Emily: a travel blogger living in Georgia7 min read
Emily: a travel blogger living in Georgia7 min readReading Time: 5 minutes
Hi Emily, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your lifestyle?
I’m a writer, photographer and communications consultant from Australia. I’ve been either living abroad or travelling full-time for just over 5 years now.
I run my own travel blog, Wander-Lush, which I founded way back in 2015. I also write for a few online publications and work remotely for a magazine back in Brisbane. My blog was born from my love of discovering places through different cultures, cuisines and traditions. I love investigating and writing about those topics, but in reality I cover a huge range of content.
My travel style is all about long stays – I love spending a month or more in a city and really getting to the heart of the place. I have periods when I travel at quite a fast pace, but I burn out pretty quickly! Most of the time I’m in one place and doing shorter trips.
What is your current destination?
My husband and I arrived in Georgia at the start of February just before the lockdown. We spent 4 months on the Black Sea coast in Batumi before recently relocating to Tbilisi, the capital city. Georgia is one of our favourite places in the world – we both feel so lucky to be here at a time like this.
Georgia has dealt with the crisis exceptionally well and because of that, domestic travel has already resumed. We’ve been travelling around the country a fair bit, revisiting some of the places we loved on our previous trips here in 2017 and 2019, and discovering new spots as well. Tbilisi is our home base for the time being.
Can you tell us a bit about the projects you are currently working on? Are you currently looking for some new projects and clients?
Most of my time is dedicated to Wander-Lush. I write a lot about the Caucasus region so being here in Georgia, I have a never-ending list of things to write about. I’ve worked really hard to get my website to a place where it’s a sustainable source of income. This year has obviously been a bit rough for travel bloggers like me, but I decided early on to double down and make the most of the opportunity to power through as much work as possible.
I also freelance for a number of travel and lifestyle publications, and I manage communications for a Fair Trade brand in Nepal. I’m always open to new projects and opportunities, especially if they involve supporting communities. My background is in international development so I’m very passionate about sustainable tourism.
What do you like the most about being a Digital Nomad?
It’s a stock-standard answer, but I really do love having the flexibility to set my own working schedule. The freedom to live in environments that I find stimulating and inspiring is also a huge bonus for a writer like me.
And what are the downsides of it (in case there are any)?
There are lots of downsides! Being away from family and friends is one of the biggest. Australia is a long way from anywhere and I sometimes feel isolated because of that. For that reason, I try to get home to visit at least once a year.
What is a place/country you liked the most while travelling and why? What’s on your to-travel-list?
Georgia is hands down my favourite country, which is why I feel so lucky to be ‘stuck’ here right now. Tbilisi is an incredible city and the nature here is unreal – there’s so much packed into such a tiny area, you literally never run out of things to do.
I’ve spent a lot of time in Southeast Asia as well, particularly in Cambodia and Vietnam where I worked for 2 years. I love both those countries dearly, both as places to travel to and places to live.
Actually my to-travel list is pretty short these days! I’ve never been one of those people who wants to travel to every country – I know what I like, I know where I feel comfortable and where I like spending my time, and I’m quite content with that. If you told me I could only travel to the Caucasus and Southeast Asia for the rest of my life, I’d actually be pretty chuffed. Having said that, I would love to explore Central Asia at some point, and see more of Australia.
How often do you use coworking spaces? Is there one that you’d like to recommend to other nomads?
I use co-working spaces occasionally when I’m doing longer stays in a city. I’ve learned to be pretty flexible over the last 5 years and can work from just about anywhere, but I definitely find I’m more productive and focused when I’m co-working.
Last year I travelled around the Balkans for 8 months and co-worked at a couple of Impact Hubs. I really love their services and the work they do for the creative community. We have an Impact Hub here in Tbilisi, too.
Can you tell us what is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to have a place of my own to call home – which is counterintuitive for a digital nomad, I know! I love the DM lifestyle and I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am today, but I’m a creature of habit at heart and I thrive off routine. That’s why I prefer long stays and don’t like moving around too much. That huge trip through the Balkans that I mentioned made me realise long-term travel isn’t really for me.
I look forward to the day when I have my own space to settle into and use as a base. I love collecting textiles, paintings and other handicrafts on my travels, and my dream is to have a place where I can unpack all the things I’ve collected over the years.
In case you have a motto, could you share it with us?
I don’t really have a motto, but a phrase I always think about when I’m travelling is ‘abundance mentality’. I’m quite an anxious person by nature and I love to plan ahead, which of course isn’t always possible when you’re on the road. I’ve been abroad for 5 years now and I can count the number of times I’ve run into trouble on one hand. There will always be someone to help you out, someone to drive you, a place to stay, a way to make ends meet – you just have to trust that everything will work out.
Could you share with us the names of two inspiring digital nomads that you are following?
One of my favourite travel blogs is The Common Wanderer, which is run by an Australian couple who are living as digital nomads in Budapest. I love their storytelling and photography. If I have some down time, it’s always their URL I end up typing into my browser.
Another digital nomad who I really admire is Jason of the Zero to Travel podcast. I started listening to him when I was back in Australia and dreaming of living overseas. He was instrumental in helping me take that first, most difficult leap.
Is there something that you would like to add?
2020 has been a topsy-turvy year for everyone, and it’s been a huge challenge for digital nomads and people who live away from home. I struggled in the beginning to try and make the right decision – should I go home or stay put? – and I know a lot of your readers probably experienced something similar.
I hope 2020 makes us realise what a privilege it is to travel. I know I will never take it for granted again.
Written by: Kristina Lukacova, a DN that enjoys good food, good wine and good vibes. If you would like to know more about Emily, you can have a look at her BLOG.