#FBF: Followback Friday is a weekly interview series where we get real with some of our favorite travel influencers. We want to learn what makes them tick, their best tips and tricks, and share stories of (mis)adventures from the road.
Born and raised in Ohio, Amanda Williams is one of the first to admit there’s not always a whole lot going on in the Midwest. It’s probably why she fell in love with travel. Just like that her blog, A Dangerous Business, was born. Since her first major trip in 2005, Amanda has been to more than six continents and journeyed to more than 45 countries. Along the way, she shares epic Instagram pics and doles out tips, tricks, and hacks to her readers on the reg. She agreed to short interview shortly before she left to explore Great Britain and Russia so we could learn more about her best travel tips and favorite adventures around the globe.
How did you come up with the name A Dangerous Business?
The name is from a quote I really like. The quote is from “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien and goes like this: “It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
It seems like you’re always on the road, but you’re actually a big advocate for maintaining a normal work schedule to fuel your travels. How often do you travel? And, do you have a home base?I do actually have a home base — I have a lease and a car, a boyfriend and a cat at home in Ohio. I still travel quite a bit, though — this year it’s been at least once per month (and sometimes more)!
Where is the first place you visited abroad? Have you revisited it since?
The first place I visited with a passport was New Zealand. I went in 2005 right after I graduated high school and I absolutely fell in love. I’ve been back every three years since, and even studied abroad there during college. I’m already starting to plan my 2017 trip!
What’s the best travel advice you have ever received? How do you apply it to your travels?I think the best advice is to just DO IT. (So I guess that’s really a Nike slogan.) There are so many things that can keep us from traveling — fear, uncertainty, guilt. But I firmly believe that if you are lucky enough to have the means to travel (because travel IS a privilege, remember), and you want to travel, then the only thing to do is get out there and do it. Once you make travel a priority in your life, the rest will follow.
We love that you maintain a transparency with your readers and list out your packing lists for various trips. Do you have any packing hacks?
I don’t think I have any packing hacks beyond the “usual” ones. You know, like color-coordinating clothing items so you can mix and match outfits and pack less clothes, and setting out everything you think you want to take and then putting half of it back. I also swear by rolling my clothes and using packing cubes!
Functionality aside, what’s an item you refuse to leave home without while you’re on the road?Beyond the usual blogger accoutrement (you know, laptop, camera, phone, chargers), I rarely go anywhere without a packet of ginger candies! They are great for settling your stomach after a big meal or perhaps during a really stressful travel day.
You have a pretty extensive bucket list available on your website. What’s been your most favorite travel adventure you’ve tried so far?
That’s so impossible to say! Seeing the Northern Lights has definitely been a highlight (both in Canada and Norway), as was going on a safari in Africa earlier this year. But there have been so many great moments! Going to Christmas markets in Europe, volunteering with elephants in Thailand, road tripping across the US…
Are you planning to cross off any other major bucket list items this year?
I don’t *think* so, but you never know! Thought I’ll be going to Russia for the first time in a couple of months, so I suppose I can cross seeing Red Square off the list then! (Editor’s note: This interview was conducted before Amanda left for Russia. She’s just returned and did indeed cross off Red Square!)