Megan Jerrard is an Australian Journalist and the founder and Senior Editor of Mapping Megan, an award-winning travel blog bringing you the latest in adventure travel from all over the globe. At 29 she has lived a life full of more adventure than most people dream of – having skydived over the Swiss Alps, walked among the mighty Elephants of Africa, and summited the highest free-standing mountain in the world (Kilimanjaro).
Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.
So let’s find out how Meg answers our questions.
What experience made you fall in love with travel?
On reflecting back, I can’t actually pinpoint this to one specific experience. But I started traveling for the adventure, adrenaline and excitement. And it didn’t take me long to realize I wanted to see the world in living color as opposed to watching it on a television screen. I wanted to actually feel, taste and experience the world instead of settling for the version I was reading in books.
As I started traveling I found myself thrust into new environments, immersed in entirely new cultures, hearing the English language spoken with an unfamiliar accent; and I realized this feeling of new discovery was what I wanted out of life.
I quickly learned that it’s a completely different experience to journey to the Pyramids of Giza than to watch it on a History Channel documentary. It’s a completely different emotion to watch the sun set over the African Plains while on safari than it is to see someone else’s photo and think “wow!”
What made you decide to share your adventures online?
I’ve always had a passion for writing, so I began keeping a personal travel blog as a way to express myself, and a way to document my travels – somewhat of an online diary which I could look back on in the future and remember my trips.
Then technology revolutionized the world, and people began making money online, so I kept uploading my adventures as I had been, though started marketing my content as a professional brand instead of a hobby blog.
Where did you go furthest outside your comfort zone and what happened?
Skydiving in Switzerland was my first taste of extreme sports, and at the time, this was a huge leap out of my comfort zone. But despite my stomach full of nerves, I allowed myself to be strapped to a stranger, and watched as those in front of me positioned themselves on the edge of the plane’s open door and tumbled out one by one.
Before I knew it, I was freefalling through some of the most amazing scenery in the world at 125 miles per hour towards the ground!! But for the initial terror, this quickly gave way to an intense and exhilarating burst of adrenaline.
I was buzzing once I finally found myself on solid ground. This adrenaline rush, the one that comes from stepping out of your comfort zone, is better than any feeling on earth. And it’s addictive. That day I vowed that I would spend the rest of my life pushing my own boundaries.
What advice would you give someone that is worried about expanding their own travel comfort zone?
Just go!! Sounds like straightforward advice right? You would be surprised by how many people don’t travel or live the life of their dreams because of fear, the unknown, or just never getting around to it.
I try to live by the notion that twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do. I personally don’t want to look back and wonder where my life went. More often than not the only thing, which is holding you back, is you. So just go!
What is the first thing you want to do when you visit somewhere new?
Get lost! Wandering throughout local neighborhoods is a great way to familiarize yourself with the area, and get a feel for the destination.
If you were given an open ticket to travel, what would be your destination?
The moon – which shouldn’t be as far fetched as it sounds! I believe the first commercial flights are launching later in the year, and I would jump at the opportunity to be the first travel blogger in outerspace!!
Were you inspired by these answers? Leave a comment below.