I am pleased to introduce you to another lovely AFAR Ambassador today. Ashley of Travel with Castle is an exciting travel blogger with a hunger for adventure. She is an insatiable foodie who seeks out new places to explore and dishes to satisfy. I am in awe of the fearlessness when it comes to capturing video – that is something I have not managed to do yet, I am too camera shy! But not Ashley, she has great videos from her myriad of trips and I am enjoying getting to know her better.
She took a pause long enough to answer my Traveler Tuesday questions so that we could learn a little more about her.
 When and how did you become a traveler?
I believe traveling was always in my soul– as a child, I was always an explorer, creating magical lands and places amidst the 2 acres of pecan trees where I grew up. My first experience abroad was when I was 20 years old, the summer before my senior year in college. I decided to meet my friend who had studied abroad in Italy during the spring semester to backpack through Europe. I worked 2 jobs to save the money, bought my Eurail pass and hopped on the plane, and it forever changed the course of my life. Looking back, I’m proud of myself for having the courage to do it, and I’m grateful to my parents for having the courage and faith to let me go.
 What is travel to you in 10 words or less?
A lens that expands the soul and brings humanity together.
 What is your favorite mode of transportation and why?
It depends on where I’m at. When in India, I love the little motorized buggies. When in Hawaii, it’s a helicopter. And after returning from a trip around the world via business class, let’s be honest: the lie down beds in business class are a pretty amazing way to go!
 What do you typically do while traveling by plane?
If I’m on a long flight in coach, I have a hard time sleeping, so I read, journal or watch movies. If I have the luxury of first class, I’ll eat the full meal (and definitely enjoy dessert and champagne) and then try to get some sleep.
 What is your favorite travel memory involving food?
On that first trip to Europe, we got to Prague and were staying far outside the city in an old hotel called Hotel DUM (pronouced DOOM, we were thrilled). We went into the city center, and it was raining and chilly- we were exhausted after a full day of travel. It was a Sunday night and all restaurants were closed– we couldn’t even find something we didn’t want, like McDonald’s. My friend spotted what looked like a 5 star restaurant. She was on her parents’ dime, and I was on my own– funds were running low and I didn’t know what to do. It turned out that it was their opening week, and when we sat down, we were told that all we had to pay for was the alcohol- the entire 5 course meal was on them! This was my first true culinary experience and such an amazing evening for a tired, college-age backpacker.
 What is one blogging tip or lesson that you have learned along the way that you can share with my readers?
I’ve learned that you don’t have to have it all figured out in the beginning- your mission, your design, or even your focus in knowing exactly what you want to write about. As you grow as a person, your writing grows and your blog will evolve in its own time. Trust the process and also trust that you have something beautiful to share with the world.
 Where to next?
I’m going to Brazil tomorrow! Montreal and Toronto in June and SE Asia (bali, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos!) this summer!
You can see all of Ashley’s AFAR Highlights and Wanderlists where she shares her experiences all over the world as well as keep up with her on her blog Travel with Castle or Facebook page and check out her chatter on Twitter. Wherever you catch her, I am sure you will enjoy her adventures!
ALL photos except where noted are courtesy Ashley’s blog.
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