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Interview: Meet travel photography blogger Nilla Palmer

Hello everyone. Welcome to Poorwa’s blog. So here is an interview with a travel photography blogger Nilla Palmer owner of blog ‘Image Earth Travel’, who loves capturing the globe with words and lens! And, when not traveling to exotic destinations she is based in Brisbane (Australia), working as a Technical Writer and freelance Photographer.

Portfolio: Nilla’s Photography

Blog: Image Earth Travel

Tell us about you and your blog?

As the name suggests, Image Earth Travel is a blog about capturing the world with words and lens.

I started this blog around 5 years’ ago without knowing anything about blogging. As with many new bloggers, I learnt the hard way as the blog matured.

When did you start traveling? What inspired you to travel around the world?

I first started to travel in 1985, when I left Australia on a solo-backpacking trip around the world for 12 months. I’ve written a very detailed post on what inspired me to start traveling: Why do you travel?

Raised in a smallish semi-rural town but also brought up on the BBC and the ABC, watching many documentaries opened my mind and made me want to explore the globe. This first trip triggered an insatiable travel bug in me and I haven’t really stopped.

When and how did you start working with WordPress?

Around 5 years’ ago. The impetus for WordPress was that I had to change platforms within a week, otherwise, I’d lose all my posts. I only had 5 posts on the Matador Community platform, but this pushed me to research more about blogging. I discovered that WordPress is the most popular CMS out there for bloggers so decided on this platform. I started with the free version, then went onto the paid Premium as the support is excellent on this plan.

Tell us about your favorite adventures?

This is a hard question as there are so many wonderful experiences. And, this is another reason for starting my blog, so I can share free travel tips/experiences with travellers. Or, people that are hesitant to take their first step. Hopefully, my blog and its stories inspire people to get out there and see the world.

But, I digress. One favourite adventure is the journey to Angel Falls in Venezuela. This region will blow anyone’s mind. Especially, as it’s the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world and not easy to get to either – very challenging. I dedicated a post on Angel Falls and would love to return one day.

How many countries have you visited? Which is your favorite to visit?

I think I’m at around 62 countries across 6 continents, which isn’t a lot by many travellers’ measures, but I love to travel slowly and really absorb the country I’m in. Having a checklist of countries that I’ve travelled to isn’t my thing. I don’t have an actual favourite country but would love to return to Venezuela, Vietnam, Laos, and The Baltic States again. The list is long though…

Do you travel alone?

I mostly travel with my partner but as mentioned before, have done a bit of solo travelling. I enjoy both and the big difference I find is that as a couple, travellers don’t tend to approach you as much compared to when you travel solo. I’m not sure why this is, but I don’t have any hesitation about approaching a couple when travelling.

Have you experienced anything that you can’t forget ever? You can share your story.

Yes, we were robbed in Peru – again, I’ve published a separate blog on this but can give you a brief outline. We didn’t really want to stop in Chiclayo but needed to break up the bus journeys between destinations and wait for connecting buses, so stayed a couple of nights. It was one of the first times we stayed in a hotel as family-run hostels are much safer in South America.

We slept overnight in our not-so-great dirty room and left to do a little sightseeing the following morning. Returned to our room  after only 4 hours to find we’d been robbed. It was the hotel staff. The police confirmed this but couldn’t prove anything. Someone unlocked our room, picked the locks on our backpacks, took everything but our passports and credit cards (they couldn’t use these), re-locked our packs and room once more, on leaving. We lost 2 laptops, an ipod, a mobile phone, a bunch of American dollars. My partner lost all his photos of Boston and Machu Picchu as his SD card was still in his laptop. The robber even took Polish Zlotty (currency) which is absolutely useless in Peru. Filing the report at the police station was also horrible.

Have you ever felt very tired or wanted to give up? At that time what inspired you?

Yes, when trying to get information together to apply for Italian citizenship. The bureaucracy is oppressive in Italy and the people in charge go out of their way to make your life difficult. The Public Servants really don’t want to help you at all and expect you to know all the legal requirements and all in a language that isn’t your mother-tongue.

What do you think is the most difficult thing when you travel?

Communicating with people in isolated villages. 

I always try and have a few local words in my head, but it’s never enough to really deepen the communicative experience with a local. I would love to swap a chip in my brain each time I visit a new country so that I instantly know the country’s language…just like The Matrix.

What you did or doing in quarantine?

Returned to Australia from southern Italy in February to renovate a house. My tenants left the house in an awful state after 14 years of renting, so we took 6 weeks renovating the house working 12 to 13-hour days. Then, our flights were cancelled due to COVID so, remained in Australia. I’m not sure when I’ll be back to Italy at this stage as Australians are not allowed to leave the country unless it’s for compassionate grounds. Also, everyone entering Australia needs to self-isolate for 14 days at a government designated hotel.This is at our own expense of around US$2,500! It’s crazy that we can’t self-isolate in our own homes. I’m also busy writing as I still publish post every Sunday.

Share some tips for traveling.

  • I think I travel very differently to many people. For a start, it’s not for a few weeks, it’s long-term for several years. I never have more than a one-way flight (sometimes return flight, depending on the circumstance) and 1 or 2 nights’ accommodation booked in advance. 
    The only time I did this was last September then COVID struck and everything, even bus trips I had booked were cancelled. I’m still trying to get a refund for flights from April.
  • I always travel with a backpack and a daypack and never use a roll-on suitcase. Those types of suitcases are too hard to get on/off any sort of transport, plus you can’t drag them over cobbled stone and Europe has a plethora of cobbled stone streets.
  • If you’re anything like me – a poor memory for place names –  keep a small travel journal and jot things down at the end of each day. You’ll be surprised at how fast you fill up a journal and great for blogging, especially when you don’t have an internet connection or it’s very poor.

So this was the interview I took with Nilla Palmer and I hope you like it. Thank you for visiting my site and special thanks to Nilla for answering my questions in such a beautiful way. So don’t forget to visit her portfolio Nilla’s Photography and blog Image Earth Travel.

Have a great day!

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