We’re Starting our first Travel Enthusiast of The week with a woman who wears many hats, one of which happens to be Travel blogger. At the age of 25, Sarah Swank just came home after Traveling for 7 months and shares how she stays fit while Traveling, as well as great and not so great travel experiences.
Home Town: Indianapolis
Current Residence: Indianapolis, Indiana
Job Title: Mentoring Co-Director
Favorite Vacation Destination: Scotland
Bucket list Destination: Galapagos Islands, Iceland,Jordan, New Zealand
Tell Us About Yourself
Hello everyone! I’m Sarah, a 25 year old from Indiana. I work for mentoring program that helps incarcerated teens, and for a yoga studio in Indianapolis assisting with their boutique.
In my spare time, I run a travel blog called Suitcasesix where I write about sustainable travel for working women. I’m also an administrator for a group called Liberated Ladies which is a community for women to empower, support and connect with one another.
Luckily, most of these projects are primarily done from my laptop. This means I can travel frequently so I’m constantly exploring as many new places as possible.
How did you get into blogging?
I got into blogging after graduating from college when I started working and traveling more often. I was seeking a creative outlet that could dually help me record and reflect on my travels, and avoid spending all of my energy on work. My five best friends have all traveled the world and I’ve gotten to travel with most of then abroad at one point or another, so I named my blog Suitcase Six after the six of us.
How long have you been blogging?
I got into blogging just over 1.5 years. It’s been such an incredible learning curve, namely because I imagined Travel blogging as mostly travel, writing, and some photography. In reality, travel blogging is all that, plus social media, photo shopping, videography, web design, tech support, marketing, research and several other things-any one of which might be someone’s entire career focus. It keeps me busy and motivated to learn which I absolutely love.
While Traveling have you ever had a wow moment?
My travel have given me so many wow moments but one that comes to mind is snorkeling and seeing a Sea turtle swimming below my group. Sea turtles are my favorite sea creature and time stopped completely for me as I watched it gracefully float through the water.
What is your most memorable vacation?
Most recently, I traveled for 7 months around the world. I started in Chicago and worked my way east, eventually flying from Las Vagas back into Chicago and driving home to Indianapolis. I visited 15 countries through North America, Europe, and Asia. About half of the journey was solo, and the other half was dotted with friends who joined me from anywhere from a weekend to several weeks. I know the details of those seven months will fade, but I will never forget the experience!
Best Hotel or Resort you ever stood at and why?
In Costa Rica, I spent two nights in the rainforest in a beautiful treehouse with balcony, where you could drink coffee left in a thermos on your doorstep each morning. The environment was stunning, the room was unique and made of all beautiful wood, and the host and other guest were all so very friendly. I’d love to spend more nights in luxury places but right now, I tend to use mostly budget accommodations so I can afford to travel longer.
How do you stay fit while traveling?
I try to incorporate hikes into my travel plans to get some serious workouts in, or catch a yoga class if they’re offered at the hostel or my host’s favorite local studio. Otherwise, I try to walk whenever possible, even if it’s a couple of miles with my heavy backpack on. The exercise is great but it also saves money and allows you to see the city in a way you wouldn’t if you were in a car or subway.
Best and worst travel experiences?
My best travel experience is impossible to choose. A highlight from my recent trip was staying up all night in Denmark with some new friends, we met out on the town and watching the sun come up was we were talking. It always amazes me how easily you can hit it off with a group of people. Sometimes it can be much more difficult at home!
One of my worst experiences would be getting bedbugs from a loud dirty hostel in Munich, Germany. I spent the entire next day and about $200 when it was all said and done to clean everything and switched hotels.
Most unique experience while traveling?
In Mongolia, we got to climb up the dunes of the Gobi Desert to watch the sunset. We got caught in a mini sand storm for about a half hour trying to hold out for the sunset. I almost ruined my camera with copious amounts of sand that blew into my open backpack, getting stuck in the lens. It was an experience both uncomfortable and magical at the same time.
On another note:
On February 1st, 2019 Sarah and her team at Liberated Ladies, just launched their website and it looks amazing! Sarah designed it with ideas from the other ladies. We want to Congratulate the Team!