Life is not about living happily ever after, it’s about living. Diana Edelman brings us into her adventures as she travel solo and live as an expat. Keep in touch with her through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
First, tell us a quick background of who you are…
I am a travel writer and an expat living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I run the travel blog, d travels ’round which highlights my solo female travel experiences around the world, responsible tourism, tips on being an expat, destination features, travel tips, reviews and more. I am the co-founder of the weekly responsible tourism Twitter chat (every Wednesday at 6 p.m. GMT), #RTTC, and a regular contributor to Thought Catalog and have written for numerous print and online publications.
What inspired you to start your blog?
I have always loved writing. One night after I had returned from a holiday in Croatia, my mind was wild with stories I wanted to write down. So, I turned on the light, bought a domain name and just started typing. Of course, since then it has morphed into something I never would have imagined. But, that initial inspiration just came from wanting to get the words out of my brain and onto my screen.
What is it being an expat? How was your life as such?
An expat or expatriate, is someone who lives in a foreign country. I am an expat in Chiang Mai and volunteer for Save Elephant Foundation to raise awareness about responsible elephant tourism.
What motivates you to promote responsible tourism?
I know that people read what I write, and if my words can help make the world a better place, then I need to do it. So many people go into their travels without taking the time to research what it is they are supporting, which harms people, animals and the environment. If I can make an impact or influence just one person, then I am happy.
I noticed you are an animal lover, how does this influence you as a traveler?
I love to get involved with animals while traveling. I first came to Thailand as a volunteer at Elephant Nature Park and I fell in love, hence my move here.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of solo travel?
I love not having to answer to anyone, but at the same time, it forces me to really get to know me. I used to have a hard time with that, and I think others can face those same challenges. Today, I like to split it up a bit, do some solo travel and also travel with others. I love my “me” time but also want to share experiences with others.
What places have you visited so far?
I have visited a lot of places — pretty much all of Western and Central Europe, parts of Eastern Europe, Morocco, Israel, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar and more.
Of all the places you have traveled to, what was your favorite?
I don’t have just one! I love Spain, Israel, Berlin, Slovenia … so many!!
How do you fund your travels?
I work. All of the time. I make money from my blog and largely from freelance writing jobs.
Do you take advantage of airline credit cards to save on flights? If so, which card do you use?
I just signed up for Chase Sapphire a few months ago and went on a charging spree to get the miles.
What places are still in your bucket list?
I don’t have a “bucket list” but there are a lot of places I would like to visit all over the world. It’s a big list!
Do you have any major travel regrets?
Not traveling and living abroad sooner.
What is your advice to solo travelers out there?
See everything you can. Soak up the culture. Meet locals. Say “yes” more than you say “no” and get some good sleep every now and then.