Industry Interview with Steph of Twenty-Something Travel

Community Highlights Working in Travel Industry Interview with Steph of Twenty-Something Travel

In this month's Industry Interview we chat to Stephanie Yoder, a freelance travel writer and founder of the popular travel blog Twenty-Something Travel. She is a non-9-to-5 enthusiast, a self-described "Girl who can't sit still" and on a mission to encourage others to launch their own international adventures. On a smaller note, I think she's got one of the best blog headers going!

Steph and a cute panda

Steph and a cute panda

What is Twenty-Something Travel?

There is this idea, particularly in the United States where I'm from, that you need to go to school, get a job, start a family, and then maybe when you are older you'll have time to travel. I think that's really a shame because in many ways your 20s are the ideal time to see the world: you have more energy, less responsibilities, and the lessons you learn while travelling can stick with you your entire life. I created my website with the goal of encouraging other young people to get out and see the world.

What inspires you to travel? What have been some of your most memorable experiences and destinations?

For me the most important part of travel is constantly learning and discovering new sights, foods and ideas. As a result, many of my favourite destinations were places that I knew very little about going in. Places like Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cambodia.

Vietnam was one country where I felt like I was constantly encountering new things. The country is so big and crowded and frenetic; there were always people to meet, weird shops to discover and new amazingly delicious street foods to try. I spent five weeks there and I was exhausted often, but bored absolutely never.

A shot from Vietnam

A shot from Vietnam

According to your blog, London is your favourite city – what is it about it that you love?

I love to travel, but I also honestly believe that there is enough going on inside of London to keep me busy for my entire life. I lived in London for a while in my early 20s and just fell in love completely. It's a huge city with massive amounts of history and culture. I'm also a huge book nerd so I love it's many literary associations. There is always something going on, something to do, some new little corner to explore. In all my travels I've never found another city that gets my imagination and sense of romance racing the same way. I love it and I miss it everyday.

What words of encouragement would you give to people wanting to do a big trip but are a little hesitant?

The absolute hardest part of executing a big trip is actually making the decision to do it. It's such a big mental block and a lot of people struggle with the choice. Once you actually commit to making it happen, the rest falls into place fairly easily.

It can be really daunting to upend your life - but hey you've only got one chance to live.
I've never met anyone who has regretted taking time off to travel, but I've met plenty of people who wish they had.

I've never met anyone who has regretted taking time off to travel, but I've met plenty of people who wish they had.

You often journey solo: what advice do you have for young female travellers?

The idea of travelling alone is so much more scary than the reality. Even now before I set off somewhere on my own I get kind of nervous, but then once I push off I'm so glad I did. Travelling alone gives you so much freedom: you don't need to take anyone else's needs into account when deciding where to go, what to have for lunch, whether to nap all afternoon. It's very liberating and, as long as you possess basic common sense, much less dangerous than the media would have you think.

Travelling solo at the Forbidden City in Beijing

Travelling solo at the Forbidden City in Beijing

You've been referred to as an upcoming travel blogger to watch – what factors have contributed to your success and what's or more importantly where's next?
I just celebrated my two year blogaversary (yes, I made the term up), and nobody is more shocked than me at the amount of attention my blog as gotten. I am first and foremost a writer so I am really grateful that I can use my blog as a platform to share my thoughts. I write a lot about my personal experiences and emotions, but I try to connect them with the same universal travel truths that everyone experiences. I think as a result a lot of people feel like they can identify with what I have to say.

Right now there is so much going on! I'm home in the United States for the Summer working on some projects and writing. I've launched a second site called Everywhere Connection, with my boyfriend (who is also a travel blogger) and I'm working on some other still-to-be-announced projects. In the fall I will be headed to Central and South America for the first time - exciting!

By katekendall

Posted Tue, Sep 27, 2011