1) Hi Emily, and congratulations on being featured as a globelle gal in focus! Can you tell us where in the world we can currently find you?
Greetings, Globelles! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the kind words. I'm currently in New York City for a friend's birthday. I love this city so much, there's endless energy and inspiration wherever you go.
2) What inspired you to first start travelling?
I somehow fell into traveling and what a beautiful trip it has been. After college graduation, a friend brought up the idea of spending a year in Australia. I ended up going solo and spent 6 months living a simple life on the Sydney coast. I walked a dog, made jewelry, and worked at a restaurant with people from all over the world. Living in Australia revealed to me how huge the world was and how little I knew about it. I fell in love with backpacking culture and had to join in.
3) What's been your favourite place to visit, and why?
Ooh, that's a hard one. I'll tell you now that I'm back in the US, the feeling of visiting a friend's place after a year away is pretty hard to beat. In terms of away from home - New Zealand hits high on the list. I felt most alive in New Zealand. I was constantly left stunned by the morphing landscape and natural beauty the country offered. It definitely has the World's Best Road Trip.
4) What is the worst thing that's happened to you since being on the road? How did you deal with it?
For some reason all of my bad experiences have happened on public transportation. I barely made my plane to Sri Lanka. Once I got there, I was taking an overnight train across the country to the surf mecca of Arugam Bay. I was alone and had a little bunkroom to myself. A group of local guys got on my cart and saw that I was alone. All night they paced outside my room, lingering, catcalling, and knocking. At one point, one of the men tried to pick my lock. Surprisingly, I remained calm and alert: I used some extra string from my backpack to tie up the lock, because the alternative of freaking out wouldn't have helped. Luckily, I survived the journey, gave the guys a weird look getting off the train, and caught the first tuk-tuk out of there.
5) Obviously life on the road is about fewer possessions and more moments, but what is the one thing you can't travel without?
Love that question. My most prized possession is 100% my travel journal. That thing holds my life: my memories, doodles, poems, advice from strangers, maps not to scale, ideas, random lists. It's important to keep track of all the people, places, and things that affect you in life, not only when you travel.
6) Since being on the road, you’ve started a travel blog, WildBeachDog.com and created @3thingsthatmakemesmile, a happiness campaign that aims to help us all to stay present and appreciate life's little daily moments. What's inspired you to pursue these things? How have you pursued and developed these projects?
Ideas evolve as time passes and when you travel, especially alone, you have time to think them out. People who I met along the way inspired me to find what I am truly passionate about and inadvertently pushed me to delve deeper into my creative ideas.
I want to reveal to people the benefits of testing your limits, in big or small ways, and how escaping your routine can transform your life! To make this happen, I created WildBeachDog.com, a travel lifestyle blog focused around the idea of stepping out of your comfort zone and how to "discover life outside your cage.”
I have some sweet stuff coming up on there. WildBeachDog.com includes travel advice, an “Advice From A Stranger” section, and an array of inspiration for other's to start living life outside the dog house. It's like a normal travel blog but offers some really unique expressions of perspectives: via journal entries, stories from inspiring people I meet, poetry and art!
My other side project @3thingsthatmakesmesmile began in 2009, on a personal level. Check it out on Instagram! Every night, I take some time to think back on my day, taking note of 3 things that had a positive impact on me. I have notebooks full of things: morning walks with chirping birds, the process of sending a letter to a friend, perfect avocados and overcoming fears. For a year straight I designed an image to represent each day, made a website (www.3thingsthatmakemesmile.com) and started a social media campaign inviting people to join in.
The aim of @3thingsthatmakemesmile is to spread positivity and mindfulness. It’s such an easy way to become a more positive, happy person and remember that each day has value. I invite people to share their 3 Things on Instagram: hopefully when someone sees the post, it will act as a reminder to appreciate and look out for those little things in life that make a big difference.
7) You have a section on your travel blog, www.WildBeachDog.com, called Advice From a Stranger, what’s the best advice you’ve received?
I have a strange attraction towards strangers. I find it fascinating how everyone has a story to tell and always find myself partaking in random conversations with people so it’s hard to narrow it down to one.
