Well, I can’t say I have a ton in common with Ashley of A Southern Gypsy, but I am definitely in awe of her. She and I were always the first people in the conference room every morning at BlogHouse in Indianapolis and I feel honored to have gotten to know her. She is a passionate animal rights activist, vegan food travel and really down-to-earth Southerner who hasn’t sat still since she left Indy in June! I’m trying to keep up with her adventures, she’s been all over Florida, to Niagara Falls and Toronto and went on an amazing whirlwind road trip to Ireland!
Let’s meet travel blogger Ashley!
 When and how did you become a traveler?
I’d say I’ve always been a traveler. I was lucky that my family took us on trips quite often – whether it be to the beach every year, to my great grandpa’s farm in upper state NY, on a cruise or some other magical adventure. I didn’t necessarily travel as a kid the way I love to travel now but every single one of those trips invoked a natural wanderlust in me.
 What kind of traveler do you define yourself as?
I don’t stick to one specific type of travel. For instance, cruises are not my favorite way to travel but every once in a while, I’ll go on one. If I had to narrow down my typical traveling style and what I prefer it would be a solo, budget, long-term, slow traveler. I really want to experience everything a place has to offer and walk away like I was really there. I also am cheap except for the really exciting things (like a safari or skydiving) and food. Food is always my weakness.
 What do you love most about traveling?
Seeing how big the world is yet just how small it is too. Experiencing new cultures and people is a beautiful thing.
 What do you dislike about traveling?
I’m going to be one of those annoying travelers who say nothing. Even the aggravating stuff that happens (like missing a plane) is only aggravating for a time and then it turns into a good story later. I’m usually so happy to be traveling that I don’t dislike much. I do hate lugging around a lot of stuff though so I tend to pack light.
 Why should people travel?
To broaden their mind. To understand that while cultures are different, humans are humans no matter where they are or what they look like.
 What famous person would you like to travel with?
Bill Murray. haha. I didn’t even know that was my answer until he instinctively came to mind.
 What won’t you travel without?
Camera. Photographs are the best souvenir you can ever have.
 Travel essentials – 3 things you always travel with.
My phone and backup charger – my phone is essential for many reasons and my backup charger means it will never be dead. A book – I never go anywhere without a book. HappyCow app – sounds ridiculous but it’s the easiest way I can find vegan food on the road!
 If you’re a foodie, what’s your favorite food city? Do you have a restaurant recommendation?
I am a foodie but I haven’t traveled extensively since being vegan, so it’s hard to say what city is my favorite. I’m from and live in Nashville and I think it’s definitely a foodie destination and we have an amazing vegan scene. I’ got back from Toronto which is also a vegan foodie city!
 What’s one location on your bucket list?
They’re all on my bucket list! However, Namibia has been calling my name so bad for about a year.
 Do you have a piece of advice for bloggers starting out?
Stick it out! It’s hard and four years in, it’s still hard. You won’t become rich fast but if you love writing, photography, and travel, it’s rewarding regardless.
Ashley’s Lightning Round of Favorites
Airport: Incheon (South Korea)
Mode of Transportation: Train
City or Country: London
Travel Gear: Packing Cubes
Travel snack: Fruit
Book: Harry Potter
Movie: Star Wars
Song: any song by Moon Taxi
How about you? What would you like to know about Ashley?
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