Meet the Gypsies : Heather of the Conversant Traveller

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Meet the Gypsies : Heather of the Conversant Traveller

1.  Who are you?  Where are you from?  Where are you now?

I’m the Conversant Traveller, although most people call me Heather (amongst other things). I’m an English lass with a day job, a mortgage, a long suffering hubbie and a passport full of stamps. Right now I’m at home putting off unpacking as we’ve just returned from hot air ballooning in Turkey.

2.  What’s your packing strategy?  Heavy or light packer?  Suitcase or backpacker?

Strategy? What’s that? Hubbie is the organised packer in our house, I’m not allowed near the car when he’s packing for a road trip, which suits me fine. I used to be a backpacker before discovering the joys of suitcase travel and haven’t looked back. Our cases have been all over the world, from the sand dunes of the Sahara to the cobbled streets of Rome. Mine is usually crammed with clothes I never end up wearing, and hubbie’s is full of cameras.

3.  How do you afford your travels?  Budget traveler or lean more towards luxury?

Hubbie and I both work full time and after paying the bills pretty much all our money goes on holidays rather than nights out and expensive gadgets. Travel always comes first – once we even took a mortgage holiday so we could spend a year doing lots of big trips, and don’t regret a moment of it! By ditching our well-used backpacks we’ve also left behind the backpacker style travel but feel we’ve earned the right to a bit of luxury now and again. I won’t even consider a room that isn’t en-suite (unless it’s part of the experience e.g. camping) and hubbie likes his huge buffet breakfasts. On a month long trip we’ll stay at mid-range places with a 5* splurge at the end (although in recent years this splurge has been making an appearance during all stages of the trip!).

4.  If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?

The Arctic Circle in Finland to see the Northern Lights and to stay in a little log cabin in the wilderness.

5.  Is there anywhere you won’t travel to and why?

China. Because I disagree with their human rights and their politics. And I’m not good with crowds.

6.  As a fellow photography lover, what would you say are must-haves for a traveler?

We have to cut down on our clothes (well hubbie does) just so we can fit in our 3 cameras and associated parafernalia. Even more important than clean pants! We never travel without light filters and lens hoods – a godsend in the bright sunny places we tend to frequent. And lots of memory cards – we took over 3000 pictures in just 8 days in Turkey last week!

7.  How do you balance working full-time and traveling?

We have generous holiday allowances and by working overtime we build up even more. Time off has to be booked a year in advance for hubbie’s job so we have to choose the destination according to where the weather is good at that particular time of year.

8.  What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve eaten?

Guinea pig in Peru. Delicious if a lot of effort for little reward! And the claws are used as toothpicks.

9.  What’s the #1 item on your bucket list?

To see a volcano erupt.

10.  In terms of traveling, are you a planner and researcher or more of a spontaneous traveler?

Definitely a planner…I spend months (sometimes longer!) researching a trip so that we make the most of our time there. I couldn’t bear to return home to realise we’d missed something spectacular that was just around the corner. This year however we’re trying spontaneous travel to see what it’s all about, and already have ‘unplanned’ yet successful trips to Turkey and Scotland under our belts.

11.  Most importantly, where to next?

Well, since it’s our spontaneous travel year we’re not sure yet…You’ll just have to read my blog to find out 🙂

Where to Find Heather…

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Corinne

    Another great interview…I love the toothpicks….screeech!

  2. Heather Cole

    Wow, thanks Ashley, really chuffed to be featured as one of your gypsies. It’s a great way to get to know other travellers 🙂

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