As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we keep in touch with travelers who have had firsthand experiences wandering the world. Today, we’re excited to feature Hannah Hilton, freelance writer and photographer documenting her travels around the world!
Hannah Hilton has spent a considerable amount of time exploring the world and documenting her travels on her website and Instagram. When she’s not busy climbing mountains, training for marathons or researching surf schools, she’s at home in the UK, cooking up her next adventure and typing up new content.
1- You’re originally from York, but are now traveling around the world. Where are you now and where are you headed next?
Right now, I’m in Scotland enjoying a family holiday (my brother is briefly back from living and working in South America, so we’re celebrating). After this, I’m heading straight to Italy to enjoy a Tuscan road trip, followed by a Portuguese surf trip with some old friends and then I’ll be heading to Zermatt, Switzerland for an annual hiking trip! After that, I’ll be visiting Australia and New Zealand on a recce – I’m toying with the idea of relocating to New Zealand permanently (so.many.mountains)!
2- How did you start travel writing? Was there anything specific that made you want to explore the world?
I started travel writing as a hobby while I was studying law at university, I needed something fun to break up the dull depths of studying the English Legal System! Every half term I’d pack my bag and head off on an adventure, when I returned to University to begin the new term I’d spend half my time writing up stories from my trips. It made answering the question “oh my gosh, how was your summer? It looked epic!” really easy – I’d send them a link to my website to read all about it! As for why I travelled, I’m not sure? I think I’m a restless person and there’s so much to see out there that I just had to explore. Also, I’m a keen photographer and videographer, and I’m always looking for new backdrops for my shots!
3- Do you have any advice or tips for anyone trying to take the same path as you?
Making a living from traveling the world and writing about it seems incredibly dreamy and almost unachievable. But, it’s totally doable! My biggest tip for breaking into the travel writing industry is to build your portfolio early and write about as many topics/ destinations/cultures as you possibly can from day dot. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that nobody is reading your articles when you start out. Keep writing and keep building that portfolio. One day, someone will be delighted by your epic anecdotes (like that time you went on a self-guided safari and rolled your 4×4 into a ditch and had to wait eight hours to be towed to safety – true story), and maybe, they’ll pay you to turn your anecdotes into a guide! Win, win!
4- At Busbud, our mission is to make bus travel information easy to find so that travelers can make better travel decisions. What do you think about this mission and do you think this type of service would benefit the travel community?
There’s nothing as easy as hopping on a bus and being driven to your chosen destination. Unless you’re trying to do it in a foreign country, between two destinations you’ve never visited, and without knowing if the trip is actually cost-effective. That’s why Busbud is such a handy tool to have and one that every traveler needs! Not only can you get easy access to bus schedules but you can also search in your own language and currency and make use of their online price comparison. By making bus travel more accessible, the team at Busbud have opened a world of travel opportunities!
5- Do you have a memorable bus story to share with us?
I have a couple of funky bus trip stories, but my favourite might have to be in Iceland where I jumped onto a small bus that proceeded to drive up the country’s second largest glacier (the third largest in Europe). We spent the next two hours skidding and bouncing around on ice and snow while the driver kept jumping out to change the tire pressure! I think I bashed my head into the window more times than I’d like to remember.
6- Do you have any packing essentials for travel writers and photographers?
Always, always pack light. I’m a minimalist, so I find this super easy and could easily live in just three outfits! However, always pack your laptop and notebook, you never know when a job might come through or when you might have a brainwave for a new article topic. As for camera gear, I like to have a separate camera bag so that I know exactly where my gear is when I need it. It’s no fun rooting around in the bottom of an 80L backpack for your Fuji X-T1 (one of my favourite lightweight cameras) – you’ll miss the shot! I’d also recommend packing a hard drive to backup all your photos and documents as you go.