Traveler Tuesday – Amanda of My Backpacker Life
You can't keep a good traveler down. After a few attempts at backpacking, Amanda of My Backpacker Life quit her job and hit the road with her boyfriend in an effort to see as much of the world as she can with a backpack and on the cheap. Got to love the ambition and determination!
Let’s meet Amanda!
 When and how did you become a traveler?
I would say I became a traveler already at the age of seven. It was the last day of school and my grandparents picked me up directly after I said goodbye to my teacher and friends. We were going to a wedding in Finland and I didn’t really know who was getting married, but I wanted to go anyway. I had basically never been away from home and my parents, but I wasn’t scared at all – in fact, I had an amazing time and my will to explore more of the world started to grow! In Finland, they spoke a language I didn’t know and a lot of things looked different, even though I wasn’t that far from home.
After that trip, I took every chance I had to travel; with my family, school and friends.
 What kind of traveler do you define yourself as?
I’m a budget traveler and a slow traveler. I can stay months in one place, and I try to keep my costs low while doing it. I love volunteering at different destinations, which usually means that I stay at one place for weeks or months while working for about five hours a day, in exchange for room and board. It’s a great way to meet locals and see the world as it really is, not just the tourist attractions.
 Which country do you come from/call home?
I’m from Sweden. Even if I haven’t been home much for the past few years, I still call it home. As you travel, you’ll get more places to call home – but Sweden will always be the country I grew up in and Swedish will always be my first language, wherever I am in the world.
 What do you crave from home when you are traveling?
Food and snacks, that’s pretty much the only thing I miss, except my family! I miss my typical Swedish breakfast, a special kind of sour milk, that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else in the world so far. Don’t take me wrong, I love exploring new food and cultures, but after a year or so abroad you really start missing some things you took for granted back home. Luckily IKEA is all around the world, so I can at least get some Swedish candy if I feel homesick!
 Tell us about your blog
I created my blog with the intention to share my stories and inspire others to also go travel. I decided to quit my full-time job in Sweden to be a full-time backpacker instead, starting with one year in Canada, and I haven’t regretted it once. On my blog, you’ll find a lot of tips on how to travel for free, or on a budget, around the world. I also love writing about places that no one really knows of. My best memory from my trip across Canada, so far, is from a small town in Newfoundland where I worked as a volunteer. I didn’t even know about the town before I signed up for the volunteer position, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made – the town, Bonavista, is absolutely fantastic!
 What do you love most about traveling?
I love exploring new places and seeing other parts of the world. You get a whole new perspective of life when you travel. My absolute favorite part is staying with locals – the people I meet and the stories they tell, they really make my trips memorable.
 What do you dislike about traveling?
I feel like I have a lot of friends around the world, but no one is really a close one – because I’m constantly moving, it’s hard to develop a close friendship. It can also be really hard to pack your bag and leave a place when you’ve met some people you like, not knowing if you’ll ever see them again.
 How do you prepare for a trip?
I try to pack my bag in advance, never on the last day. Since I travel without internet on my phone, I only rely on Wi-Fi, I also try to be sure of where to go when I arrive and other practical things such as if I need to take a bus or if I can walk to my accommodation. Sometimes I check out things do to in the area before I leave for a trip, and sometimes I’m spontaneous and just go wherever I feel like when I’m at my destination.
 You have won the lottery, now tell us where you want to live.
I would probably settle down in New Zealand. Nature there is just stunning and I really felt like home during my visit a couple of years ago – I miss it and want to go back! If I won the lottery, I would build a house with views of the mountains. It would be far away from the big cities and I would just enjoy life with a bunch of books together with the incredible hikes and views New Zealand has to offer.
 Travel essentials – 3 things you always travel with.
I always bring a water bottle, everywhere I go! I also try to always bring some cash and not just rely on credit cards – you never know where you’ll end up and if credit cards will be accepted or not. Other than that, I make sure to always bring my phone as well – it’s great for taking pictures, finding directions and staying in touch with my family back home!
 What is your favorite article of clothing?
I don’t really have one, to be honest. If I have to choose something, it would probably be a fluffy sweater I bought to survive winter here in Canada. It’s been -30°C! That’s way more than I’ve ever experienced before, so I had to buy some new clothes to stay warm.
 Your single most treasured personal possession.
I’m not much for material things, after all, my whole life is packed in a backpack, but before I left Sweden last year I got a simple but really sweet necklace from my boyfriend. Although he left Sweden at the end of 2018 to travel the world with me, I still wear it every day.
 Do you have a piece of advice for bloggers starting out?
I would say, focus on why you want to start a blog at first. To show your pictures? Your stories? Connect with others? Don’t just think about page views and followers, do it because it makes you happy and because you think it’s fun! After all, that’s what really matters, and it’s a really good way to start – show your enthusiasm!
 What are three other blogs that inspire you?
I check out Female Travel Bloggers a lot, there’s a lot of inspiration and help to find there! I also enjoy reading Just One Passport and A Walk And A Lark since they both are telling about a lot of places I’m visiting at the moment and want to visit in the near future.
 Your favorite travel resource on the web?
Oh, that’s a tricky question. I don’t really use one specific resource, but Wikitravel and Tripadvisor are always nice to check out.
Amanda's Lightning Round of Favorites
Airport: Stockholm Arlanda
Mode of Transportation: Train
Window or aisle: Window
City: St. John’s, Newfoundland
Country: New Zealand
Travel Gear: A comfortable backpack
Travel snack: Swedish chocolate
Book: Vad fan ska jag göra med mitt liv (“WTF should I do with my life”) – a Swedish autobiography by Sanne Aronsson about leaving your home and going your own way to make your dreams come true
Movie: Me before you
Song: Song for you – Rhye
Quote: Let your smile change the world, don’t let the world change your smile
You can keep up with Amanda on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and of course on her blog. Wherever you catch her, I am sure you will enjoy her adventures!
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A great interview with Amanda! That’s interesting that she volunteers at places she stays in exchange for room and board. As a Canadian, it’s also great to hear that she loved Newfoundland!
That’s amazing!! What an incredibly inspiring person you are!! My mother used to say “travel & live life now and do not wait until you retire because you never know what health concerns may keep you from your dreams so don’t wait!” Now I find myself telling younger folks without kids to go out & see the world because once you have kids it’s much harder and MUCH more expensive to travel & accommodate the needs of a whole family verses a single person. Keep posting I love following along!
This interview is so inspiring! I have always had such a strong desire to do something big and bold like this. Kudos to you Amanda for making your dream a reality! I am going to look up that Swedish book she recommended!
I have so much admiration for women who travel the world! I wish I could live that kind of life too. She is a strong willed woman who goes for her dreams. Wishing her the best of everything!
Really nice interview! We can relate to Amanda a lot as we are also budget and slow travellers, and do volunteering in most places we visit! It’s great to come across similar people, going to follow her on IG! 🙂
I wish I can follow Amanda’s foorsteps and hit the road. Her story is very encouraging. Checking her blog right now. Looking forward to get tips on how to travel for free.
Sounds like an amazing blogger, loved learning more about her
Such an inspiring interview!! Love that she volunteers when she travels, great way to know the people, place, and culture!
I love her! I’ve actually read her blog a lot as we plan our backpacking trip for next year. She reminds me so much of myself!
I’ll have to check out her blog. Settling in New Zealand sounds like the dream too. I’ve had a few friends visit and talk about how amazing NZ is!
What a wonderful interview and a fun read. How brave of Amanda to travel for months at a time for a place to live and explore. You have such a rich life!