#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.
Sabrina Iovino says Google Translate is one of her best friends and most trusted allies while she’s on the road. It’s easy to see why. In the past year alone she’s visited countries on four different continents. That's not unusual for her though. Founder of Just One Way Ticket, Sabrina — or Sab — has been traveling nearly nonstop since 2008. Lately, however, she’s decided to slow down the dizzying pace in favor of a more relaxed travel style. She’s still exploring, but she’s taking time to smell the roses, so to speak. She recently shared with us some of her favorite memories, countries, and tips from her years of experience on the road.
You’ve been traveling full-time for a while now. What made you decide to set out on a never-ending adventure?
I’ve always been restless and living at one place did never satisfy me. I was obsessed with traveling, so there was no other way than turning this obsession into a job. Becoming a travel blogger was one of the best decisions I ever made.
How would you describe your travel style? How has it changed since you first began traveling?
I’m traveling slower now or have breaks in between, I can’t do the constant travel anymore. My blog is a full-time job and I dedicate a lot of my time to it. In the past years I lived in Turkey, the Philippines, South Africa and Thailand. I need a place to get work done, to rest, but also to leave my stuff.
How did you get into travel blogging and writing?
Well, after traveling for three years my friends saw in me some kind of travel expert and kept asking me for advice and plan their itineraries. I realized that I was writing the same things over and over again. So I thought why not writing travel guides and help more people than just your friends? When I found out that people were actually making money with their travel blogs, I knew I had found my new profession.
What’s the hardest part of life as a nomad? What are some of the perks?
To run a successful online business while traveling, and to motivate yourself every day to get work done. But it’s very easy if your love your job.
Some of the perks that come with being a travel blogger are the travel opportunities that come up. Last month I traveled to Namibia, before that I was 10 days in an Ayurvedic Retreat in Bali. You get to experience amazing places which you would have possibly never thought of…
Do you think you’ll ever settle down in one place? If so, where?Above all, I think Asia is where I feel home the most. I like the idea of having different home bases around the world. I actually founded a group on Facebook called “Home Swaps For Digital Nomads Around The World” because I think it’s very tempting to change every couple month your location without giving up your current apartment. Right now I’m getting ready to move to Bangkok for a while, but I’m hoping I can swap my flat with other digital nomads for certain periods. That would be awesome.
What are your top three countries for newbie travelers to visit?
Philippines, Japan and Namibia.
- Philippines for its wonderful people and breathtaking beaches.
- Japan because it’s a cyber world, a completely different world. Bizarre and fascinating.
- And Namibia because it’s like a trip to the moon. Endless desert panoramas, but also you can do safaris there and possibly see the Big Five.
What’s the best travel advice you’ve ever received? How do you apply it to your own experiences?
Go out and meet the locals, rather than hanging out with fellow backpackers. That’s the best way to experience a new culture and understand how the world works on the other side of the world.
What are your top five travel adventures to date?
There are so many, but these ones just come up in my head:
- Swimming with turtles in the Philippines
- Bathing with an elephant in Phuket
- Witnessing the endless horizons in Namibia
- Going on safari in South Africa and seeing lions for the first time in my life
- Meeting a family that lives in abandoned airplanes in Bangkok
Any cool trips coming up in the future?
2016 was a tough year and I’m kinda burned out from traveling to four different continents. I canceled all trips for the rest of the year. Now I’m working on redesigning my blog and other stuff that’s been on my to-do list for a long time. More exciting trips are coming up in 2017 for sure, and I hope I can see at least one place from my bucket list. That would be amazing.