Female Travel Blogger Tara Povey Shares All the Amazing Things Travel Does to Her

Where is Tara

My name is Tara and I’m a professional travel content creator/blogger/influencer/whatever you want to call it, hahaha. I’m from a few places. Originally, I’m from New Zealand, born in Palmerston North on the north island. When I was around three years old we moved to Bristol in England for a year and then on to Dublin, Ireland. I grew up in Dublin. It’s my home, though I feel at home in the UK and New Zealand too. Either way, it’s handy having dual-citizenship. I love having two passports, it makes me feel like some sort of international spy, haha.

I’m currently sitting in Dublin airport typing this in a coffee shop. I’m about to catch a flight to Ibiza in Spain. I’m also a licensed pharmacist, but I decided that wasn’t really for me over three years ago. So I started my blog, quit my job and went travelling. But I still do a few days of pharmacy work a year because I still LOVE helping people with their health.

When it comes to activities/hobbies/interests, I’m a massive bookworm, I’m obsessed with creating things (painting, drawing, craft, etc.), I LOVE martial arts (anything that gets aggression out and gets me moving), dancing, running and pretty much anything active (apart from cycling, bleh). I’m currently trying to kick my iced coffee addiction by replacing it with iced tea. I’m an extroverted introvert, I love meeting people and making new friendships but I need a lot of alone time. I think that’s enough for now, you’ll have to read my site to find out more about me!

Where is Tara

How and why did you get into traveling?

I’ve always been travelling really. My first long haul flight was from New Zealand to America for my Uncle’s wedding when I was two years old. Then it was New Zealand to England when I was three. I kind of grew up travelling. My mam never let having two kids stop her travelling, she always brought us somewhere. She is my greatest travel influence. She always told me stories about her life when she lived in San Francisco, Paris, New Zealand, England and Ireland. I knew I wanted to have stories like that to tell my future children. Special mention goes to Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, I spent years playing those computer and playstation games when I was growing up and she was just the most incredible role model to have. She made me believe that I could go out there, see the world and kick ass all at the same time.

I started travelling on my own when I was around 15 and never really stopped after that. For a period of three years, I lived in Devon in England, just working as a pharmacist and taking the occasional holiday. I ended up being very unhappy towards the end. I was worried about my mental health, I cried every day and some days I could barely get out of bed. So in 2014, I quit my job because I felt like I needed to start over and see if it made me any happier. I needed to create the life I wanted, so I had to take steps towards it. A lot of people think it was brave or crazy or reckless. But to me it just had to be done and there was no question about it. I didn’t prepare or get in shape, I wasn’t planning on climbing Everest or anything like that, hahaha. I was quite fit at the time anyway, so I was fine. You don’t NEED to be fit or skinny to travel. Travel will accept you and you will enjoy it no matter what shape or size you are.

Where is Tara

How do you prepare for your adventures and travels?

I think the more you travel, the less you feel the need to prepare. Nowadays, I can pack in about 30 minutes or less. I keep spares of toiletries in bags so I don’t need to think about packing them. Like I said before, you don’t NEED to physically prepare for travel in the fitness sense. If anything the mental preparation is more important. You need to understand that travel is tiring and that trying to see too much and do too much can burn you out. You need to understand that at some stage you will miss home, or people or things you can’t get while abroad and you’ll get fed up with it all. I learnt this pretty quickly. I always try and take a day off and just sit in the hotel, watch a movie, order food and just give myself time to recover.

I try not to plan my travels too far in advance. It really depends on what kind of a trip it is. For road trips, I just loosely decide where I might want to visit, book the first hotel and then see what happens after that. I like to have the luxury of being able to change my mind. I have a sort of never ending bucketlist in my head that I just try to tick off one trip at a time. That’s usually how I decide WHERE to go. You never know how long you have, so if there’s somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, just go.

Books-wise, I always have a John Connolly book with me. He is an Irish author and his detective series, “The Charlie Parker Series”, is absolutely incredible, and there’s so many of them. I think I’m on book number 8 now. That man has basically been stowing away in my suitcase for the past two years!

Where is Tara

How do you finance your travels?

Hahahaha, lord, I’m going to answer SOME of these questions because I genuinely have no idea how to answer the others. A lot of my travel is sponsored nowadays by tourism boards or travel companies. I’ve been on eight trips this year that were organised for me. However, I do my own travel also in between. My boyfriend works in Rwanda in Africa so usually, in order to see each other, we meet in some country or another and have a little holiday. We’ve done three of those this year I think.

I make most of my money from my website and brand ambassador style campaigns with companies. I prefer to work with great brands on a more long term basis instead of short, fleeting collaborations. And, of course, if/when I do a couple of pharmacy days that also helps.

I 100% spend more money on travelling than gear. I don’t have a lot of gear because I don’t want to have to carry it around with me. I use my phone for everything. I just recently got a proper tripod. I have a small octopus-style tripod, an underwater action camera that I only bring to places where I’ll be diving, and that’s about it really. Accommodation is always my biggest expense no matter where I go.

Where is Tara

Why is traveling important for you?

