Interview with an Expat Blogger: Cheryl Howard
Blogger Cheryl Howard epitomizes a new kind of travel writing: after a travel epiphany on the Charles Bridge in Prague, she sold up and left her home in Canada, to move to Berlin for 18 months. Since then she’s barely stood still, visiting 25 countries and building a following of thousands across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
We asked her a few questions about her travels, and where she’s off to next…
Hi Cheryl! First things first, where do you come from, and where do you live now?
I’m from Toronto, Canada – which is also where I’m currently based. Just came back home after living nearly 2 years abroad in Berlin, Germany.
What first inspired you to travel?
I’ve had wanderlust within me since I was a small child. My travelling career didn’t really start until 2006 though, after my dad passed away. This really made me think about how short life can be and how it should be experienced joyously and to the fullest. With that thought in mind, I booked my first solo international trip which took me cruising through the Galapagos Islands, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and flying over the Nazca Lines.
You can read more about what inspires me to travel on my blog.
Similarly, how did you get into blogging? Have platforms like Twitter and Instagram affected your travels?
I began blogging while planning my next trip back to South America – this time to Brazil and Argentina. Around that time, I sold my house and got laid off from my job which prompted me to take a sabbatical and travel more seriously. As I travelled, I wrote about my experiences and started building a following online. I also started getting involved in the travel blogging community which really helped as well.
I’m a hardcore tweeter and instagrammer. It’s great to share your experiences in real (or near real) time and connect with others who can offer up tips about your current destination.
You can follow me on Twitter here and on Instagram here.
Has social media played a big role in your travels?
Yep. It helps me stay connected with friends/family from home who sometimes worry about me when I’m travelling solo. It also helps me to connect with my followers for reasons stated above.
What have your best and worst travel experiences been?
I’ve had so many amazing experiences that’s it’s hard to pick what my best one is (not a bad problem to have) – I would say that paragliding through the Italian Alps definitely ranks as one my top moments. Dressing up as a princess and getting treated to a medieval dinner in a Portuguese castle wasn’t bad either!
I’ve had a couple of bad experiences which I think I handled well and with a sense of humour. Getting stuck in Copenhagen for the weekend during a terrible winter storm was one of them as was getting stranded in Poland for night.
Where is ‘home’? Are there other parts of the world you’d like to live in?
Toronto is now home. I would love to someday make my way back to Berlin! Amsterdam, Hamburg, Rio De Janeiro and San Francisco are other attractive options for the future.
Do you feel part of a community of expats online?
When I was in Berlin, I really connected with other expats online. You can read more about my experiences making friends in Berlin on my blog.
Last of all… where is left on your list of places to visit?
Pretty much everywhere I haven’t been – countries at the top of my list right now are Iceland, Turkey and Greece.