Talk time: 11.30am, Sunday, March 10, 2013.
Talk title: Solo travel: The good, the bad and the bumping uglies.
Speaker’s name: Toni White
Why do you love to travel?
Seriously? What’s not to love about it? Except the snoring and/or drunk assholes in the dorm, the touts that will stop at nothing to rip you off and the other backpackers who really are judgmental, narrow-minded wasters? Okay, rant over. It’s the people you meet in your dorms and the connections you make with them when you hear their stories. It’s the genuine touches of sincerity you experience from local people when you’re in trouble. And it’s the sex. Because truly, there’s nothing better than sharing such an intimate and sweaty moment when you’re at the happiest you could be in life.
What was your favourite destination last year and why?
Unfortunately I didn’t have an opportunity to travel widely last year as I’m saving up for the indefinite trip this year but even when I travel, Devon (my home) is still one of the most beautiful places in the world nevermind the UK. There’s a reason I am addicted to the coast and water when I travel and can only spend a few days at a time in the city. When it’s sunny, there is nothing better than going for a walk along the beach or the hills realising how pretty awesome your home is!
Name two up-and-coming destinations for 2013 and why.
South Africa. People are waking up to the fact that it’s a country that has a little of everything. If you want to go on safari, it has many national parks and private reserves to quench your thirst such as Kruger National Park. If you want culture you can take a tour of a township or village or visit historical places such as Robben Island to learn about Nelson Mandela. And if you want adventure you can throw yourself off Table Mountain (in several different forms) or cage dive with Jaws. Why wouldn’t you want to visit the country that has it all?
China. As travellers we are getting more adventurous in terms of pushing our personal boundaries and wanting culture and China has it. Personally the visa process scared the shit out of me so I missed out a couple of days in China and went to Hong Kong instead but for those brave enough to enter, it is a country that is beginning to change. It’s beginning to open up to the realisation that tourists means big money and therefore attitudes are changing and more of the country is welcoming tourists. Now is the time to go and see the beginning of the changes for yourself!
If you could return to any country you’ve been to, what would it be and why?
I’m going to cheat and say the whole of sub-Sahara Africa because asking me to chose a particular country to return to is like asking Kim Kardashian to keep her clothes on; impossible! It really is such an under-rated part of the world mainly due to stereotypes and media-fear when really it is full of incredible people, outstanding beauty and heart-melting wildlife; you couldn’t ask for anything better
What’s the one thing you can’t travel without and why?
My journal. Sure I write my blog and I can talk for my country but there’s nothing quite like cracking the old pen and paper journal out and writing down the deepest feelings of your travels for your eyes only and then months, or years later, being able to look back and see how far you’ve come on your physical and emotional journey.
Give us an overview of what you’ll be discussing at the TNT Travel Show:
With particularly emphasis on Asia and Africa travel, I’ll be talking about everything a solo traveller (girl or guy) needs to know about their travels. What it means in terms of budget, how you great and how shit it can make you feel and making those all important friendships and sexual connections along the way.
Who will find your talk relevant?
Girl, guy, alien or zombie, the talk is for anyone considering solo travel (or someone at the beginning of their journey) who needs a little encouragement to go out into the world and kick some adventurous butt! Failing that, everyone who loves travel that appreciates honesty, humour and people telling it like it is.