Justifiably so, this weeks travel blogger interviewee is up for a 2012 HostelBookers Travel Blogger Award.  Currently collecting hundreds upon hundreds of votes for the best newbie travel blogger award, this oober cool gypsy (the good kind)  has an eye for a amazing photo, and an ear for a sick tune (see Q24).  A newbie to the scene maybe, but this travel blogger is set for big things in my opinion, recently back from a stint photographing all the best bits that Portugal has to offer via her iphone, but with the world at her feet, Larissa is one to watch!


1. Name? Larissa Olenicoff

2. Age? 29

3. Twitter Handle? @theblondegypsy

4. URL? http://www.blonde-gypsy.com

5. Home Town? A city you’ve never heard of in Orange County, California

6. Current Location? Malmö, Sweden

7. … Business or pleasure? Not clear on what you are referring to but I will go with both.

8. Tell us a little bit about what you’re up to at the moment. Best bits, worst bits etc.

Well, Neil, this is quite an exciting time you’ve caught me and the Blonde Gypsy in the middle of actually. Just got back after a month and a half of travel around France, Spain and Portugal which was pretty wild and crazy.

Now that I’ve wrapped up my studies here in Sweden (finally knocked out that Master of European Studies I’ve been working tirelessly on for two years), I’m pretty much free to roam the planet like the gypsy I was born to be.  This means you can expect lots of interesting content on my blog in the coming months as I’ll be working hard to maintain this rock & roll travel lifestyle I’ve become accustomed to as a student whilst coming to terms with being thrown back into the “real world”. Considering I am now a Master of Europe, I probably won’t stray too far from the region though I will be taking a trip home to California to see the fam for Christmas. They miss me, you know…


9. First travel experience?

A trip to Hawaii when I was 9 months old. Incidentally this is also when I had my first Mai Tai.

10. Future travel plans?

I see London and finally meeting you in my immediate future. From there we’ll see where the wind takes me. I’m free to roll around Europe until mid-December and as of now nothing is planned

11. If you could go anywhere tomorrow where would it be and why?

Really into the idea of doing a trip around Central Asia and I have no idea why. Also need to get to Georgia – Stalin’s Georgia, the original Georgia over on the Black Sea. Heard they’ve got great wine there.

12. If you could avoid going anywhere tomorrow where would it be and why?

I’m pretty much down to go anywhere but if I have to answer this question, which I don’t, I would say Moldova. I’ve been there way too many times. Too many…

 13. What 5 items would you not go travelling without?

  • Passport,
  • music,
  • lipstick,
  • my iPhone,
  • and an open mind.

14. Best bit of advice you’ve received?

Best bit of advice I’ve received came to me about 10 years ago on my first big trip abroad without my parents. I was traveling around Europe with my cousin and our longest and last stop was in London where we had rented this shady apartment in Earl’s Court for about a week. It was on the morning we were leaving for the airport and I was SUPER bummed, crying and what not, because I was sad to leave the apartment and ultimately end the epic trip we had just been on. That’s when she said “Think about the next “apartment in Earl’s Court” you’re going to have. It may not be with me, it may not be an apartment, it may not be in the same neighborhood, it may not even been in the same country, but I’m sure it’s going to be just as great of an adventure”. And she was right. I can’t even count how many “apartments in Earl’s Court” I’ve walked away from at this point, always still a little sad for sentimental reasons, but excited knowing that it just means I am on to my next great adventure.

15. Worst?

Don’t talk to strangers. Some of the most memorable and meaningful conversations I’ve ever had were with strangers

16. Best bit of advice you can give readers of this piece?

I’m a huge proponent of fate so I guess my best bit of advice is to not worry, everything will work out how it is supposed to. There are a lot of things in life you can control, of course, but there are also a lot of things you can’t. This is especially true while traveling. There have been too many instances when I’ve missed a connection, tours were cancelled, entire trips were cancelled, accommodation fell through, or I ran out of money – yet whatever I ended up having to do instead always showed itself to have been a much better path anyhow. Even if it took a couple months or years to realize it.


17. Favourite ice cream flavour? Sheep milk from Rocambolesc in Girona, Spain

18. Apple or Andriod? Not a kosher question to ask an iPhone photographer –APPLE!! Androids are for pregnant women and old people.

19. Blogger or WordPress? WordPress though I despise both

20. Hostel or hotel? Depends on the situation – I’m also a huge fan of Couchsurfing

21. Guilty pleasure? Ace of Base. Hope none of my friends in Sweden are reading this.

22. Your chosen super-power? I’d love to be able to read your mind.

23. Airplane seat – aisle, centre or window? Window.

24. What song/album are you listening to right now? Anything by The Sounds and you should too.


25. Thank you for answering my questions, as a gesture of thanks I allow you one whole paragraph to shameless plug of your website …

Since this whole interview was a shameless plug of myself and The Blonde Gypsy, I will instead shamelessly plug my recent Hostelbookers.com Travel Blog Award nomination for “Best Newcomer” and ask for your votes. I’ve only won one other award in my entire life and that was a “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” award when I was in 7th grade. Still basking in all its glory, but I’d really enjoy winning this one as well: http://surveymonkey.com/s/HBloggerLove

Oh yes and while I am at it, “like” the Blonde Gypsy’s Facebook page, too? She’s relatively new to the game and needs all the positive feedback she can get.


If you’d like to be interviewed for www.backpacksandbunkbeds.co.uk just drop me an email (neil@backpacksandbunkbeds.co.uk) and we can easily arrange something. I do have a few rules though …

  • No more than 3 backlinks in your piece (not including the questions 3 and 4, you get those for free).
  • Once published on my site, the interview must then be linked somewhere on your own site.
  • Once published on my site, you should visit and ‘like’ my facebook page. (shameless i know)
  • I reserve the right remove any answers or links that I deem unsuitable for my site.