A lot of us love to travel, but only a few take it to the next level of being a part time traveler. I had an interesting conversation with the gorgeous lady behind Red Bohemia, a down-to-earth, heartwarming travel blog and got a low down on what it means to be a part time traveler (with a full time job) and why Kavitha started the Red Bohemia alongside her pursuit to see the world.
Ardent Traveler (AT): “Red Bohemia”. That’s a rather interesting name you’ve chosen for your site. Is there a story behind it?
Red Bohemia (RB): Believe it or not, I actually came up with it in the middle of a football match. I was watching my team Liverpool ( YNWA!) play erm, some other club when half-time came about and I thought I should incorporate “red” into my blog name – fire, passion, strength and all that good stuff. Bohemia or the bohemian-lifestyle has always been something I’ve loved for its freedom, creativity and wanderlust qualities. I already had the “bohemia” bit in mind for some time, but nothing seemed to gel with it, until “red” came along. That’s how Redbohemia was born and I’ve stuck with it ever since.
AT: So you have a regular job and you live to travel. That makes you a part-time traveler… why not go full swing?
RB: Yes, I am a part-time traveller – for now. I intend to make travelling a more permanent fixture in my life sometime this year. I have been working for the last 15 years or so and I think it’s about time I took some time out to do different things and for some much-needed slow travelling. Wish me luck!
AT: When you plan your travel journeys, are there specific things that you’re particularly interested to discover? Tell me a story of such a discovery.
RB: The architecture and design aspects of a city are usually something I fall in love with very easily. So many cities have impressed me in the past, but I have to go with the first one that blew my expectations out of the water – Amsterdam.
It was the first European city I visited and I was duly impressed by how all the buildings by the canals were so full of character and charm – the quirky doors, the pretty windows, the colourful window displays, the cosy cafes.
Add in how organised the streets were (with trams, bicycle lanes and walkways co-existing), it sure was a wonderful feast for the design-lover in me.
AT: Why travel and write?
RB: I grew up reading Reader’s Digest and magazines such as LIFE, Time and National Geographic. Thanks to such stellar reading materials, I was constantly enthralled by tales of adventure and photographs of faraway lands.
It seemed like a different world, almost unreal. Coming from a small town in Malaysia, I constantly dreamt of visiting those seemingly magical lands. I want to do for others what those words and photographs did for me – inspire them to see the world, learn from different cultures, to love and respect one another.
AT: In the flurry of travel blogs in the online space, have you found a few travel bloggers / travelers that you can connect to? Why and who are they?
RB: Flurry is indeed the right word! It was hard in the beginning, but I was a little more confident of myself once I met some amazing travel bloggers at AWE Asia 2013 in Kuala Lumpur (hey, that’s where I met you too).
That is where I met the awesome Jeannie Mark from NomadicChick.com. She may be one of the top travel bloggers around, but she was so down-to-earth and kind. I was scared to even talk about my teenie tiny blog, but she encouraged me to continue and keep reaching for my dreams.
Aggy from DEW Traveller is another blogger I met at the conference. We keep in touch often and I just love her positive outlook on life. And, thanks to her, I got connected to Vlad from Eff It, I’m On Holiday. He’s been such a great supporter of my blog and we plan to travel together someday *fingers crossed*
More recently, I connected with a lovely blogger, G. Maria from Travel With G. Her love for food, photography and travel inspire me. Not only is she a wonderful writer, she is kind beyond words.
All these bloggers constantly inspire me to do better and most importantly, to be kind to one another. It can be very competitive out there in blog-land, but these bloggers prove that it doesn’t have to be like that.
AT: Do you have a travel buddy? Or do you usually travel alone?
RB: My travel buddies tend to change from trip to trip. But I usually stick to a pool of close friends, so I know what to expect when we eventually travel together. I tend to travel alone for shorter trips, but I’m sure that will change sometime this year.
It’s nice sometimes to have that one other person – for company, to help carry your bag when you’re tired, get directions when you’re lazy or just around for some much-needed laughter and fun.
AT: What are your travel plans for 2015?
RB: 2015 is going to be the year I finally venture out solo. I have a shiny, new Lonely Planet guidebook to Great Britain, so I might as well put it to good use 😉
Actually, I’ve wanted to explore this part of the world for the longest time – get to know the people, how the cultures differ from one country to another, try Haggis (I hope I don’t chicken out at the last minute), immerse myself in the moors of Wuthering Heights (pretending to be Kate Bush), educate myself on organic farming and drink tea all day long. Seems like a tall order, but I intend to go for it. If not now, then when, right?
AT: All the best, Kavitha! Stoke that you’re following your dreams and taking a route that’s often seen as against the grain. Happy travels babe!