Behind the Blog – Meet Trisa from The Free Passport

Hi! I’m Trisa – 28 year old serial wanderluster, self-taught photographer and creator of the travel blog, The Free Passport. I’m a global health advocate by training, currently working for a global HIV/AIDS organisation – but my true calling lies in visual storytelling. I launched my blog in 2014, originally as a personal place to showcase my pictures. I had hundreds of photos just sitting on my hard drive doing nothing, and the world is too beautiful of a place for pictures of it to be sitting and doing nothing! Two years later, it has since evolved into so much more than I had originally thought was possible. I love the space for exactly what it is – the intersection between my passion for photography, travel and global consciousness. I also love it for what it represents. It is the result of the current chapter of my life. The chapter where I had to rediscover myself in the absence of the things that once defined me. And I couldn’t be more proud of it.

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Where are you based/located?

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Los Angeles, California, I now live and work in New York City.

What first sparked your love for travel?

I actually didn’t really enjoy traveling when I was younger – I’m not really sure why. But as I started to branch into the field of global health and international development, I began to really appreciate how truly amazing the world is and how you can’t take for granted opportunities you have to see it.

What are some of your favourite countries to visit?

There so many it’s hard to choose! Italy and Greece are two of my all-time favourites but I’m constantly updating my bucket list with new places so I’m sure I have dozen of ‘favourites’ yet to be discovered!

 

Are there any places you’d tell people to avoid?

My work takes me to some interesting places – places that I wouldn’t necessary recommend, as they aren’t your typical ‘tourist’ destinations. But every place has something special to share and I think each traveller has to make their own decisions!

What destinations are on your bucket list?

Peru! Sri Lanka! Maldives! The list goes on and on..

Do you have any upcoming travel plans for 2017?

Yes! Actually a few days ago my partner-in-crime and I booked our flights for a five-week adventure in Southeast Asia – Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. If anyone as any tips, please share! It’ll be my first time in the region and I’m so excited!

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Do you do any research for your upcoming trips before visiting them?

Absolutely. I admit I’m a type-A planner, though I’m working on being more flexible and go-with-the-flow – because if you’ve ever travelled, you know that things don’t always go as planned! Google Flights, Kayak, and TripAdvisor are my go-to’s for travel planning. I also always buy a travel guide to have with me throughout. I enjoy reading the different recommendations and it comes in handy when you don’t have access to internet or for reading during long flights/bus rides.

What is your favourite memory that comes to mind when you think about your travels? / What is your most favourite photograph that you have taken during your travels?

 There are so many! But some of my favourites would have to be from the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, and this one taken at the top of Trolltunga in Norway.

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I did the hike to Trolltunga with my parents – who weren’t in the best shape (haha). It took us nearly 11 hours to do the 22km roundtrip but it was worth every minute of the view from the top. I was so proud of them!!

Which airline do you prefer to fly with?

No one airline company is perfect but I try to build loyalty those that prioritise their corporate social responsibility.

Tell me your top travel quotes to inspire yourself or other travellers / Any advice for new and aspiring travellers?

Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. That’s my favourite quote and the mantra I live by. Never be afraid to see more of the world. That may seem easier said than done, given that are very real logistical and financial implications to traveling, right? But in the end, making your dreams a reality will always be worth the investment.

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Top things to do on Santorini Island

Visit the town of Oia

This is personally my favourite town in Santorini. It is overwhelming how beautiful the view is from here. I highly recommend staying in this area when visiting Santorini.

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Ride a quad bike to Ammoudi Bay

My friend and I accidentally stumbled upon this small village and were amazed to discover it was used for some of the movie Sisterhood of the Travelling pants 2. It is a fishing village and has around 5 cute restaurants with tables looking over the bay. To get here – keep driving through the town of Oia and you will come across a sign directing you where to go. *Beware parking is a nightmare so best to take a scooter or a quad bike!

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Visit the Ancient town of Thera

Ancient Thera dates back to the 9th Century BC and has the most amazing views of the Island!

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Perissa Beach

A black sand beach with cute artsy souvenier shops, cafes and restaurants. After a hard mornings shopping, you can spend the afternoon lounging on the beach with free wifi and a food and drinks menu. *Usually 5 euros to rent a lounge chair

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Volcanic Crater Tour

A MUST do while in Santorini. The tour includes a boat ride to the island of Nea Kameni where the volcano is located (on a ship – how cool is that!?), there you have the opportunity to walk to the top of the crater, where you get to see Santorini from afar, and briefly learn about the history of the volcano. Afterwards you can go swimming in the hot springs that were created thousands of years ago, then you sail to Thirasia Island, where you can eat in the small taverns near the port, swim, or visit the village of Manolas on the top of Thirasia.

I did my tour with – click here

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Red Beach

This beach is well known for its colour, hence the name. It can be reached either by boat or by foot, lounge chairs are available for rent to lie on the beach. Be prepared to pay for one as the sand is very rocky. Awesome place to visit, surrounded by red cliffs and clear water.

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Try traditional greek food

When in Greece, you must try traditional food. Santorini was my first stop in Greece and I couldn’t wait to try it all. Baklava is my favourite – a sweet nut filled pastry. If you’re on a budget and can’t dine out for all meals like me, kebabs are only around 2 euros.

