Featured Travel Blogger: JoAnna Haugen
Today we feature JoAnna Haugen of the eclectic Kaleidoscopic Wandering travel blog, who has been traveling her whole life.
JoAnna, what’s your travel background?
I’ve been traveling in some form and fashion my entire life. I began traveling with my dad on his business trips before I was three years old and could still fly free. Growing up, we actively explored the United States every summer with long road trips. I went abroad for the first time when I was a sophomore in high school to London, where I marched in the New Year’s Day parade with the high school band and played the French horn with a brass choir in Westminster Abbey. I’ve had a serious travel bug ever since, so I continue to trip around the United States and the world as opportunities arise.
What’s different about your blog or site?
My travel blog, Kaleidoscopic Wandering is not a travelogue or journal, so readers won’t find a blow-by-blow account of where I am and what I’m doing. Rather, it’s a collection of general travel advice and tips, information about specific sites culled from my travel experiences, contemplative essays, book reviews related to travel and interviews with interesting people.
What’s the most unexpected thing that has ever happened to you when you travelled and how did you handle it?
Knock on wood, I’ve always had decent luck with catching planes and getting where I need to be on time, but this past year I got stuck in Costa Rica when my plane broke down and it took me 48 extra hours to get home. As usual, there were a handful of people who flew through the roof when the flight was cancelled, but for the most part, everyone was really understanding and relaxed. There really isn’t much you can do when a flight is cancelled, so everyone else on the flight (including a baby and a dog) bonded over the situation. We had a huge happy hour at the hotel in San Jose with our flight attendants and held a talent show on the plane back to the United States.
Complete the sentence: I never travel without … because …
… a sarong or pashmina because I freeze on airplanes and always find a use for it!
When it comes to travel and travel blogging, who is your mentor/hero and why?
I don’t have a mentor when it comes to travel blogging because I tend to do my own thing with little regard to what’s going on in the rest of the community. However, my travel heroes are my dad, who introduced me to travel as a kid, and Rick Steves, who I’ve admired since college. I own a ton of Rick Steves’ books and used to drive hours to attend his free travel classes in the Seattle area when I was in college.
What place is on your travel bucket list? Why?
I’m enjoy checking out any destination I’ve never been before, but of particular interest right now is Ireland. My husband and I would really like to get there this year and bike around the country.
What is your favourite travel planning tool?
My husband. I am the world’s worst planner when it comes to travel, and if it wasn’t for him, I’d never have reservations at hotels or plane tickets. He takes care of all the details for me because I just never get around to doing it myself.
Anything to add?
As much as I love to travel, I understand and appreciate why others aren’t as adventurous as I am, and that’s okay. There seems to be an ongoing discussion about forms of travel that are somehow more acceptable than others, and I just don’t think that’s necessary. I believe that any form of travel is legitimate, and no one deserves to be judged because they prefer certain destinations or travel styles.
Want to take part in this interview series? I’d love to feature as many travel bloggers as possible, so leave a comment on this post or contact me.