Interview with “Traveling material girl”- Samantha Starling

That’s Sam- glamorous and charming

Today’s interview is going to be conducted with Samantha from, a young and energetic British traveller who describes herself as a “bubbly, outgoing and confident material girl”. Sam is a fresher when it comes to serious traveling but she is going to change it very soon by going on her first huge RTW trip of a lifetime in April 2013.

You are going to leave your designer handbags and Tiffany jewellery at home and swap them for a backpack to travel the world. Why? How did you come up with this crazy and inconceivable idea for most material girls?

To be honest when I told my friends I wanted to go backpacking they all laughed at me and said that I couldn’t do it! But this has motivated me more! I love my shoes, bags, jewellery etc. but I have always had a passion for travel and to see the real world.  And what better way to do it hey?! I can live without material things in order to experience other cultures and open my mind. I am actually really excited to get out there. I just have no idea what to pack!

 You mentioned on your website that you are going to travel with your boyfriend. Would you decide to travel solo if you were not in a relationship? Would you be scare of solo traveling?

I am very much looking forward to traveling with Tom, but if I was single then I would definitely still go traveling. The idea of being in the big wide world alone does scare me a little, but you meet so many people you wouldn’t be on your own for long. You can’t let these things hold you back.

Tom and Sam on a heli in Vegas

 Is it going to be your first time traveling together (you with your boyfriend) or you have done it before? What kind of traveller is your boyfriend- active, adventurous, risk taker or just the opposite?

Neither Tom nor I have ever been ‘proper’ traveling, but we have been on trips and holidays together. We went to Thailand earlier in the year which was amazing but we did do it quite luxuriously. Tom is really laid back and just goes with the flow most of the time. He likes to be active and see all the sights but sometimes he needs a kick up the bum to get decide what to do and get moving! I am the bossy one! I think it’s good that we are quite opposite, because sometimes I need to be told to calm down a little. I get very over excited!

 Do you find difficult to meet him half-way when traveling?

Sometimes I do, because I can be a bit of a control freak.  Sometimes I need to sit back and just let things happen, which is where Tom is really good for me!  If he suggests doing something while traveling, I will defo give it a go. It’s all about being open minded and making it the best experience for the both of you. We shall see what happens when we actually go! A friend of ours travelled with his wife and he said it will be make or break! I’m sure it will just make the relationship stronger.

What advice would you give a girl/woman who has never travelled with her partner?

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Be patient and learn to compromise! Some things can get very tense, especially when you are both tired/homesick/grumpy, but you need to be there for each other rather than snap and argue. Both of you need to be open minded too, take turns of doing things each of you want. Even if it is not your cup of tea you may be pleasantly surprised and you will experience things you may not necessarily have done if you were not traveling as a couple.

Can you share some details on your RTW trip with us (place you are planning to visit, how long you are going to travel for, the reason of selecting the particular countries you are flying to)? What is the place you can’t wait to see the most?

I would love to! We are flying to Bangkok. We are then hoping to travel north through Thailand, into Laos, down the Vietnamese coastline, through Cambodia and to the Islands of Thailand. Then down through Malaysia to Singapore with a flight from there to Bali. After that we are having a working year in Australia traveling around then head to NZ. Hectic! Obviously our plans can change at any time so if anyone has any other recommendations I would love to hear them. Fiji sounds appealing too, may try and add that in there! We are hoping to use mainly buses and trains on the mainland and only fly when necessary. I love how you and Cez cycled through Vietnam, but I really don’t think I could do that!!! I admire you guys!!! Overall we are thinking 4 months in Asia, a year (or more) in Aus and a few months in NZ. I have heard really good things about NZ and I can’t wait to go skydiving there! Aus looks amazing to, I’ve always wanted to move there. And I can’t wait to go back to Thailand. Eeee I’m excited about everywhere! It’s too hard to choose! I am also really looking forward to Vietnam and Cambodia as I have not been anywhere like it before. A bit of a culture shock could be fun! Tom and I also want to travel around South America, but that may have to be our next big adventure!

She loves Maya Bay!

You are setting off in April 2013. This is obviously still plenty of time to go. Why are you planning things in such a long time in advance?

