THE FOURTH INSTALLATION OF THE WANDERBELLE SERIES
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I hoped that with this series, I would find a way to encourage people to go out and see the word, live adventures and touch the stars that you read about in poetry. This series is for anyone who has a little bit of wanderlust in their heart and magic in their veins. Especially if you are a woman! I know that at least one woman’s story in my #WanderBelle series will inspire you to follow your dreams, your vision and most importantly your heart all across the globe xo.
Could you give us an introduction to yourself?
My name is Annie and I’m an Australian based Travel Influencer @anniesbucketlist and I travel the world with my fiancé @willsbucketlist. We photograph and review destinations, hotels and tours and share our experiences through our website www.wheretoflynext.com and Instagram.
Growing up I’ve always been a bit of a geek. I loved picking up all sorts of hobbies and I was intrigued by the rise of the internet and it became my hobby and creative outlet. I taught myself how to code and create blog layouts for other people to download and use on their blogs and one day I decided to start my own.
As time went on, my blog changed as my interests changed. I went through a phase of fun and practical home DIYs to beauty to fashion and now I’ve found my passion in travel.
Where did your interest for travel arise from?
A few years ago I met a wonderful group of friends and we started doing outdoor activities together. We began hiking together and we really enjoyed having a break from technology and just exploring the Sydney surrounds. The hikes started happening every weekend and after doing almost all the great hikes around the area, I just had a thirst to keep exploring more.
We all took a trip to New Zealand and explored the South Island in a little campervan where we embarked on back-to-back hikes and even skydived together. This really sparked something inside me, I realised there was so much of the world to see and I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life wondering what else was out there. I wanted to see it for myself.
Could you tell us how you met Will and your favourite experience travelling as a couple?
Will and I met a long time ago through a friend but we didn’t reconnect or speak to each other until a few years ago when I was determined to chase the Northern Lights. Will is a professional photographer and after seeing some of his work, I reached out to him for camera advice so I could make sure I can capture the Northern Lights when I head on my trip to Iceland.
I didn’t know it at the time, but Will had a shared fascination for chasing the aurora. He actually introduced me to the Southern Lights which could be seen right here in Australia – from Tasmania. Not long after, I booked a trip to Tasmania to chase the lights and Will came along too.
We bonded over this trip and continued to stay in touch when we returned home and here we are, happily engaged! Last year we even saw the Northern Lights in Iceland, together
How do you finance your trips and ensure you stay within budget?
I create content with various hotels and tour companies and Will and I also both have our own tricks and tips on how to travel for a small expense – this will all be shared on my IGTV channel soon!
How do you like to plan your trips?
The trips really depend on who we’re working with and the location of the hotel/tour. From here, we can see what is around the area and we research the best time to see things without the crowd.
How do you like to curate and take your photos?
Will works his magic behind the camera. He has a great eye for landscapes and photo composition. After that, I look after the photo editing (for my Instagram) and Will edits in his own style for other things. We both have very different editing styles so we like to edit separately.
Has there been a dreams bucket list trip you have taken which impacted you as a person or helped you grow as a person
Definitely. I think all of my trips have helped me grow as a person in some way. For the longest time I wanted to travel to places like Turkey but based on the limited information I knew about the people, culture and the political circumstances – I (unfortunately) was blinded by a misleading stereotype. After visiting Cappadocia, I fell in love with everything about the country, the people and the way of living. Will and I just had to make a return trip and a few months later we flew back to Turkey to explore Istanbul. Our perspective and appreciation of the world keep growing and growing and that’s why we love travelling.
Has there been any funny travel disasters which stick in your mind?
When we were in Egypt, our driver’s car was breaking down and we were on the way to the airport with all of our luggage in the car. The driver pulled over on the side of a dark highway and I was terrified we were going to be mugged or miss our next flight
What are your dreams and hopes for the future?
I hope to continue to inspire more people to discover the world and get outside of their comfort zones.