Brenna Holeman & Her Battered Suitcase

Brenna Pink Photo in India

Not everyone in this world gets to travel and experience the the people, the places and the culture of a different country. All Brenna Holeman has ever wanted to do is travel. After 7 nomadic years and 80-something countries, she is currently living in London and fulfilling her other dream of becoming a writer.

If she is not not travelling, she will be writing about it, either for her blog, her job, or her Master’s degree. Brenna firmly believes there is adventure everywhere, so long as you keep your eyes (and your mind, and your heart) open. Brenna is  founder of  the blog This Battered Suitcase, she is a writer, editor, photographer & videographer.

Please tell us a little about your travel background. Why and When did you decide to start travelling?

I’ve been travelling my whole life, but started to take it seriously as a teenager. What can I say, I simply became obsessed; wanderlust took over, and there was no shaking it! I saved up every penny I could and decided to devote my life to travelling nomadically. I left Canada in 2006 and have been abroad for most of the eight years since then.

You have been travelling for a few years now what other countries have you been too?

In the past eight years I have been to over 80 countries on six continents.

What are your most and least favourite countries and why?

I often feel that most and least favourites are linked to who I was at the time, who I met in my travels, and how I was feeling about life in general. That said, my favourites are Colombia, Canada, Japan, India, Portugal, Peru, and Thailand. My least favourites are Singapore and Egypt, but I’d really like to give them both another shot.

Of all the countries you have visited, where would you most like to live?

I love my current home in the UK, but I would love to try living in Thailand, France, Argentina, Mexico, or perhaps on one of the Caribbean islands I’ve visited.

You have just been in Porto, What was the highlight of the trip other than the Francesinha.

I really loved just wandering around the streets of Porto, getting lost and taking lots of photos. I love all of the colourful architecture.

What are two interesting things about Porto that the average person doesn’t know?

There are so many interesting things: the history, the food, the people, the culture! I highly recommend going.

Now that you’ve been to Portugal, what are two other places you’d like to visit in Portugal?

I’ve already been to Lisbon and parts of the Algarve on another trip, so next time I’d really like to explore more of the northern countryside.

What was the hardest or most frustrating part of the trip?

Nothing comes to mind about the time in Portugal – it was a very easy trip!

Now that you’ve been to Bolivia, what’s the first image that comes into your head?

Probably crashing my bike on Death Road, unfortunately. click here to read more about this

Did anything go wrong that seems funny now?

I can laugh about the accident in Bolivia now, thankfully… I try to always laugh about the bad things that have happened!

Have you had any major problems on your travels?

I’ve been sick a few times, but I’ve been quite lucky in general. No major problems, I’d say. 

If you could go back and do one day over again, which would it be.

There are so many amazing days I’d like to relive, but I’d probably choose to relive one of my first times scuba diving in Thailand, or perhaps one of my last days in Brazil.

What was the most interesting food you have eaten?

Interesting doesn’t always mean good, so I’d have to say that eating a still-beating snake heart in Vietnam was quite interesting.

What is your “must have” travel accessory that you always pack?

Other than the obvious, I always bring a journal and pens when I travel.

How long do you plan on continuing this lifestyle? 

Forever!

How have your travels influenced your life or changed your way of thinking?

I think they’ve made me more open-minded, more laid-back, and more inquisitive about the world. The more you see, the more you want to see. Travelling has also led to my Master’s degree, my friends, and my career.

What do you like and dislike about travelling?

I like so much about travelling: meeting new people, eating new food, trying new things. While I dislike some of the waiting around in airports and in queues, I chalk it up to part of the experience. I don’t mind having to kill a few hours in a bus station if it means I get to see a new place!

Which website do you love browsing to escape from your everyday life?

I love reading other travel blogs, but to really unwind I spend hours on Netflix like everybody else.

Do you have advice for other aspiring digital nomads?

Keeping a schedule really helps. I struggle with staying on top of deadlines as I am a full-time student with a packed freelance schedule. I try to accomplish just one thing a day, no matter how small. Also, I try to stay very active in social media – it’s an absolute must if you want to be a digital nomad!

Where next?

I just got back from Gdansk, Poland, and my next trips planned are to France and Andorra in March, to South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia in April, to Cyprus in May, and then a summer spent in the Balkans with a bit of time in America and Canada. I can’t complain!

Thanks to Brenna for being part of Cool Life Travel and sharing some of your adventures. You can follow more of  her travels at her website This Battered Suitcase, You can Tweet Brenna at @SuitcaseBrenna, Like Brenna on Facebook at This Battered Suitcase & follow her on Google+

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