A chat with Kiwi travel blogger Courtney Tyler, who tells us that if she wasn’t travelling would live in a cute sustainable tiny house by the sea, grow organic veggies, look after abandoned animals and listen to Fleetwood Mac every day.
Where do you call home?
Home is little ol’ New Zealand.
What sort of traveller are you?
I wouldn’t call myself any type of traveller, it’s just me immersing myself in anything and everything I love. It will also depend on where I’m going, who I’m with and what type of experience I’m after in that particular country. I’m most at home with my friends, backpacking, sleeping on beaches, having no plans or accommodation booked and being spontaneous. But on the other end of the spectrum, I also love to lap it up in luxurious resorts from time to time.
What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?
My mum flew with Air New Zealand for 15 years and worked throughout her pregnancy so I was jet-setting in mum’s tum before I was even born. After that, my dad joined Air New Zealand, where he has now been for coming up 30 years. He started taking me on work trips when I was old enough to remember them. One of the first trips I can remember was AKL-TAHITI-LAX-TAHITI-AKL; I would have been around eight. It was a 10-day trip and I can remember thinking at that point, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
Have you been anywhere that turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?
Barcelona for sure! I’m not a huge city girl and touching down here was a pleasant surprise for me. My best friend and I had some time up our sleeves in between destinations and this was a last-minute decision. I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason and the universe is always there guiding us, this was one of those ‘thank you universe’ moments.
Has there been a place that you did not enjoy?
I have a love-hate relationship with Turkey! Don’t get me wrong it is the most beautiful country and Cappadocia is one of my favourite destinations. However, I found myself in some compromising situations that I didn’t feel comfortable with, being a girl in a dominating male culture that didn’t speak much English was challenging. Also, top tip — when your local backpacker host tells you he has never driven a car in his own country because he is terrified of the roads and you should not, I repeat NOT hire a car. You take his advice. I don’t think the Turks have road rules at all!
Where is your favourite place in the world?
Everyone hears me harp on about this all the time but I honestly can’t put into words how amazing Tulum is… but I’ll try! It has the most magical, spiritual energy I’ve ever felt, and my heart was filled with so much love, gratitude and joy just being there. The white sandy beaches are home to seaside bohemian thatched huts, yoga and meditation, healthy whole foods, raw and vegan cuisine and Mayan ruins. On the jungle side, you can cruise down the coastline on your hired vintage bike, stepping into gypsy-inspired boutiques filled with dream catchers, brightly coloured smoothie joints that scream tropical vibes, and recharge in the various teepee retreats that provide energy healing and so much more.
Do you have a bucket list?
For me, it’s not just about the destinations or ticking off all the places I’ve wanted to go. It’s cheesy as hell, but I’m all about the journey not only travelling but when you’re back home having down time. How does it all mold you into the person you are? So, I guess you could say I’m interested in the whole world and excited to see where it takes me next.
Can you imagine life without travel?
There’s no going back once you’ve had a taste of it. Travel for me is not about the places your legs take you but the journey it takes your soul on. Being so vulnerable forces you out of your comfort zone in all the right places. We discover who we are when no one is looking. We learn about love and compassion from all ends of the Earth. It’s as much about exploring your inner world as the outer world.
When did you begin placing your adventures online?
About two years ago during my trip to Europe, the whole place is so picturesque I had to share it with my close friends through Instagram, and now, two years later, I have a little Instagram family following my adventures.
Why do enjoy most about blogging?
Connecting with amazing, genuine people. I have met so many out there already that are on their own life journeys and just doing their thing spreading the love, and it’s bloody beautiful! There is no room for power trips or ego in my world. By surrounding yourself with like-minded people you can only grow, build each other up and inspire every day.
How long have you been doing social media and what makes what you do special?
I’m a graphic designer from 9-5 so I have been in the social media game for quite a while, maybe only two years for myself though. I like to combine my love for travel and creativity. I don’t think I’m special to any other individual working hard to make their dreams a reality. Everyone puts in just as much love, dedication, and hard work to what they do and that’s what makes it all so special.
Do you have any products or services to offer?
Not a product as such, but I hope to inspire people to seek the wanderlust in themselves.
What has been your most successful post to date?
That would have to be a picture of me on a beach swing at Coco Tulum. I think it resonates with people because of the caption. It’s a cute tale of why Tulum is so special to so many people.
What is your favourite mode of transport?
That would have to be car or boat. I try to hire a car when I’m travelling, it’s the best way to have the holiday your way, and at your pace. It also opens you up to getting lost in all the right directions and finding hidden gems! And boat, because who doesn’t love a good sea adventure?!
Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Don’t plan too much — maybe a couple of days ahead at a time, those spontaneous moments always lead to the best adventures. I can’t stress enough how important meeting new people is. Immerse yourself in the local culture. Have an open heart and always be compassionate. The universe will always have your back, trust this and don’t fear the journey. If your heart is pulling you towards something always listen to it and say ‘yes’ to new opportunities.