Picture this: standing at the crater of Mount Bromo as it was erupting; the rumbling of the mountain, the ash falling from the sky. Rachel, a 29 year old travel blogger originally from Birmingham in the United Kingdom, is a lifelong volcano enthusiast. Understandably, she describes witnessing her first volacanic eruption as a truly unforgettable moment.
Read on to learn more about the woman behind The Imagination Trail and her mountainous past travels:
MM: Where was your first trip abroad?
R: I was lucky enough to go on a Girl Guide trip to Switzerland when I was 11 years old. I was completely enchanted by the mountains, valleys and glaciers. I still have the scrapbook I made to record my trip afterwards – I was evidently destined to become a travel blogger!
MM: Where is your favorite destination?
R: So far, it has to be Indonesia, where I’ve spent most of the past six weeks. I’ve been in Bali and Java and am heading to Sumatra next. I’ve always wanted to visit this country and it has completely lived up to expectations.
MM: What place is on top of your bucket list?
R: Hawaii. I want to camp in the Volcanoes National Park and see some molten lava; I’ve seen lots of volcanoes, but no lava action yet!
MM: Who is your favorite travel companion? What makes him/her so great?
R: As egotistic as it may sound, I would have to say myself! Traveling solo is my favourite way to go; I love the freedom of being able to decide what to do and where to go, without having to compromise on anything.
I’ve been travelling alone for almost three months now, through Japan, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia, and I love it. I make my own schedule and move on as quickly or slowly as I like, and can choose exactly what I want to see. There are lows of course; the worst thing about solo travel is when you get sick and there’s no one to look after you. Luckily it’s only happened a couple of times so far (touch wood!)! But there are plenty of highs. People ask me if I get lonely, but when you stay in hostels and spend your time in the common area rather than the dorm like I do, you’re rarely alone; there’s usually someone to chat to, and I’ve made friends with some wonderful people so far. For someone looking to travel alone for the first time, I’d suggest trying a short trip first – I’d done lots of one-week vacations solo before embarking on my current long-term trip – and staying in hostels where you’ll get to meet other travellers doing the same thing.
MM: What destination would you recommend for other females to visit?
R: I’d love for more solo female travellers to come to Indonesia and to explore further than Bali. Bali is wonderful – I adore Ubud, which feels almost like a kind of home to me – but there is so much to see on the other 18000 islands which make up the country too! My main reason for coming here was to see some volcanoes – I’ve been fascinated by them since childhood – and Java has some brilliant specimens; Mount Ijen, with its famous blue flame, and Mount Bromo, which I was able to witness erupting up close. The buses and trains are easy to work out and cheap to use, and Java has so much beautiful green scenery and rice fields to see on the way. You’ll attract a bit of attention – you’ll get lots of requests for selfies! – but it’s safe and the people are friendly. I can’t wait to head to Sumatra to see some more volcanoes, and orangutans, too.
MM: You’ve certainly inspired me to visit Indonesia and to add Mount Bromo to my list of must-sees. Your first photo is jaw dropping! Thank you for sharing!
Thanks again for taking time to share your story with us, Rachel. Safe travels!
xoxAnika @ Miss Maps