Quick 6 with Chris and Heather of abritandasoutherner.com

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One of the first blogs that got us interested in sharing our own stories was this one. It was a post about a stadium tour in Spain and, having recently toured the famous Anfield Football ground in Liverpool ourselves, I was immediately drawn in.

By the end of the article I was determined to experience it myself. And that’s what good travel writing is meant to do.

After reading a lot more of Chris and Heather’s blog I had not only grown to look forward to reading their next post but also found a lot of similarities in our travel styles, motivation and travel philosophy. They are definitely also Living la Vida Global… one short trip at a time.

Chris is the Brit in this partnership, originally from Manchester while Heather is the Southerner from Arkansas, the place they now call home base.

We appreciate them taking the time to answer our questions and I hope they inspire you as they have us.

What experience made you fall in love with travel?

Great question! We both have a very inquisitive mind and desire to learn about different cultures around the world. There is nothing quite like broadening your horizons by traveling the globe and having a myriad of amazing experiences that you would never have if you stayed in one spot.

I (Chris) moved to the States in 2006 on a golf scholarship and honestly felt like I hadn’t traveled anywhere except for within the UK. I felt like I suffered from a deprived childhood, as for family vacations we would stay inside the UK. I later realized that 99.9% of people had the same experience but I think that alone gave me the inspiration and desire to want to explore more.

Heather apparently had a similar upbringing so when we both ventured on our travels for the first time, ironically back to England to meet my family, our “wanderlust” was well and truly underway!

What made you decide to share your adventures online?

Our travel blog started solely as a medium to document our travels and allow our friends and family to follow along with us. We quickly found out to our surprise that people from all corners of the globe were following our adventures. Not only did we have the travel bug but also the proverbial “blogging” bug!

Whether it was through our latest blog post or through a simple social media update, our desire to inspire others as always been a crucial component in our travel blogging philosophy.

Our tagline is “exploring the world one weekend at a time” and if we can continue to inspire others with similar 8-5 jobs to still travel the world, we will have achieved our blogging goals!

Where did you go furthest outside your comfort zone and what happened?

Our first visit to Asia saw us head to the United Arab Emirates in December 2016. I have to admit that we were both a little unsure as to what to expect, particularly Heather who had read a number of reviews about what females should expect in predominantly Muslim nations.

We traveled with an open mind and our fears soon disappeared when we arrived in Abu Dhabi and traveled to Dubai. This was an amazing country and staying at the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai, we were well and truly treated like royalty. I think it’s critical to travel outside of your own comfort zone and be prepared to embrace the local culture. Don’t ever expect to visit a new destination and “assume” that it will be like home. That’s the beauty of travel and exploring all corners of the globe.

What advice would you give someone that is worried about expanding their own travel comfort zone?

Our best advice would be to start slowly and visit countries around the world that may have similar norms to what you are used to. However, if you are ready to just get out there and explore outside of your comfort zone…GO FOR IT!

I touched on this in the last question but just allow yourself to embrace the local society. Try to head ‘off the beaten path’ (be sure to stay safe of course!) for a truly local experience. The moment you get away from the tourist traps this will be when you really have the opportunity to experience how locals live from day to day.

Ultimately you have to be flexible and adapt to the local culture. The moment you allow yourselves to do this, you will have an amazing experience and will likely be ready to book a return trip!

What is the first thing you want to do when you visit somewhere new?

EXPLORE!!! The moment we land at the airport, I am ready to drop our bags at the hotel and start exploring. Heather is a little more organized whereas I prefer to just let spontaneity take over and start walking around finding some hidden gems.

Whether we are looking for a local restaurant to sample fine cuisine or heading to an iconic tourist attraction in the destination, we just love to get out and explore.

Given that many of our travels are experienced over weekends (or long weekends), we try to make the most of our time and use the philosophy that we can sleep when we get home! Don’t waste all of your time in a hotel room, though of course this can be incredibly difficult if you are staying in a luxurious accommodation somewhere.

If you were given an open ticket to travel, what would be your destination?

This is a really tough question because there are so many places we want to visit! I would have to say Antarctica simply because it’s so expensive to visit and out of the seven continents, it’s the most remote and hardest to experience.

I have seen a lot of awesome videos and content recently on this beautiful destination and can only imagine what it’s like taking a cruise through the glaciers and having the opportunity to see penguins and other wildlife in their natural habitat. This is 100% a bucket list destination!

Follow along with Chris and Heather on their website, on Twitter or on Facebook.

Were you inspired by these answers? Leave a comment below.

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