Go slow, but never so slowly that you get too comfortable – This is the mantra of of an expat who’s been on the move since she was 18. Braving a visit to London this summer (probably best to pack an umbrella) in time to start work as a journalist at the Olympics and injure all associated traffic jams, Edna is a seasoned traveler who works for around 12 months in each of her chosen destinations. I’ll let her tell you where she’s been …
HI, AND WHO MIGHT YOU BE?
1. Name? Edna
2. Age? 23
3. Twitter Handle? @ednacz
4. URL? http://expatedna.com
5. Home Town? York, Pennsylvania, USA
6. Current Location? Paris, France
7. … Business or pleasure? Both. My current career goes hand-in-hand with travel, so traveling for business can be pretty enjoyable. But really, business or pleasure, so long as I’m traveling I don’t complain.
8. Tell us a little bit about what you’re up to at the moment. Best bits, worst bits etc.
I’m currently making my way around the world as a serial expat. I live in different cities for about a year at a time while working in media and journalism, and I travel around the region when I’m not working. I first moved abroad at 18 and Paris is now my fourth city as an expat; before this I was in China and Singapore, working in online media and tech, and one Asian reality television show.
It’s not always easy being so far away from family and my fiancé, but this is how I prefer to travel – by living around the world, being immersed in cultures rather than just traveling through them as a tourist.
LETS TALK TRAVEL
9. First travel experience?
Between 8 and 12 months old, my parents took me on a road trip to Disney World, another to Niagara Falls, and a trip to Shanghai. But I can’t remember which one came first.
10. Future travel plans?
I’m headed to London soon to cover the Olympics. After that my plans are up in the air – I’ll likely stay in Paris until the end of the year, but if not, I could go elsewhere in Europe, head back to America for the holidays, or even go back to Southeast Asia for a bit. I never try to look too far ahead though, because my plans usually end up changing last-minute anyway – for instance, my moves to Singapore and Paris were both completely unexpected and unplanned.
11. If you could go anywhere tomorrow where would it be and why?
I would usually say Antarctica — I absolutely love penguins and would like to see them in their natural habitat. However, Paris has been freezing for months and the thought of anything cold right now makes me miserable. So I’d love to head back to Singapore and soak up some equatorial sun.
12. If you could avoid going anywhere tomorrow where would it be and why?
Anywhere cold and rainy, because Paris has had enough of that to last me the rest of the year. Although I am headed to London soon, so I guess that’s just wishful thinking.
13. What 5 items would you not go traveling without?
- Clean socks
- Snacks (I’m a monster when I haven’t eaten in a while)
- “In case of emergency” money (usually in the form of a credit card with a large limit). You just never know.
14. Best bit of advice you’ve received?
Don’t ever have to rely on a man
This advice comes from my dad, who watched his mom raise five children on her own after my grandfather died. She was incredibly strong and self-reliant — especially for her time, when most women were expected to just be obedient housewives.
Basically it means that every woman should know how to live independently, and be able to support herself financially. Or to make it gender-neutral: Never rely solely on someone else to take care of you.
You should try this durian, it’s delicious.
16. Best bit of advice you can give readers of this piece?
Never be afraid to talk to someone, because everyone has a story to tell.
17. Favourite ice cream flavour? Mint chocolate chip, always.
18. Apple or Android? Apple, though I’ve got nothing against Android.
19. Blogger or WordPress? WordPress. I used Blogger for two years and switching to WordPress was like going from a Ford Pinto to a Mercedes.
20. Hostel or hotel? When I’m traveling alone, always hostels. If I’m traveling with my fiancé, it’s often hotel, but it depends on the city, length of trip, and if it’s a special occasion.
21. Guilty pleasure? I really like listening to hip-hop/pop music. Like, the terrible Top 40 hits that make hipsters want to jump off a cliff. I draw the line at Call Me Maybe, though.
22. Chosen Super Power? - Reading minds — it would save me so much time if I just knew what people were thinking and didn’t have to over-analyze what they said versus what they mean. Would come in especially handy when talking to bosses. And at pub quizzes.
23. Airplane seat – Aisle, centre or window? Always window. I love taking photos during flights, plus I fall asleep really quickly when I rest my head against the window.
24. What song/album are you listening to right now? Escort, by Escort. I usually don’t like electronic music, but there’s something addictive about this 17-piece disco orchestra.
25. Thank you for answering my questions, as a gesture of thanks I allow you one whole paragraph to shameless plug of your website …
Edna is an American and serial expat who travels around the world working in media and journalism. Since first moving abroad at 18, she has lived in China and Singapore, and is currently based in Paris. She writes about her travels at Expat Edna; you can also follow her on twitter and facebook.
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