Gabbing with Globetrotters is Keokee’s traveler interview segment in which we chat with wanderers from all over the world about their travel experiences, tips, and dreams.
Today, meet Kirstin from the tinberry travels, a Scottish traveler who has lived in Australia and Jersey and explored the globe.
Hi Kirstin! Thanks for joining us. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi everyone, I’m Kirstin. I grew up in a little village in South Lanarkshire, Scotland and am now based in Glasgow, but I’ve also lived in Australia and on Jersey in the Channel Islands. I run my travel site, the tinberry travels, sharing stories, adventures and travel-related nonsense as I explore near and far. My “everyday” work is in the environmental and conservation sector, so I love spending lots of time outdoors, and there’s definitely a lot of nature involved in my travel planning. I’ve mostly travelled solo, but more recently the majority of my exploring is with my husband Andrew in tow.
What are three items you couldn’t travel without?
A good pair of walking boots is always a must for me. I walk so much more while travelling than I do at home, both following wilderness trails and just exploring new cities by foot. For long journeys on trains or planes or evenings in hostels, I definitely need something to read, so a book is a travel essential — if you can stay at places with a book exchange service, then you can keep swapping your reading material as you go along! I usually carry a little calendar or a diary as well, not to actually keep a journal in but just to keep track of where I’ve been that day or what the plan is for tomorrow.
What travel destination do you think doesn’t get nearly enough love?
I always love promoting my home country of Scotland, as it often gets overlooked. Beautiful landscapes, adventure sports, amazing history and culture, and whether you’re looking for Highland wilderness or city centre shopping, Scotland has something for everyone.
Scotland really is stunning! What advice do you have for travelers trying to stick to a tight budget?
Planning ahead can help save the pennies; booking in advance and researching discount vouchers online can sometimes take a large chunk off admission fees. Also keeping an eye out for free events or open days is a great way to keep costs low – I once happened upon a museum free day which only happened once a quarter but saved me $48! If you enjoy meeting local people, using services like Couchsurfing, local hostel work exchange programmes, or Workaway are great ways to help extend travel. Planning meals, buying transport tickets in advance, and making friends you can split bills with are also good ideas.
Overall, do you prefer to plan every detail of your trips in advance, play it by ear when you get there, or somewhere in between?
I’m definitely an inbetweener. I like to know what all my options are and figure out rough plans or itineraries, but then if I find something different when I arrive, I might abandon all those plans and just go explore. I usually only book the big things like transport and accommodation for arrival somewhere new, but it can vary place to place.
That makes sense! And do you prefer doing long-term backpacking trips or having a home-base and taking short trips from there?
I do a bit of both. I prefer longer term travel but more recently we’ve been doing a lot of daytrips around our home in Glasgow and a few overnights or short stays in Scotland and England, which is a great way to explore what’s in your own backyard.
Exploring your own backyard is always such a delight. If you had to live in another country, where would you go?
I stayed in Brisbane, Australia in 2010/11 and it was one of my favourite places, so I’d always be tempted to go back. I also loved Toronto, Canada when I visited – I just felt at home as soon as I got there, so I think if I got the chance I’d live in Canada for a while and take the opportunity to travel around such a vast country. I’m a sucker for hiking, so Canada’s never-ending natural wonders would be perfect. But there are so many places we haven’t been yet, so as long as there was plenty of options to explore and some way to make an income we’d give anywhere a go!
What trips do you have planned for the future? What’s on your bucket list?
Right now we have an upcoming trip to Montenegro in October, which will be a much-needed break from a stressful year. I’m busy researching lots of destinations for the New Year too, and there is a plan in the pipeline to go on some long-term travel in New Zealand next year! As for a bucket list, I tend not to keep one as it would be never-ending and ever reshuffling.