travel + tea interview: natalie bauer of natalie travels

the travel + tea interviews series: bloggers, writers and photographers sharing about their experiences with tea, travel and writing.

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Tell me about your blog, how did you get to the point you’re at now and what are you thinking of doing next?

My blog is a culmination of years as a traveler, writer and photographer. I find blogging to be a fun and positive outlet to share my experiences and connect with the vast online community of nomads. Hopefully my experiences traveling and living abroad help and inspire other world wanderers.

natalie travels, natalie bauer

I only recently started my blog and I am working on building up relationships with other bloggers and businesses in the travel community as I grow my website. I am also an entrepreneur and lifestyle designer and I have been working towards some personal goals that will allow me greater location independence. When I get to that point watch for some exciting posts!

Tell me where in the world you are, how did you get there (what’s the story behind the journey) and where are you thinking of going next?

I returned from living in Bundang near Seoul Korea to my home base Calgary Canada in
order to work on some entrepreneurial projects. While I battle the ever-long winters here I am daydreaming and planning for future travel. One of the first journeys I hope to make when I get going again will likely be Asia, more specifically Japan and Korea.

What does traveling mean to you?

Travel is my reason for being. The thought of sitting still in a place for extended periods makes me feel like a caged animal. When I am not traveling I am dreaming of traveling or re-hashing past experiences in the world. There are so many amazing places and people in the world and I want to be out there expanding my mind and my heart visiting new places and re-traveling places I’ve already been.

Yerba mate

Image via Wikipedia

What does tea mean to you?

Tea is like a pause in time for me. Usually when I sit down with a cup of tea I am relaxing, often with a group of friends.

Lately though tea has been a part of my daily routine. A huge cup of Yerba Mate keeps me going while I plug away on my laptop.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to blogging on the road?

Honestly I am not sure how I feel about blogging on the road.

I know that too many times I have been so fixated on getting a thousand pictures of a certain place while traveling that I feel like I was looking through a window at the world instead of being deep in things. However then I get home and think, “Oh man, I didn’t get a picture of…”

I would say don’t be so stuck on creating a blog post that you forget to enjoy what you have at hand; your computer and followers will be there when you do write. Don’t miss a chance at once in a lifetime experiences.

What’s your favorite tea related memory or location (it can be as simple as enjoying a can of green tea from a vending machine in Japan to participating in a tea ceremony) and why is it special to you?

Tea in Korea brings up so many memories for me. Sitting in a friend’s apartment having a
philosophical conversation over my first pot of Yerba Mate. Warming up with a hot cup of
Bori Cha over dinner in the winter. Cooling off from the hot hot summer air with a chilled cup of tea. Visiting tea stores in downtown Seoul filled to the ceiling with leaves and flowers that I have never seen before. Shopping for traditional teapots, cups, filters and tea accessories I never new I needed until I saw them. Tea was a deeply integrated part of life in Korea.

What do you drink/steep at home?

I brought home an entire pantry full of tea from Korea and I order tea (and some coffee) from all over the world. I also go to local foreign markets to hunt for new flavors. The tea that I always have around is Yerba Mate, Orange Pekoe, Earl Gray and Chai. I also have a rotation of new teas going and I’ll try anything once.

If there is one tea you could introduce to everyone in the world, what would it be?

Right now the tea I am telling everyone about is Yerba Mate. Have you noticed? I mentioned it a few times already. I learned about it from a friend while living in Bundang and have been hunting for the perfect bag ever since. I’ve stumbled onto the Guayaki brand; they have an amazing selection of delicious flavors and I really appreciate their community and eco conscious efforts.

Can you tell me three of your favorite tea or travel blogs?

The blog I follow most has bits of travel and moments of tea but mostly it is a life blog. I get a lot of inspiration from it. Check out Tim Ferrisss blog: The Four Hour Work Week

For pure travel lust I like to visit The Adventure Travel Company, Intrepid Travel and Gap Adventures.

[**I also love Intrepid, not only for their travel but also for The Intrepid Foundation – they match dollar for dollar donations and you can nominate an area of a world you’d like to see them go to; so if you’ve traveled and a particular part of the world has really touched you – help them out!** deb@travelandtea]

For green tea goodness check out www.obubutea.com. I just discovered the site and I think it is fabulous.

Can you tell me your favorite tea shop (and what made it totally awesome)?

I don’t have a particular teashop but rather an area: Insadong in downtown Seoul. It is a
juxtaposition of artsy and modern yet traditional and homey. This is the neighborhood where I bought all of my favorite Korean tea, tea sets and tea paraphernalia. It is a cool spot to wander around, try some Korea foods and snacks and have tea, and shop to your hearts content while people watching.

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Natalie can be found at Natalie Travels and on Twitter.

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