Occupation: PR and Digital Marketing professional and freelance writer
Current location/hometown: Born in the UK
“It’s a beautiful natural environment…”
Welcome to the ZakopaneGO Travelbloggers Q&A sessions. Today we’re joined by: Charlie from charlieontravel.com
I’m Charlie, a travel blogger who writes about sustainable, socially responsible and slow travel. As part of this I house sit around the world with my partner, Luke. To fund my long-term travels, I work in digital marketing as a team manager and freelance writer. I love being on the move, immersing myself in new cultures and learning something new everyday. So far visited Europe – UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Iceland. Asia – Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong. Central America – Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala. Also, New Zealand.
That’s quite an impressive list already! What motivated you to go out and start exploring the world?
Change. I’m not one for sticking to routines and I like the constant change that travel provides. I like that I can be in a different place every day, see different things, meet different people, try different foods, and so on. I also like to think that I can do a little bit to make positive changes in the world through my travel blog.
As a travel blogger, you know how globetrotting can change a person’s life and open them up to new cultures, perspectives and experiences. What made you choose Zakopane as one of your pit-stops?
We originally went to Poland on a fluke. Actually we didn’t really know much about Poland at all and we’d never met anyone who had travelled there, which made it kind of mysterious and exciting for us. Poland was completely different to what we’d imagined and we thought that the whole country was amazing! We ended up choosing Zakopane as a pit-stop because we wanted to see the beautiful snow covered mountains down there.
What time of the year did you visit and why?
We visited during March, so Zakopane was completely covered in snow while we were there. We didn’t choose March particularly, it was just that we had some free in between larger trips that we had planned so wanted to use that time to travel somewhere new in Europe. We came to Poland at that time because we were accepted onto the Angloville programme in Wroclaw, and then we travelled onto Zakopane after that.
What is Angloville all about?
The Angloville programme is an English immersion and cultural exchange programme where native English speaking volunteers like myself help non-native English speakers to improve their language skills. This is achieved through conversations and activities. It’s lots of fun and an awesome opportunity to meet new people!
Where did you stay and how would you rate the facilities?
We actually Couchsurfed our whole way around Poland, including our stay in Zakopane. It was low season so there weren’t many tourists around and there was a lovely Polish couple who welcomed us into their cabin, which is actually a guesthouse during the high season. We shared travel stories together, drank herbal tea and there was a steam room so enjoyed using that after a very frosty hike in the Tatra mountains! We had an amazing stay there.
What would you say was the highlight of your trip?
The highlight of our trip to Zakopane was reaching the top of Kościelec. I remember having completely soaked leggings from walking up a steep snowy hill, being freezing cold, but feeling so, so triumphant to have made it to the top!
Congratulations. I actually mean it. The North face of Koscielec is steep and slippery at the best of times. Tell us, other than freezing your behinds while hiking up steep mountains, what other activities would you have liked to see made available to travellers visiting the region?
The only activity that we did in Zakopane was hiking but that was exactly what we wanted to do! It’s a beautiful natural environment and I think that travellers visiting the area should spend as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors.
What else could the city improve on to enhance the experience of tourism in the area?
Sorry – Don’t really have an answer for this! I thought the experience was really good.
Your top travel tips for visiting the city/region?
Visit in low season if you can, when everywhere is covered in pure white snow.
Late spring I’d suggest. It’s wonderful. Tell us lastly, where’s next on your bucket-list?
I don’t keep a bucket list because I want to travel everywhere! Next though? Guatemala again, or Morocco, or maybe Montenegro or Slovakia, or…
…or outer space? Why not! I hear Virgin Airlines are offering some good deals! Make sure you send us some photos though! Charlie, huge pleasure having you chat to us. Stay in touch and all the best on your next trip!
You can follow Charlie’s adventures on her blog charlieontravel.com or follow her on Twitter @charlieontravel
Also, check out her posts on Poland here: