I travel a lot. And people see it on social media. So it’s only natural that they ask me questions about my travels when I catch up with them in person. I find though there are certain questions that I am often asked time and time again. Here are some of the questions I always get asked about travel.

Where is your favorite place that you’ve been?

My favorite country that I’ve visited is probably Colombia, my favorite place I’ve eaten in is Vietnam and Patagonia had some of my favorite scenery.

How did you fit everything in your carry-on suitcase?

I try to only travel with at most, a small backpack and a carry on suitcase. When I first started traveling I was not a very good packer at all. I knew nothing about how to dress properly, how to layer, how to physically pack things in my suitcase or how to be minimal. It has taken me ten years to become the expert packer than I am today. And even now sometimes I pack the wrong things. The only answer I have for this is that practice makes perfect. I am still learning every trip how I can pack even more efficiently. Read more about my packing tips here.

How do you pay for your travels?

I spent a year saving aggressively to travel. The year before I quit my job I was working a full-time job, selling off a lot of my belongings online and working extra freelance jobs on nights and weekends. I was bringing in at least $1,000 extra dollars every month outside of my regular salary that I put towards travel. I also cut way back on my spending in general, no shopping and much less eating and drinking out.

How much money do you need to travel for a year?

I think this is very personal for each person but I think $20,000-$40,000 depending on where you go/how cheap you are willing to travel. I have read that some people can do it with as little as $1,000 a month but I am not a super super cheap traveler, I’m more on the medium, sometimes medium-low end of the spending spectrum. I also recommend saving a little bit of a cushion for when you come back and need to get an apartment or have money while you are looking for a new job. Read more of my posts on money and travel here.

Isn’t it scary to travel alone?

Traveling alone is the most scary the very first day. After that I find that most fears go away. You just have to jump in. If you are nervous, I would try traveling alone on an easier trip first, either to a country where they speak the same language or somewhere that’s a little bit more touristy and easier to get around. I find the more that I travel the more at ease I’ve become every time I arrive somewhere new.

SEE ALSO: Feeling Safe in South America

How do you take photos of yourself when you’re traveling alone?

I either use a tripod (or find a camera perch) or ask a stranger to take my photo. When I ask a stranger to take my photo I always have them use my camera and not my iPhone. I’d rather lose my camera than my iPhone while I’m traveling. Also there’s an old rule that many people go by that you should ask someone with a nicer camera than you have to take your photo. It’s less likely they will try and steal it and they often end up taking a better photo.

Did you know the language? How did you get around not knowing?

The only language I speak fluently is English. I took high school French but that hasn’t helped me out very much except that it made it a little easier to learn Spanish. I took an intensive Spanish class in Peru and I can get by speaking very slowly and with very simple Spanish but there are still times when I get myself into conversations in Spanish and I have no idea what the other person is saying because of their accent or how fast they are speaking. There have been places where no one spoke any English and I have had to get by with the few broken words I knew or hand gestures and pointing. In most of Asia and Europe I have been fine traveling with just English. Nowadays there are also some amazing translating apps for your phone that you just speak into and it plays out the same sentence in another language.

Did you miss home or your job?

Although I don’t hate my line of work (web design) I don’t really miss it that much when I’m away because travel is something that I love so much. I do miss the people and the conveniences of home.

Are you going to stop soon?

I don’t think I will ever stop traveling but I might not travel as aggressively as I’ve traveled the past year every year.

Where to next?

I’m not sure yet! I do have my sights set on Morocco, Australia and maybe returning to South America!

photo: Valeria Duque