My first solo trip was for 16 months and I swore I wouldn't do it again. Since then, I've taken many trips alone and although I usually prefer to have company, I can honestly say I enjoy travelling on my own, too. I've learned how to stay safe, entertain myself, avoid feeling self-conscious, overcome my fears of talking to people and make the most of not having to worry about keeping anyone else happy.
After my first major trip around the world, I knew I didn't want to a) live in the UK again and b) pick vegetables and wait tables for the rest of my life in warmer climes. I got myself a degree and a TEFL certificate and have been teaching English as a foreign language for over 12 years. This job has enabled me to live and work in Spain, Italy, Vietnam, Tanzania, Venezuela and Portugal to name but a few. I've learned so much from teaching kids and adults in different countries.
I went to Barcelona to do my TEFL teaching course and stayed for 2 years. After that, I spent a further 2 years in Tanzania and 1 year in Venezuela before finally settling in Portugal in 2007. I have no plans to leave any time soon. Over the years, I've learned how to cope with living far away from family and old friends, how to set up a new life in countries where I didn't speak the language and an awful lot about living as an expat in rural Portugal in particular.
Although I traded in the backpack for a suitcase with wheels a long time ago, I am always looking for ways to make my travel money go further. I've tracked down the best discount sites and deals for Portugal. I even wrote a book about saving money in Portugal (you can get a copy for free on my blog: http://juliedawnfox.com/2013/04/04/money-saving-tips-for-travelling-in-portugal/). I like a little luxury, of course, but I still use hostels and apartments to economise at times.
I lived and worked in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania for 2 years and travelled to various parts of the country including several trips to Zanzibar. I've been to most of the safari parks, except Ngorongoro! I can help you with questions about travel planning and culture.
I've been living in and travelling the length and breadth of Portugal for 7 years so this is my main area of expertise. I love getting off the beaten track and exploring Portugal's lesser-known treasures. I'm especially interested in art, creative culture, countryside and architecture, as well as food and drink. If you're thinking of visiting or moving to Portugal, ask away!
I lived and worked in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania for 2 years and travelled to various parts of the country including several trips to Zanzibar. I've been to most of the safari parks, except Ngorongoro!
I'm from the UK, lived in Barcelona, Spain for 2 years and have travelled to almost all countries in Western Europe. I've been living in Portugal since 2007 and have gradually been getting to know the country from north to south.