I like to have milestones to get me through boring working life, either travels/events that I can countdown too and look forward to when I’m feeling a little blue. We have only booked our outbound flights and we are going to take it as it comes when we fly to Bangkok, but I like to have a bit of an idea in my head of what I want to achieve while being away. Eeeeee I am so excited!

If you found traveling so amazing and addictive and you felt like you wanted to live your life this way during your epic trip in April, would you carry on traveling or go back home as planned?

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I would carry on traveling (and I think Tom would too) the thought of going home back to 9-5 life makes me shudder! Obviously I would want to see my friends and family but there are so many places in the world to visit why stop when you are just getting started?!

Sam on a gondola

Do you find yourself a spontaneous and adventurous backpacker or you would describe yourself as a typical “safe” and “all inclusive” holiday maker?

I have usually been quite ‘safe’ with travel when I was younger as that was what my family liked. But since working in travel it makes me cringe a bit. What’s the point in staying in some luxurious hotel in an amazing country and not stepping foot outside it?! It seems silly. I don’t want to see the same as everyone else. I want my very own unique experience, to actually open my eyes to other countries and cultures.

Do you feel or ever felt like being a travel role model for the members of your family, friends and co-workers? What was their reaction on your decision to RTW?

I haven’t told my work yet, haha! And my friends are all pretty settled with their lived here at home. But I think I have converted my family.  Both my parents are really happy for me and support my decision. They even want to go themselves now!!! My cousin and her boyfriend are planning their RTW trip and one my brother finished college I am going to get him to come and visit me! It is great to promote being a traveller rather than a tourist.

Are you scared of not looking or feeling glamorous while being on your road and being sweaty and dirty instead carrying your backpack?

If you asked me this question a year ago I probably would say yes. But now it doesn’t really bother me. It will be fun!!! My biggest fear is that my backpack is going to be the same size as me (because I am super tiny) I also apologise in advance to anyone I come across on my travels in case I smell!!!

How did you come up with an idea of blogging and sharing your plans with others? Are you planning to blog while traveling the globe and keeping your readers posted or you will rather make some notes and start blogging when you are back home?

I have always had a ‘travel diary’ but I thought I’d finally get with the 21st century and get myself online! When I look at your blog and other travel bloggers, I still have a long way to go but I love blogging. It’s so addictive! It’s also a fab way to let relatives and friends know what you are getting up to when you are backpacking. I am hoping to blog while I travel, so I never forget a thing. I love reading about other people’s travels online and I hope people feel the same way about Sam’s World.

Feeding elephants in Thailand

Have you ever found traveling expensive? If so, when.

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I think travel can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. The most expensive getaways I’ve been on are all in the States because the shopping there is amazing! If I wasn’t a crazy shopaholic it wouldn’t have been so bad. I recently went to Venice- everyone moans about how expensive it is but I really didn’t find it too bad. I guess living in the UK everything is pretty expensive anyway so we don’t notice it so much? As long as you have a roof over your head (or a beach to sleep on) then you will be fine! Hostels and street food are so cheap you can definitely do it on a budget.

You have travelled to Europe few times. What is your favourite place there and why?

I absolutely love Barcelona. It is such an amazing city. The atmosphere is electric and you have the contrast of the bustling city centre and then the beautiful beaches and port with all the cruise liners docking. There is so much history and culture behind Barca, so much to see and do. I would say there is something for everyone. Art and architecture is all over the city, stunning buildings everywhere you look, dancing fountains at night is a perfect romantic hotspot. Not to mention the Nou Camp, home to Barcelona FC and the buzzing nightlife. Plus Las Ramblas does the best sangria! If you haven’t been I would 100% recommend a visit!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I used to always think I’d know the answer to this question. But I really don’t have a clue. I am 22 years old now and have no idea what to do with myself! I am hoping traveling will maybe help me discover myself and what I want to get out of life. For now, I am going to take things as they come. What will be will be. One thing’s for sure, I will still be trying to tick off visiting every country in the world!

Thank you very much Sam for the interview. I wish you happy and safe travels and I hope to meet you on the road one day.

Thank you so much for having me J Enjoy Cambodia guys x

You can follow Sam’s epic journey on Twitter

or on her Facebook fan page – she deserves some more links so CLICK here! :-)

Bon Voyage girl!


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Picture of Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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