This week the Traveler Tuesday spotlight is on another special BlogHouser. Erin of 10 Miles Behind Me is fun, quirky, independent, and as she tells you on her blog, she is a traveler first, then a blogger. She’s done a long series of travel, close to a year, self-funded – she was beholden to no one and goes where the whim takes her. She’s a Jersey girl (the good kind, not like what you are thinking) with a penchant for New York City and I was sincerely impressed with her food-tasting stamina when she did some of the food trails in Indianapolis this summer! Erin takes it for the team!
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Let’s meet travel blogger Erin!
 When and how did you become a traveler?
Though I traveled on family vacations as a kid and studied abroad in Buenos Aires in college, I didn’t start traveling as if it’s my lifeblood until about five years ago. I was always researching different countries and planning trips in my head, but I often pushed them to the side, thinking I didn’t have enough time or money. I finally did a series of trips to see friends who lived elsewhere and then suddenly became a crazy person who wants to (needs to!) go everywhere. Last July, I quit my corporate job to travel for a while and in a little over a year I’ve been to 15 countries and 13 states. Not that I’m counting (of course I’m counting).
 What kind of traveler do you define yourself as?
I try to have as many local experiences as possible when I travel, whether that’s taking a cooking class in Myanmar, making friends with locals in Bangalore, or planting trees on the beach in the Dominican Republic. I’m not super interested in cruising, staying at all-inclusives, or (sorry, everyone) going to Disney World every year. But beyond that, it varies. I love traveling solo, but I also have had some wonderful trips with my parents and sister, cousins, and friends. I want to do all of the things, so I like going to cities, small towns, and being out in nature pretty equally. I like having adventures, but for me, that doesn’t include jumping out of a plane or off a bridge. There’s as much local food, beer, and wine built in as possible. And if there’s a Picasso exhibit, painting, or museum in town, I’m there.
 What do you love most about traveling?
When I look back on my favorite days, they’re always the ones that have been different for some reason or another – a day when we celebrated a wedding until late into the night, when my friends and I laughed so hard our abs hurt at our college reunion, or when my cousins and I jumped in front of the Statue of Liberty. The easiest way to build these types of days into my life is to travel as much as possible so that every day is unique.
 What do you dislike about traveling?
I become really impatient with crowds sometimes. I had trouble enjoying the Vatican because I couldn’t get past the fact that twenty different elbows were touching me at once. I also can’t stand when people take photos with their phones and they leave the camera sound on. It’s the most unnecessary sound in the universe and can really change the vibe of a beautiful sunset for me.
 Why should people travel?
I recommend travel to others for the same reason I like traveling so much, to have experiences and days that are different than what they are used to. We all need to get out of our routines and bubbles, both to escape from our daily lives and to learn about the daily lives of others in order to understand each other better. I have said before, you don’t have to go all the way to India, you can go to Indiana, but you can also just drive a few towns over. Try a new food, smell the mountain air, feel the salt water on your toes, say hi to another human.
 What famous person would you like to travel with?
Rick Steves is one of my travel idols. His guidebooks have been the framework for some of my favorite Eurotrips, though I’ve learned the importance of discovering places for yourself, as well.
 What won’t you travel without?
Like most people these days, I feel naked without my phone, though on my trip to Ireland in July I enjoyed forgetting that I had Instagram for a few weeks.
 Travel essentials – 3 things you always travel with.
I always carry a battery charger for my phone, headphones when I need to drown out conversation or snores, and my Lululemon vinyasa scarf which has also played the part of a hood in the rain and a blanket in the park.
 If you’re a foodie, what’s your favorite food city? Do you have a restaurant recommendation?
To go a little off-the-beaten-path, I’ll recommend Yangon in Myanmar. I loved Burmese food, although I wasn’t the biggest fan of their popular fish-flavored breakfast dish, mohinga. Shan noodles (especially from 999 Shan Noodle Shop) and Green Tea Leaf Salad are both foods I fear I’ll never properly have again.
 What’s one location on your bucket list?
Australia will be my sixth continent when I visit. I may have a family member there soon, so it might not be too much longer.
 Do you have a piece of advice for bloggers starting out?
Write because you love to write.
Erin’s Lightning Round of Favorites
Airport: JFK, really just because it’s from there most of my adventures begin
Mode of Transportation: I actually really like flying because in the air is the only place I feel totally disconnected from everything else and can just catch up on my reading or NY Mag crossword puzzles (I will never pay for wifi)
City or Country: NYC or the place that felt the most opposite of NYC, Myanmar
Travel Gear: My Patagonia backpack
Travel snack: Something salty and something sweet, like Pringles and a brownie
Book: Wild – Cheryl Strayed is a goddess
Movie: I just saw Lion and it made me cry a thousand tears but I usually only watch movies on planes
Song: I always have ’60s/’70s folk music on my phone, including James Taylor, who inspired the name of my blog with his line in Sweet Baby James, “With ten miles behind me, and 10,000 more to go”.
How about you? What would you like to know about Erin?
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