Hanging out with the Dalai Lama? Check. Photographing bands abroad for Rolling Stone Magazine? Check. Feast on cow intestines? Check…wait, what? Meet Anna, our badass Wanderer of the Week!
What I do when I’m not travelling (aka occupation): Freelance Photographer and travel blogger. I’m currently in the middle of an eight-month bucket list trip through Central and South America! In January, I started a travel blog, TravelLikeAnna.com, focusing on travel advice and inspiration along with my recent photo work.
My next stop: Bolivia. My first stop is the famous salt flats, Salar de Uyuni, then I head to La Paz via Sucre and Potosi. Afterwards, I’ll visit Lake Titicaca en-route to Peru.
My wildest and craziest adventure was: When the recession hit in 2008, it became clear that half my income would soon disappear. I quit everything and spent a year globetrotting. It may seem like a bold move in uncertain times, but I gained one valuable asset—an abundance of time. It was an epic adventure—eight countries in 13 months. I photographed bands in Australia for Rolling Stone, bungee jumped in New Zealand and camped with yak-herding nomads in India. The best part is that I did it solo!
Weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten or drank: I went to an Argentinean asado (barbeque) a few weeks ago in Buenos Aires and tried cow intestine. The taste was very distinctive but not something I’d eat regularly. When I lived in Australia, I ate a lot of kangaroo. It’s really good and great for grilling!
I’ll never forget that time: I got a photo pass to one of the Dalai Lama’s teachings at his temple in McLeod Ganj, India. It took two days and a visit to the Tibetan government office to get the pass. No one was allowed to bring a camera into the event without a pass. I was extremely lucky.
The Dalai Lama sits in a room surrounded only by monks during his teachings at his temple. The only chance I had to photograph him was when he entered and exited. I talked to the guards about his route and staked out a spot between some older Tibetans. During the talk, the monks bring around yummy bread and tea for everyone. The Tibetan lady next to me made sure I didn’t miss out on the bread and tea. It was the most amazing experience of my life!
Most memorable meal: There are so many! Every meal in Argentina was life changing. I went to happy hour at the famous La Cabrera steakhouse in Buenos Aires. I split a mouth-watering 800-gram steak, giant arugula salad and bottle of amazing wine with a friend. The fresh berries in Patagonia are also amazing. Also, the elaborate breakfast buffet at the Oberoi Hotel in Delhi, India is incredible!
One thing on my bucket list is: I want to ride a camel in the Gobi desert. I love camels, and the photos would be amazing!
My Globetrotting Gnome, Alfred! Alfred’s probably the only gnome that’s been kicked out of the Taj Mahal. I met Alfred in Australia. It was love at first sight in the garden aisle. For the past six years, we’ve been travel buddies and trekked across five continents together. Alfred loves to be photographed. His goal is to make people laugh and inspire them to travel. I started making silly gnome cards for friends but started selling them on Etsy and art shows because people loved them so much. Everyone needs a gnome in their mailbox!
Quality rain gear: my Marmot rain jacket and Osprey rain cover for my backpack have saved me countless times. The Osprey rain cover doubles as a cover for my camera in wet conditions or locations like Iguazu Falls.
Headlamp: The headlamp is the single greatest invention after the burrito.
My travel advice: The things that scare you are the things you need to do the most. Everything I do scares me, but I do it anyway. When you do the things you fear, the courage appears afterwards. Don’t wait for the courage. Just book the flight. When you’re 80, you’re never going to say, “Man, I really regret that year I spent traveling the world.” If a girl and a tiny green gnome can travel the world, why can’t you? Get out there!