For this edition of the “Love of Travel” series, we are very happy to introduce you to a globetrotting fellow blogger who is all about adventure and fun! Meg from “Mapping Megan” adventure travel blog is an inspiration and mentor to other bloggers in the industry, as well as running a top notch blog herself. We love her adventurous spirit and passion for travel. So without further ado, let’s get to know Meg!
We know that your first trip abroad was to Japan in High School, but that you didn’t get the “travel bug” until your Gap year when you traveled through the UK and Europe. What ultimately made you want to start a travel blog?
I’ve actually had a travel blog since 2007 – it used to be called “Where in the World is Megan Claire”, because apparently no one ever knew! I started this at the beginning of my Gap Year to keep everyone up to date on my whereabouts, though having been truly bitten by the travel bug, after I returned home I just kept traveling. The blog was a record or a personal travel journal if you will, for everyone back home, though it wasn’t until 2012 when I realized it had the potential to be so much more.
I was flying back to Australia from some time in the US and was seated next to a gentleman named Gary Arndt. General chit chat with the person next to you meant finding out he was a photographer, and that he had a blog. He began telling me how his blog allowed him to partner with companies who sent him all around the world to cover different destinations, and how he had been living off it for 5 years ever since selling his home. I was shocked and awed – I had never in my wildest dreams realized people blogged professionally. It was that which inspired me to create “Mapping Megan”, and turn my blog into a brand.
You focus a lot on Adventure travel. Were you always an adventurous child?
I was! We grew up in Tasmania, and with my 3 other siblings we would love heading out on hikes through the Tasmanian wilderness, climbing mountains, bike riding around the streets, horse riding – all of that fun stuff. As a kid i was always willing to do and try anything and everything at least once – a sense of fearless courage and enthusiasm for the outdoors and the world which now fuels my travels.
What has been your favorite experience that you have had so far while traveling. Where was it and what made it so special?
Summiting Mt Kilimanjaro will always come first, though snorkeling in the Galapagos and mountain biking “death road” in Bolivia also come close!
Climbing to the top of Kili is my favorite experience because I see it as my biggest achievement. I’m so proud that I managed to make it to the top and prove everyone wrong, as there were a large number of people who told me I wouldn’t make it. It was one of the most challenging experiences I have faced in my life – the first 6 days of the climb were difficult, but relatively easy in that it was straight walking with a little bit of dangerous rock climbing thrown in there. The final day, the summit climb, was what it came down to for me.
We rose at midnight for 6 hours of straight uphill climbing, and when I say uphill I mean at very close to a 90 degree angle kind of uphill. It very was physically draining, and we were suffering from the altitude (19,000 ft above sea level will do that to you!), however it was more draining mentally. You truly have to push yourself and stay focused and determined to get to the top. You have to keep putting one foot in front of the other when your body is screaming for you to stop. I cried when I finally made it to the top. Collapsed in a heap and couldn’t stop bawling, because it was truly one of the hardest things i’ve worked for in my life, and that overwhelming sense of incredible achievement is something I’ll never forget.
Growing up in Australia, what is one thing that you have discovered abroad that you wish you could take back with you? (food, animals, traditions, art, etc.)
All of the people I’ve met along the way. I see traveling as largely about the people. Sure, the places you go and the attractions you see are all phenomenal, and the food is always (sometimes!) great, though traveling is largely about the friendships and relationships you form with people and locals along the way.
What is one thing on your bucket list that you haven’t gotten to yet, but are dying to do as soon as you can get to it?
Antarctica. I’ve done a tonne of research on it, written destination guides from my obsessive online searching, and interviewed other travelers who have in fact been there. I can’t wait to get there myself! And if not Antarctica, then swimming with whale sharks off Western Australia is next on the list!
What can we expect to see on Mapping Megan in coming year?
A lot of content catchup from our most recent trip! We have just returned home to the States from 5 months of straight travel.
We hit up Costa Rica, Panama, peru, climbed Machu Picchu, did the Bolivian Amazon, jumped over to the Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Chile and Easter island, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, as well as Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Needless to say we haven’t managed to write about it all yet!
Who is Mapping Megan?
Megan is an Australian Journalist, and the founder and Senior Editor of Mapping Megan – an award-winning adventure travel blog bringing you the latest in adventure travel from all over the globe.
With the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure, Megan and husband Mike believe travel has the potential to inspire change in people, and in turn inspire change in the world. They embraced travel as a lifestyle in 2007, and are dedicated to documenting their journey and observations through entertaining, candid articles and brilliant photography.
Adrenalin junkies and incredibly active travellers, from mountain biking the most dangerous road in the world (Bolivia), to skydiving over the Swiss Alps and summiting Mt Kilimanjaro, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.
You can follow their journey on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram also.
* All photos were kindly provided by Meg from www.mappingmegan.com
We want to thank Megan for taking time out of her super busy schedule to chat with us! It seems like she always has something fun going on and we enjoy following along too. Be sure to check out her blog for the next adventure!