Travel Blogger and Photographer Shares His Best Travel Tips After 8 Years on the Road

Travel Photogragher Laurence Norah
Laurence with wife Jessica

My name is Laurence and I’m a travel blogger and photographer from the UK. With my wife Jessica, we run two travel blogs, the adventure/photography focused Finding the Universe, and the luxury/couples focused Independent Travel Cats. My wife is from the USA, and whilst we travel a lot, we’re currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

How and why did you get into traveling?

I’ve been travelling almost since I was born, my parents were in the hotel industry and I spent my time growing up in both the UK and the Seychelles. We always loved to travel as a family, and since leaving home I’ve continued to pursue my passion. After a few years working a career in Information Technology, I realized it wasn’t for me, and in 2009 I quit my job, set off to travel the world, and haven’t looked back.

Travel Blogger and Photogragher Laurence Norah

How do you finance your travels?

Jessica and I are full time travel bloggers and photographers. We finance our trip in a number of ways. First, I run an online photography course, which helps people learn the skills to take awesome travel photos – whatever their current photography knowledge. I’m also an ambassador for a range of photography accessories company called, Vanguard, who makes really cool tripods and camera bags. Beyond that, we take part in influencer campaigns, there’s some affiliate marketing, and we run display adverts on our sites. Between all those, we are happy to be able to finance our travel lifestyle.

Why is traveling important for you?

I just love to see other cultures and the feeling of insignificance that travel brings. I think that the world would probably have a lot less problems if more people travelled and learnt that wherever you go, people are really all very similar in their hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Travel Blogger and Photogragher Laurence Norah

How do you bring and organize your things with you?

I use and travel with an Osprey Sojourn wheeled case, and my wife uses Eagle Creek. They’re reliable and have been with us on countless trips without problems. My most important bag though is my camera bag, as that houses all my photography gear. For that I use a Vanguard Alta Sky 49 backpack, which is the best photography bag I’ve ever owned.

My camera bag is segmented carefully and so my gear — all has a place in there. It also carries my laptop, accessories and tripod, so it’s pretty capable overall. I love that it has a rain cover too. My main bag… no, I’m not that organised, other than for my electronics, and I have a bag for dirty laundry of course! My wife Jess is much more organised when it comes to having a place for everything in her bag!

Travel Blogger and Photogragher Laurence Norah

How do your bags and gear hold up?

I’m really happy with the performance of all my bags, and they’ve been through a lot. Definitely happy to recommend the three main brands we use.

Any gear you wish you had brought with you from the beginning?

We always travel with duct tape and a Leatherman multi-tool. Those are really handy on the road, and we always recommend those. Other than that, we don’t have anything we can’t live without. Well, apart from all my photography gear of course!

What has been your best travel-related purchase below $100?

Jess is more organized than me when it comes to packing, and she loves her packing cubes, so that was a great purchase. For me, nothing really stands out – my photography gear tends to be much more expensive than $100 unfortunately.

Adventure Photogragher Laurence Norah
Vernal Falls Yosemite. Photo credit: Laurence Norah

What kind of photos do you prefer to shoot?

My favourite kind of photography is landscape photography, so anything with a waterfall, mountain range or just beautiful scenery works for me. I particularly loved photography Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon in the United States, some truly spectacular locations.

What is your best advice for other travelers?

I think the hardest part for many is just to go (well, after saving up the money of course!). I do think that travel is often sold as a very expensive thing, and whilst it is of course a privileged that not everyone can afford, travel also doesn’t have to be a once a year extravagance. My advice is just to see what you can do with your money, and look into ways you can save when you travel – maybe it’s things like housesitting or couch surfing. Then, when you go, be open to new ideas, cultures and plans. Don’t have too strict of an itinerary, and be prepared to go with the flow.

Travel Blogger and Photogragher Laurence Norah

What will the future bring?

We’ve travelled so much in 2017 already that we’re trying to slow down a bit. That said, our upcoming travels include a trip to Japan, some travelling around Scotland, and a trip to the Seychelles. So yes, some exciting trips are definitely ahead which we’re thrilled about!

Visit Laurence Norah and his wife Jessica on their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter

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