1) Hi Ruby, and congratulations on being featured as a globelle gal in focus! Can you tell us where in the world we can currently find you?
I’m currently in Melbourne, sitting with you! (HQ: We had the pleasure of catching up with Ruby at Barry Café, Northcote. There was OJ, Eggs & all of the Coffee.)
2) What inspired you to first start travelling?
I’d like to say boredom and a lack of satisfaction with my life, but I feel that doesn’t do justice to my inherent desire to see this incredible earth that beforehand, I had only ever seen on screen or in magazines. I was convinced that travel was what I had to do because earth was my home. I’m very much a world without borders chick.
In my immediate social circle I was the first one who was going travelling- travelling in the solo, self funded kind of way. I had no online connections to travellers, I had simply heard stories. So in that way I can’t say that I was inspired by a particular person- maybe I was inspired by the books I had ready and the stories that had trickled through conversations in social circles. Regardless, I felt a burning desire.
3) What's been your favourite place to visit, and why?
Definitely Switzerland. Hiking the mountains was such an overwhelmingly beautiful and spiritual experience. I found that the simplicity of the architecture and the gardens were a seemingly humble response to the vastness and the beauty of its landscape.
I definitely left a big part of my heart there.
4) Who would you say has been the most influential person to your travels, and why?
Given that I wasn’t inspired by a particular person, can I say ‘’God’? Big G, little g ‘god’, or Mother Nature or a Higher Being? I feel that by continually appreciating the incredible diversity on this little blue ball I’ve found a way of becoming more connected to an entity that inspires my existence. I feel my experiences reflect my understanding of the world, and it encourages me to see more.
5) What is the worst thing that's happened to you since being on the road? How did you deal with it?
I had one week of a deep, dark depression. My sleeping pattern was all over the place. I wouldn’t get into bed until I saw the morning light. I hadn’t seen sun in weeks (I had been living in the Dutch winter for a few months) and I lost energy. By the time I slept, I was overwhelmed with nightmares. I was missing home and my boyfriend at the time who I hadn’t seen in 6 months. I wasn’t eating and had lost weight. It was only thanks to the incredible friends I made whilst on my travels there that pulled me out of my slump, got me back onto my bike and into real life again.
I think in situations like that it’s hard to pull yourself out, especially if you’re alone and in a hostel of strangers. No one wants to be friends with the ‘sad guy’. It’s important to remember who you were before you jumped on the first plane- your excitement, how hard you worked to save your pennies, how much you’re going to #throwback this country on your Instagram when you get back. I’ve found writing it all out in a journal helps too- because sometimes your friends at home struggle to listen to the ‘woe is me and my homesickness’ when you’re gallivanting in the beauty of a foreign land. Hold tight and you’ll pull through!
(HQ: If you're struggling with depression on the road, we'd also recommend having a look at https://www.beyondblue.org.au/. Like Ruby says, it's important to reach out for help from those around you!)
6) Obviously life on the road is about fewer possessions and more moments, but what is the one thing you can't travel without?
Definitely my books- or a kindle (I am a recent convert). There is nothing I love more than crawling under the scratchy sheets in a hostel dorm of 40 and reading until I fall asleep. It brings me great comfort.
7) Since being on the road, you've started Make it Yourself (MIY) through your blog RubyClaire. What inspired you to do this?
We live in the most photographed generation of all time, and our photos are very much constricted to cyberspace. I wanted to build a platform to encourage young women to print out their photos, instagrams, selfies, screenshots and to write the stories behind them. To make something tangible for themselves or their friends, to document a travel experience, a road trip or a segment of their daily lives.
8) What does the e-course hope to achieve, and how?
I have been active in the papercraft industry for about 7 years, and have seen the overwhelming amount of resources on websites such as Pinterest. But I feel that it’s lost its accessibility, it’s removed the joy in some aspects of being creative in a community. I am hoping that this ecourse encourages young creatives to get connected, and challenges them to write down their stories- for they are meaningful and worth documenting!
As well as this, e-course participants will, across 4 weeks of HD videos and tutorials, come away with an interactive book of photos and textures, with techniques and product knowledge that they can take further in other creative media.
9) How does MIY fit into your day-to-day life?
I definitely am very intentional with how I fit this dream into my schedule. I work full time and also juggle a post-graduate degree full time too. I love travelling, which is why I push myself to earn money while studying.
My advice would be to make the most of whatever free time you find yourself with. For instance, It takes me two hours to get to work, so that is an excellent time to sketch up my ideas and my dreams. The e-course has taken a significant portion of me time, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm a big believer that you can find a way to make shit happen if you’re passionate about it (HQ: Preach!). Mind map it out and work your arse off to get there!
10) What does travelling mean to you?
For me, travelling enhances my human experience. The people that I meet and the conversations we have on a foreign beach or by a fire or in a hostel’s pub- they challenge me to become more self aware and to gain a richer understanding of what human connection is and our place in this world.
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?
You know, I think so many travel blogs out there make it seem easy. They make travelling seem pain free and relaxing and instagram-worthy all the time. The reality is that it isn’t. Jumping on the plane for the first time is terrifying, running out of money should make your nervous, sometimes you get in situations that are dangerous. But that’s what makes it a crazy adventure, that’s where you learn about your strengths and weaknesses, that’s why you’ll keep coming back for more. You can’t prepare for it, but it will be glorious.
12) And finally, how can girls get in touch with you and sign up to the e-course?
My email address is open to any globelle girl who needs advice or assistance or a friend. So definitely message me there: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want more information about the course and how to register, check out http://rubyclaire.com.au/miyminibook
If you buy a kit and mention GT in the comments, I’ll chuck in a heap of extra materials for you.