Well, Ashley has not led a dull life! A self-proclaimed Francophile (mais oui!) who spent time as an au pair in Paris, then hit the road for adventures, then Colorado for skiing (and work in between trips) and then found herself in Uganda before hitting the road again – it’s hard to keep up! Luckily she documents it all on Ashley Abroad!
Let’s meet Ashley!
 When and how did you become a traveler?
I first traveled abroad when I was 15 on a group trip to Ecuador. The trip was a bit of a shock – we did a four-day backpacking trip in the Andes, and I had never even been camping! Though the trip was tough, I came back completely obsessed with travel.
 What kind of traveler do you define yourself as?
It really depends on the place. In some destinations, I’m all about the food (e.g. anywhere in Asia), and in others, I’m more focused on adventure activities, like scuba-diving, skiing, or hiking. I’m also a history buff so I love visiting anything old.
 What do you love most about traveling?
I find travel most enriching when I meet or stay with locals. When I was younger I couchsurfed a lot, and I’ve also lived with families in Argentina, France, and Spain. I have a huge passion for languages – I speak French and Spanish – so I enjoy any trip when I can use them.
 What do you dislike about traveling?
Getting sick, especially when traveling solo.
 Why should people travel?
Because we live in a huge, fascinating world, and there’s so much to eat, see, and learn.
 What famous person would you like to travel with?
Anthony Bourdain. I fell in love with his show No Reservations as a teenager, and it has inspired so many of my trips.
 Travel essentials – 3 things you always travel with.
Packing cubes, sunscreen, and a comfy hoodie.
 If you’re a foodie, what’s your favorite food city? Do you have a restaurant recommendation?
Bologna, Italy, has the best food I’ve tried in Italy – it’s outrageously good. If you go there, try the tagliatelle al ragù, tortellini, and mortadella. Basically just eat as much fresh pasta as possible.
 What’s one location on your bucket list?
Japan. I once spent a 24-hour layover there and it seemed like the quietest, most magical place. I’d love to go back and see more.
I also just spent the last year living in Kampala, Uganda, and there’s so much more of Africa I want to see. I’d love to travel to West Africa, especially the French-speaking parts.
 Do you have a piece of advice for bloggers starting out?
Write with your audience in mind. I try to make everything I write useful for other people in some way; each post is meant to be either informational (a how-to guide) or entertaining (an interesting story). I think the best bloggers and writers don’t just write about their lives but write about them in a way that’s entertaining or helpful for other people.
 What are three other blogs that inspire you?
My favorite blogs are manrepeller.com, cupofjo.com, and thisbatteredsuitcase.com.
Ashley’s Lightning Round of Favorites
Mode of Transportation: Train
City or Country: Favorite countries: France or Vietnam, favorite cities: San Francisco or Cape Town
Travel Gear: My Osprey rolling backpack.
Travel snack: Pringles or Oreos. When I’m far from home I always end up craving my favorite junk food from when I was a kid.
Book: Recently, Pachinko
Movie: Lord of the Rings
Song: I don’t think I have one!
Quote: “There is no such thing as a simple life.” – Olive Kitteridge
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