Elisabeth
Okay, first things first, tell us a little about yourself. Where are you based?
Hi, I’m Samantha! I’m currently based near Philadelphia, PA, but I’m planning on moving back to Korea at the end of the summer.
What else keeps you busy besides travel writing?
Job-wise, I’m also a social media manager and I’ll be an ESL teacher again when I move back. For fun, I love a good story, photography, looking up cat pictures, and watching too many cooking videos.
Do you have your own blog? Share it with us!
I do! My travel blog is There She Goes Again.
Where can we find you on social media?
We know you’re just as obsessed with travel as we are. Can you share one of your favourite travel memories with us?
Oh gosh, there are so many to choose from! I’m going to say hiking Mt. Batur in Bali with my friend, Elissa. Mostly because I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it for the sunrise. Our guide had to hold my hand pretty much the whole way up and down because he, rightfully, thought I was going to fall. However, we made it up in time, and the sunrise was absolutely stunning. Yes, it gets pretty crowded, but everyone was quiet and respectful for the whole sunrise.
What about a travel horror story?
Losing my passport in the Johannesburg airport! It’s a long story, but basically I had a small layover between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Working on about two hours of sleep, I accidentally left it at a check-in kiosk and spent hours searching the whole place and talking to a bunch of different workers. Only after I resigned myself to the fact that I lost it and would need to go to the embassy in Cape Town did it turn up!
What’s your all-time favourite destination?
I absolutely fell in love with Segovia, about an hour by bus from Madrid, Spain. If I was ever a novelist and had two months to finish a manuscript, I’d head straight there. Watching the sunset from the Alcázar of Segovia is still one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen.
Window or aisle seat?
Window for sure! I hardly ever need the bathroom on a flight, and I love being able to look out at the scenery. Also, when you want to sleep, you have a wall to lean against.
Solo or group travel?
Middle? I prefer traveling with one or two friends, especially if they’re more extroverted than me. Groups can be too big, and I get lonely pretty quickly when I solo travel.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten on your travels?
Vietnamese food! I went with a friend whose parents are from Vietnam, so she knew all the good food to order. I particularly loved Bun Bo Nam Bo, this vermicelli noodle and beef dish.
What’s the one thing you could never travel without?
My phone. Not only do I listen to music or audiobooks on long flights, I often save addresses and things to see or do in my notes section. Plus my phone is my ultimate back up should I forget to charge my camera or laptop.
Got any exciting travel plans coming up?
Yes! I’ll be traveling around Pennsylvania in June. I’m housesitting for a friend in Rhode Island in July, and in between I’ll definitely be going to Washington D.C. and New York City again. I’ll need to go for visa-related things, but I’m planning on adding a few days to make a little trip out of it.
And of course, I’ll be in Korea starting in August. I don’t have any specific plans the rest of 2017, but I plan on joining my friend in the Philippines over winter break.
Is there a place you’ve visited that you can easily imagine yourself living in?
San Francisco for sure! I tell my family that if I ever live in one place in the U.S., it has to be there. Too bad it’s one of the most expensive cities in the country!
Can you share your best packing tip with us?
I’m a horrible packer, but I’ve slowly been trying to get better. My advice is to find a packing list that matches your itinerary and stick to it or pack less than recommended. Also, no, you really don’t need more than two or three pairs of shoes ever.
We LOVE your photos. Tell us, what camera gear do you shoot with?
Thank you! I shoot with a Sony Alpha a6000. Most of my Korea photos are taken with an old Nikon DSLR, and I plan on saving for the Nikon D7100 in the future.
What can we expect to see from you on The Department of Wandering? What kinds of posts do you love to write?
I personally love practical advice, so you’re probably going to get a lot of advice on things to do or what to see from the places I visit. This includes how to get there, since that’s always a pain to figure out! A lot of my destinations will be in Asia, since that’s where I’ve been for two years and will be for one more!
Stay tuned to read Samantha’s first articles, coming very soon.
Curious to learn more about the team? Read these posts next:
- Learn more about Rachel and The Department of Wandering in the About page and FAQ.
- Meet our other contributing writer, Mikkel Paige here.