1. Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and your blog?
Hello Faretrotter readers! I am Angela and I run the travel and lifestyle blog Destination Drifter. I grew up in Seattle and the beautiful Pacific Northwest but am currently based in sunny Los Angeles. In a few months I will be finishing my degree at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. When I am not working on school work I can be found globetrotting, networking, and of course blogging.
Destination Drifter was created to inspire and guide other travelers throughout the world. Articles primarily focus on city guides, travel tips, as well as how to keep looking chic and put together while on the road. The blog is targeted to readers who want authentic travel experiences.
2. What motivated you to get into blogging? And why specifically travel blogging?
I have been following fashion blogs since I was young and had found that most of the free time I was spending on the computer was spent reading articles on blogs and watching travel vlogs. I found so many great travel tips through travel blogs and Youtube channels that are not in most guidebooks.
Travel has always been a huge passion of mine, specifically going beyond the common ‘tourist’ attractions and trying to get authentic experiences in each culture. I really wanted to be able to share those experiences with others and inspire people to see the world. I am very interested in lifestyle design and my education and career backgrounds are in fashion, business, and marketing so starting a blog to be able to share my experiences seemed like a clear choice.
3. You recently took a trip to Europe. Which countries and cities did you visit? What were your favorite spots?
I started my journey in Oslo, Norway. From there, I flew to Dublin and took an unexpected trip up to Northern Ireland to see the coast and have a quick tour of Belfast. After Dublin I continued on to London and spent two weeks in England. I stayed in a cute seaside town in Kent called Herne Bay and also went up to Ipswich, Oxford, and took a day trip to Stonehenge. Out of London I took the Eurostar down to Paris where I spent a week exploring the City of Lights. From there I traveled to Chamonix in the French Alps and over to Geneva in Switzerland.
After Geneva I visited the mountain village of Interlaken where I went hang gliding, paragliding, and explored the nearby villages of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. Beautiful Lucerne was the next stop on my Swiss journey followed by Zurich. After Zurich I went up to Füssen, Germany to see the Neuschwanstein castle. Of course while in Bavaria I had to go up to Munich and drink at a proper biergarten. Vienna was next on the list, followed by the crumbling fairytale village of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic and ending in Prague.
It is so hard to pick favorites! I truly fell in love with the picturesque mountain villages of Switzerland and also the entire Czech Republic.
4. What is your preferred mode of transportation? What is your favorite for European travel?
For longer distances I primarily used trains and planes. Within the cities I used their public transportation which was usually subways, trams, or buses. A few friends I stayed with had cars so we did a few smaller road trips within the country. I also took coach buses a couple times between cities.
I would have to say my favorite method is by train. The European train system is so well set up that practically anywhere can be reached in just a few hours. There were even stops in the complete middle of nowhere. Not to mention traveling by train allows you to see the beautiful European countryside that you would miss by plane and can’t be observed from the freeways.
5. Which apps/websites did you use to plan your trip?
Of course Faretrotter! Also I used the Rail Planner Eurail app as I had a Eurail pass. I had a Swiss Pass while in Switzerland and was using the website Sbb.ch to look up trains. This website was great because they not only showed times and what type of train you will be riding on but also the expected occupancy for different times which made it easier to avoid rush hours.
Downloading cities for offline use on Google Maps was probably the most important thing I did before my my trip and saved me from getting lost more times than I could count. For accommodations I primarily relied on Hostel World, Couchsurfing, and Lastminute.com. I also would not have been able to survive without WhatsApp to talk with Couchsurfing hosts and others involved in my trip.
6. What are your “go to” travel accessories and technology?
My go-to technology is my Olympus Pen epl7 camera. I take it everywhere with me and it has captured so many of my favorite moments. A GoPro is also essential for capturing action shots, I use the GoPro Hero 4 Silver. In order to keep these as well as any other technology I have charged I absolutely always keep a portable charger with me when traveling.
For accessories, I always have a passport case to keep my passport from getting damaged. A cute and durable water bottle is also important to bring anywhere, especially when traveling in the warmer months. I would also never leave without a watch.
7. Any memorable travel experiences that you would like to share?
There have been so many incredible travel memories! A few of my favorite most recent memories were in Canada, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. A couple weeks ago in Banff Nation Park in Alberta I rock climbed the Via Ferrata on Mt. Norquay. It was utterly terrifying but the view from the top was breathtaking. In Interlaken, Switzerland I made friends with a group of hanggliders and paragliders and got the opportunity to paraglide off a mountain and above the village and lake. In Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic I met a group of Czech artists who showed me a secret lookout above the village. We brought up a bottle of wine one night and talked for hours while listening to the live Latin music that was being played at a festival in the village down below.