One memorable man I met however was JLo, in Byron Bay. He stands out to me because I’m a big advocate of mindfulness. JLo was living in the bush between the beach and the train tracks. I was walking along the beach, it started to rain and I spotted his fire's smoke trail from the low green trees.
I had heard of the hippies living in the bush, in their own tent community, happy and simple so I cautiously walked down the dirt path to check it out. As I approached, a joyful dog welcomed me and eventually the barefooted boys did too. They offered me a seat by the fire and snacks.
JLo and I sat and chatted about his lifestyle, physics, and other tent communities nearby. I asked him for advice and this is what he told me: "Never brush your teeth with cheese, that's what my sister told me," he laughed and kept going, "Never forget yourself, no matter how far you travel on this planet you will never get lost as compared to the endless limits you can travel in your mind. So never forget yourself," he exclaimed, like he's said this many times before. "The mind is a never ending expense."
8) How would you say travelling has impacted your mind frame for how you can achieve all that you do on a daily basis?
After traveling, I've realized (with the help of others and their stories) that there's so many ways to life an alternative lifestyle. I've met the nonconformists: Hippies like JLo living in tents, digital nomads, people who choose homelessness, entrepreneurs, couples living in vans, mostly, people who choose happiness.
I have a friend who lives an extremely simple life. He doesn't make alot, but is the happiest, most positive minded person I know. Life doesn't have to be about making a lot of money or whether you have a fancy job title or not, it's about being 100% happy with yourself and your surroundings. I try to keep this in mind day to day and choose passion over profit. This in turn drives my desire to pursue what I believe in.
9) What do you hope to achieve one day through all of your hard work?
Well, I hope to watch my blog, WildBeachDog.com, grow and inspire others to escape their dog house and see the world. I envision a "3 Things That Make Me Smile" book and hopefully the social media campaign will positively affect millions.
I want my hard work to also enable me to complete my other goals: to make paintings, to take a bike trip down the Pacific Coast Highway, volunteer abroad, discover mermaids, and meet more strangers. My friends and I always said we would buy a school bus and do a cross country road trip in it, that'd be cool.
10) What does travelling mean to you?
Traveling isn't just about seeing new places; it's about discovering who you are, pushing your limits, getting to know how the world works outside your hometown. When you change your surroundings, you change yourself. You appreciate things in a new light. There would be these moments and I would just stop in awe, in silence, in disbelief of what’s in front of me. Travelling has changed the way I look at the world.
I truly believe traveling is the best thing you can do for yourself so hopefully WildBeachDog.com will inspire others to get out there and give it a try. Whether it’s a weekend camping trip, talking to a stranger in the grocery store line, or taking a year long trip around the world I invite you to “discover life outside your cage” - I promise it will make you a better person all around.
11) If you could offer one piece of advice to those travelling for the first time, either as part of a group or solo, what would it be?
My advice would to have an open mind and open eyes. Embrace each moment and go beyond your limits. Approach strangers, look for alternative routes, meet locals, cross boundaries. You'll get into funny life situations while traveling. Say yes to it.
My best experiences while traveling have been unexpected and unplanned: Working as a mate for a pirate/sailor through the Great Barrier Reef, volunteering at an orphanage in Cambodia painting a school mural, befriending a deaf man in Sri Lanka and teaching him to swim, hitchhiking, couchsurfing, naked bungy jumps. Anything that gets your blood running, is definitely worth doing.
12) And finally, how can girls get in touch with you, Wild Beach Dog, and get involved with @3thingsthatmakemesmile?
That's easy! For more of my travel advice and stories check out my travel blog www.wildbeachdog.com and follow on Instagram @wildbeachdog_.
While you’re there, head over to @3thingsthatmakemesmile on Instagram and push follow! I invite all Globelle Gals to join the social positivity campaign by posting and tagging your three things (or more) by hashtagging #3thingsthatmakemesmile - I love seeing what everyone’s 3 things are and get so excited by other's contribution. You and your three things could even be highlighted!
Thank you so much for this opportunity! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow me personally on Instagram @rathmaster or check out my design portfolio www.emilyrathmanner.com. Be happy, globelle gals, and enjoy today.