This world is huge. Why would anyone just want to see one little part of it? I have always loved the feeling of standing on top of a mountain with the wind blowing around me. It feels like freedom, like I’m really using your life, really using my body. Travelling makes me feel the same sort of way. Travelling reminds me of what is truly important to me in life, no matter what that is at the time. Travelling throws me together with people that I might never have spoken to. Travel forces me into situations that I otherwise might have avoided. Travel strips me down and gives me a chance to remember who I really am, what I really love. Travel reminds me that I am strong, capable and connected to everything around me. Travel shows me that life will forever find a way to surprise me. If I only get one life, then I want to spend my time truly exploring it.

Where is Tara

How do you bring your things with you?

I try to travel carry-on only. Usually, I’ll have one small suitcase or backpack and a handbag. The backpack I use is Cabin Zero, mainly because I love the size, shape and the bright colours of them. I mainly use it because it’s a soft bag so no one will ever make me check it in at the gate, unlike small suitcases. Every time I wear my galactic orange bag, people say things like, “Well, you won’t lose that bag”, because it’s so bright, which I love. I haven’t had a single problem with them so far. The design is simple and functional and they’re affordable. I’m not the kind of person who’s going to spend hundreds of pounds on a bag designed for the secret service or some crap like that. I don’t need it. Things tend to get too complicated as it is in life, I don’t need to over complicate my bag.

The small suitcase I use is just one I picked up from Primark for £15, but it does the job. I always try to leave room in my bags so that I can pick up souvenirs/gifts while I’m away.

Where is Tara

How do you organize things in your bags?

I used to use packing cubes all the time, and I still think they’re good if you’re going to be visiting a bunch of different climates, but I’ve stopped using them lately. I use a combination of layering and rolling when packing. I definitely am not OCD about it, I just see where everything fits as I go. I always keep my valuables in my carry on. I’m not a bag designer, and like I said, I don’t like to over complicate things, so I’m pretty happy with a bag looking nice and holding my belongings. That being said, I appreciate a padded laptop section.

If I was hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, I’d like a waterproof cover for my bag. Usually though I just bring a separate smaller waterproof/dry bag with me for swimming/snorkelling/boat trips.

Where is Tara

How do your bags and gear hold up?

I have recently replaced my favourite battered suitcase. I’d used duct tape to fix it up a few times. It lasted about six years, which was fair enough for an inexpensive case. All my Cabin Zero ones are alive and well without a scratch on them. Overall, I purposely don’t buy heavy gear, so no, nothing is too heavy, if it was I wouldn’t own it. This is A LOT of questions about my bags. Are we sure anyone is still going to be reading this?! hahah.

No. Honestly lads, my gear is grand. I would say though, to anyone starting out, you don’t need to buy all the newest, fancy bags, gear or boots going. Just pick up some cheap, function stuff at TK/TJ Maxx. Even Lidl and Aldi do great outdoor stuff. It’s a waste of money to buy all that expensive gear unless you’re planning on doing outdoor adventure sports for a living. I spent a year lugging around a huge backpack before I realized I hate huge backpacks and LOVE suitcases.

Where is Tara

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

Everyone always over packs in the beginning. If you are not 100% sure that you’ll wear it then don’t bring it. You have to absolutely love everything you pack, or you won’t use/wear it. Be brutal. I’ve gotten really good at this over the years but there were definitely a few times that I over packed! I don’t think I’ve ever under packed. I’m not 100% sure it’s possible, you can always buy whatever you forgot when you arrive anyway!

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

I love my little octopus tripod that I got in Primark for like €5. It was an absolutely ridiculous bargain and I use it all the time to take photos when there’s no one around to help me. Some of my best photos were taken using that thing and the timer on my camera phone. I recently got an iKross tripod from Amazon also and I’m so excited to start using it. It’s just so handy for getting great shots when you’re travelling solo. You can’t always rely on passers by to get a nice photo of you. Plus it keeps my videos steady instead of using my shaky hands. hahaha.

Where is Tara

What is your best advice for other travelers?

I would say that all you really need to travel is your passport, money, your phone (maybe) and a vague plan. Everything else can be bought when you get there. Oh, and always buy travel insurance, it could save you A LOT of money should anything happen. If you dream of travelling and haven’t taken the first yet, then I urge you to just book a trip. If you’re nervous or anxious just take a short trip, close to home, to get your confidence up. If you’re afraid of travelling alone then join a Facebook group for travelers, there’s so many out there, and organize to meet up with fellow travelers wherever you’re going.

Where is Tara

What will the future bring?

I’m on my way to Ibiza at the moment with Tui and I’ll be in France for a few days after that with the tourism board. Then I’m planning on heading to Derry in Northern Ireland around Halloween time to get into the spooky spirit of the season. Those are the only plans I have at the moment. I don’t like to plan too far in advance as I find that all the best opportunities come up relatively last minute. Gear-wise, it’s my birthday in November, so I might get myself a proper camera with actual lenses, etc. I have yet to decide on a make or model.

Visit Tara Povey on her website and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

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