This is part 2 of a great interview with Angie Orth of Angie Away. In part 1 we learned how Angie became a world traveler and that she not only resembles Shakira but J-Lo and Britney as well!
On the serious side Angie told us that friendships are her dearest souvenirs and that what we all see on the news (the hate and the extremism) is so far from what she has encountered during her travels.
Are you ready for part 2?
When you read her blog you will find lots of fund raising activities so I wanted to know more about that!
You are serious about fund raising. Last year you started raising money for slums in Kenia and you have also participated in a project called Passports with Purpose. How come you feel so engaged with fund raising?
It’s important to me as a traveler to remember that there’s more to jet-setting than my own personal fulfillment. At the heart of the travel experience, beyond beautiful sights and new tastes and interesting sounds, is a world full of real people just trying to stay alive.
When I met all those Kenyan families in the slum outside Nairobi, it was just so clear to me how I could help. How could I ignore that? They don’t have food or appropriate lodging or decent clothes for their kids, through absolutely no fault of their own. Raising a few grand here and there to help out is the least I can do, after all my travels have done for me.
And Passports with Purpose is a great cause, one I will continue to support annually. This year they raised more than $100,000 to build wells in Haiti. How amazing is that?!
To me, you are one of the most enthusiastic and open-minded travelers around. Your smile is your trademark. Are you consciously working on your personal brand as a travel blogger?
Thanks, Emiel! You know, I really don’t focus on my brand too much, and I think I can get away with that because at the heart of all my writing and adventures, I’m just being myself. I’m doing exactly what I want to do with my time, and sharing it with the world. Since I haven’t honed in on just solo or luxury or budget travel, I have the flexibility to do just about anything – whether it’s staying at a 5-star hotel or dangling off the side of a skyscraper – without having to consult “brand guidelines”. My brand is me, and that’s been pretty easy to stick to.
What are the best countries to visit for female solo-travelers?
Any country with an easy-to-use public transportation system is a good bet for gals on their own. Europe is a perfect place to start out.
How do you pick your next travel destination?
My big problem is that I want to go absolutely EVERYWHERE, so it’s been tricky to choose! Lately, I just go where the opportunities are. If I receive an invitation or if there’s a deal on airfare, I’ll hop on a plane at a moment’s notice. It’s such a treat to have that flexibility after being chained to a desk for so long.
What is your most favorite city and why?
Either London or New York. I love NYC’s energy and how something wild and crazy could happen at any moment. At the same time, I love how London is so modern and yet there are layers of rich history around every corner.
Will you be returning to a steady job someday? Or will you keep on traveling?
I’ll always travel, but aside from knowing that, I’m taking life day by day. Ideally I’ll keep traveling, blogging at Angie Away and freelance writing, social media & PR consulting to pay the bills, but I’ve learned never to plan too far in advance. Tomorrow the whole world could change…
I think the tsunami warning in Hawaii was a tough experience for you. At such a moment, how do tourists and travelers react? I can imagine most are hypnotized, having no clue what to do. How has this affected you personally?
I think it depends on the situation. When the sirens went off, I didn’t panic. It wasn’t my first tsunami warning – we had one in 2011 when I was in Bali. I knew we were in the safest possible location, so I got in touch with all our island friends to make sure they were evacuating and of course, I updated my family back home that we were safe.
Generally when a disaster happens or there’s some sort of outbreak of violence wherever I am, I immediately ensure I’m in a safe location and secondly, I call home and let everyone know what’s going on. Then I keep an eye on the news and stay out of the way!
You have visited Israel, Egypt and Kenia, countries with political turmoil. Did you notice any tension while you were there? What is your advice for us: should we just go and visit these countries or not?
It’s a very personal decision. Drama can happen at any moment, anywhere in the world. When I visited Egypt, it was just after the Arab Spring. The protests had stopped though the situation was obviously still precarious. Since I made a choice to visit during a tumultuous time, I also took extra precautions, traveling with a group, staying away from Tahrir Square, etc. There was a huge protest in Cairo while I was in the city. Dozens of people were killed. It was quite scary knowing that was going on, but I was never involved in any unrest.
When I visited Kenya, all was well until the day I arrived, when terrorists began hurling grenades into hotels. In Israel, everything was peaceful and perfect. In London, people were burning whole neighborhoods to the ground. SO… there’s really no way to predict what’s going to happen.
All I can say is, weigh your travel choices carefully and keep an eye on the news at all times!
OK, thanks a lot Angie, this has been a great interview. To wrap up, please choose one of the two options:
⁃ Hawaii or Bali? Hawaii.
⁃ Jacksonville or New York City? New York City.
⁃ North or South? South.
⁃ Asia or Africa? Africa.
⁃ Hand luggage or check-in luggage? Check-in.
⁃ Sunset or sunrise? Sunset.
⁃ Facebook or Twitter? Facebook.
⁃ Traveling or staying with the family? I plead the 5th!
If you have not yet read part 1 of the interview, just click here.