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Watch the sun set in Oia

Follow the signs in the town of Oia and park yourself up to watch the sun set. It is a breathtaking thing to watch, but I recommend getting their early to secure yourself a spot as it gets quite busy.

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Ride a donkey

Last but not least – have a go at the locals mode of transport and ride a donkey!

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Behind the Blog – Meet Louise from Captured to Share

My name is Louise Brady, a 25 year old Travel Blogger from Sydney. In 2014, I quit my job and moved over to London on a one-way ticket. After a year abroad, travelling Europe and working for a high profile family in London, I wanted to create a creative space to share my stories, photography and life updates with family and friends. Thus, Captured to Share was born.

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Where are you based/located?

From Sydney to London and now the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. We are currently running the blog part time from our new home on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

What first sparked your love for travel?

I have definitely always been an admirer of natural beauty. I can almost pin point the very moment my love for travel was awoken. It came with the purchase of an Italy photography book. I am sure I wore the pages thin, flicking through them several times a day and daydreaming about the many places I wanted to visit. At 16, I travelled to Italy with my grandmother, which confirmed my love for the beautiful country. At 22 I embarked on a four-month trip around Europe, which I suppose is the moment, I fully understood the impact of travel and silently vowed to peruse a life of it.

What are some of your favourite countries to visit? 

Barcelona in Spain is somewhere I find myself returning to with each European adventure. I love the culture, architecture and summer vibes. I am a HUGE fan of Italy, as you may have read above. Croatia was another place that stole my heart in Europe Bali is my go-to mini getaway.

Are there any places you’d tell people to avoid?

This is hard because I found every place I visited to be meaningful. I suppose my least favourite city would have to be Darwin in Australia. There are amazing National Parks in the NT itself but I didn’t enjoy Darwin as much as I have other locations.

What is your favourite memory that comes to mind when you think about your travels?

The past three years have been a whirl wind of adventures, new experiences and new cities but every time I think back on the journey, I think of the tour around Europe in which I met my now boyfriend. Yes, I actually fell in love on TopDeck. 40 strangers boarded the bus in London and made our way around 6 different European countries over 17 days. I spent the 12-hour buses rides seated next to an Australian guy from Adelaide. We spoke the entire 12 hours every time we moved between countries. Our last stop was in Paris. We caught the Eiffel tower light up at midnight and as I turned around wondering where he had disappeared too, I found him standing with a rose. Nawwwwww. Three years later and we are still exploring the world together, and on occasion, he still buys me flowers.

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Any advice for new and aspiring travellers?

Be present. It is so easy to miss the moment by being caught up with people, technology and thinking about tomorrow. My favourite travel memories have been experienced alone, in silence, consumed by nature. Travel has a way of demanding your full attention, especially when visiting a place for the first time. Don’t miss those magical moments.

What destinations are on your bucket list?

I think it is a shorter list to highlight where I do not want to go. Basically everywhere. To name a few – Sahara Desert – India (I really want to see the Taj Mahal) – All of South America – Alaska

Do you have any upcoming travel plans for 2017?

We have just returned from a trip to Bali, Indonesia and I am leaving for London in a weeks time (feb 5). From London I am flying to Switzerland and may make a pit stop in Paris for a day or two. Other than that, we are really focusing on exploring more of Australia. I still haven’t been to the Great Barrier Reef. Hamilton Island and Fraser Island. Those locations are top of my list for 2017.

Do you do research for your upcoming trips before visiting them?

Yes. I like to check out local tourism websites and see what they recommend doing. I also read a few articles from fellow bloggers experiences. I think its important to have a balance of planning and spontaneity. You want to make sure you research the important things like countries religion and laws, as well as a few things of interest. I always research national parks and breakfast spots.

What is your most favourite photograph that you have taken during your travels?

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Posintano by Jay Foy (aka boyfriend)

Which airline do you prefer to fly with?

When we lived in London we would fly with the cheapest possible option- this was mostly Ryan Air. In Australia, we opt for Jet Star or Tiger Air (again, because they’re cheap). These days, I generally fly with Emirates for long haul flights but if we are on a budget, we will fly with anyone. Seriously… one time there was ash trays on board and no in flight entertainment

Tell me your top travel quotes to inspire yourself or other travellers

I am a big Eckhart Tolle fan. Any quote about living in the moment is right up my alley. I’ll go with this one “Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”

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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/louise__brady/

Twitter: @capturedtoshare

Exploring the ancient town of Thera on Santorini Island

On the Island of Santorini, The ancient town of Thera (otherwise known as Thira) is located 360m high on Messavouno Mountain, between Kamari and Perissa Beach. You can either drive from Kamari – I recommend taking an ATV instead of a car, as the road is VERY narrow – or walk up the mountain from Perissa Beach.
Thera is only accessible by foot from a certain point, but the stunning view makes the hike worth it!

Ancient Thera consists of Roman, Hellenistic and Byzantine ruins. You can wander around these cobblestoned pathways, following footsteps from settlements as early as the 9th century BC!

For only €2 entry – I highly suggest adding Ancient Thera to your Santorini Itinerary!

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