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Falling in love with travel & finding my DREAM travel job

As part of our Travel Addict Stories, we've made it our mission to feature the stories, experiences and top tips from the members of our ever-growing community. Lois is a huge contributor to our group and has had her fair share of travel experiences around the world.

Lois was one of the FIRST ever Travel Addicts members to join the group who I didn't know. She now is about to be our photographer on our first ever Travel Addicts Adventure and I can't wait to show you how incredible she is at what she does. I asked Lois to spill the beans on what's she's been up to and share some wisdom and inspiration that no doubt will inspire you to embrace a life of travel-addiction!

Complete this sentence: “You know you’re a Travel Addict when...”

your rule is to always already have a trip booked for after the one you're about to take!

How long have you been a part of the Travel Addicts community and what is it about being a member of this group that you like most?

I discovered Travel Addicts at the end of 2018 when I was planning a 2 month solo trip to South East Asia for after I graduated in Summer 2019. I had a travel blog and wanted to connect with more people, and get as well prepared as I could for finding all the great spots in SEA!

A few weeks later Sherilyn ran an Instagram competition for a 'Travel Addicts' branded passport and luggage tag which I won - obviously it was super exciting (I still use both for every trip and they are a little worse for wear to say the least!!) but little did I know what that interaction would kickstart! A year or two went by as Sherilyn and I continued to watch each other grow online, and cheer each other on through our travels and achievements. During Covid we were both pursuing our freelance careers and going on that journey simultaneously at a very difficult and lonely time was invaluable. To have someone that shares such a huge passion of travel is one thing, but to have someone who just GETS what it means to build your own business from the ground up and can share in your fears and dreams is something very rare, and that I truly cherish.

Travel Addicts is one of the most authentic groups for travel out there. It's intimate, meaning you can actually have conversations and help people without being swamped with a million notifications, and everyone is just routing for each other, because that's the environment Sherilyn has created! I'm part of a lot of online travel communities and I haven't come across anything like it.

What was the first ever international trip that you remember - what do you remember about it?

I was very fortunate growing up with parents who love to travel, so some of my earliest memories in life are of being abroad. They took me skiing when I was 3 (and I've been almost every year since!) so that's possibly the earliest. My parents loved their package holidays once my younger brother was born so I remember from 4 years old being in kids clubs and going for summer walks in the Alps with the reps who were most likely the age I am now. I remember learning songs and getting very grumpy because I was hot😂

When did you realise that travel was more than just “a holiday” every now and then for you? When and how did you realise that you were a Travel Addict?

As my parents are big travelers, we would usually do two-three holidays a year, and my grandad was traveling the world every year until he was 92 so it has always been in my blood. However, a 4 day trip with my best friend to Barcelona in 2017 was the kicker. I was 19, in a very dark place and she introduced me to the world of hostels, budget travel and backpacking with a camera in your hand and it completely ignited something in me that drove me to want to be able to travel for a living. It felt like a form of mindfulness, being in a new environment and taking in new beautiful scenes. Being a student and discovering I could afford to travel and have this experience regularly was so revolutionary, so I took every chance I got to take long weekend trips away and get better at photography. I put up a piece of paper on my uni room wall that said "In 5 years, I will be traveling the world doing what I love." At that point, I didn't know I wanted to pursue photography as a career, I just knew I wanted to travel for a living, and finding what I loved would naturally follow, whatever it was. I tried blogging, vlogging, "influencing", but in end the thing I always enjoyed the most was taking & editing photos. 2022 is 5 years later, and I'll have done at least 7 work trips for work by the end of the year.

What impact has travel had on your life?

It's absolutely shaped who I am. I know I'm super fortunate to have grown up with it, but over the years, seeing as many different corners of the world has completely evolved into my life's purpose. It was the light at the end of a very dark tunnel for me, and by taking travel photos, I want to inspire others to discover that light for themselves (omg that's so cheesy kill me).

I'm a real scatterbrain, and currently being assessed for ADHD, and traveling just allows me to take a moment to just SLOW DOWN and take it all in. Photos then allow me not to forget those moments, and create art from those moments, which I think is why I fell in love with travel photography. A lot of my career & life goals are based around travel, and I truly feel like it's given me an anchor for what I want to achieve in life. For example, I've always wanted to be published in a famous magazine/newspaper. Never knew what for! But a few weeks ago, one of my photos from a recent trip to Macedonia was published in The Times. Bucket list ☑️

When was your last trip, and where did you go? Just got back this morning from Tuscany, Italy! I was filming a wedding out there which was as incredible as it sounds, but also extremely tiring. I was working 15 hours in 40 degree heat, but regardless, I loved every second of it and the footage we got was EPIC.

What’s your NEXT trip? Tell us all about it!! Zell Am See in Austria towards the end of August. I'm currently doing a lot of work for Tui which is honestly the most insane dream come true and I never thought would be possible but here we are! A lot of these types of jobs come through last minute and I usually don't hear about the plans or what time my flights are until a week or two before😂 All I know is that this will be 5 days of shooting in the mountains to promote the destination to Tui customers on social media. The team I work with is amazing and it's truly a pinch-me partnership that I'm still not over and don't think I ever will be!

Have you ever travelled solo? If so, what did you learn from it? If not, is it something that you’d like do?

Looking back it's so strange that my first solo experience was actually a week in Israel in 2017. I was staying with my friend who was living out there so it didn't really feel like a solo trip, but the way the trip panned out, it definitely was, as she was working all day every day, so I only saw her in the evenings. I did my own thing and was in my element, exploring new places that I never thought I would visit. In 2019 I spent two months in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, and had the time of my life. I learnt to be comfortable in my own company and it was amazing to see what I overcame whilst being so far away from home (coming off my scooter three times resulting in a hospital trip, almost dying rescuing my drone from a cliff edge, a lot of mental struggle, and meeting people from all over the world that seemed to like me for just me!)

Who are your favourite travel buddies and why? (Permission to shout them out!)

First and foremost, myself. Traveling with people is great, but it's definitely a time when people can show their true colours. Honestly, if you want to test a relationship/friendship, don't live with each other, just go traveling together 😅 Being on my own means I can literally do whatever the hell I want, challenge myself however I want and be free to be spontaneous. It helps me to connect with myself and reflect on who I want to be.

Also my partner Tom. He's an absolute trooper when it comes to traveling with me. He's the most patient person I know and he supports me every time I stop what we're doing because I want to take photos - which not everyone has done in the past).

I know Sherilyn will 100% be on the list after our trip to Cappadocia! I can just tell😂

What is the BEST hidden gem you have ever found?

Ninh Binh in Vietnam. A peaceful region in the North decorated with limestone mountains, rivers and open roads that you can ride around for hours without being bothered by anyone. Stunning views and not very touristy at all.

What is your... 1) Favourite travel book? 2) Favourite travel quote? 3) Favourite travel movie or TV show? 4) Favourite meal that you’ve ever had on your travels?

1. 'A Spotter's Guide to Toilets' by Lonely Planet. Photos of all the weird and wonderful restrooms around the world. Hilarious and genuinely fascinating. I'm a visual person (if you couldn't tell) and don't often read so this just sums me up😂

2. "Doubt kills dreams more than failure ever will." Applicable for both travel and pursuing any other goals!

3. Very rogue but the first season of Jack Whitehall's Travels with my Father is hilarious and gave me a bunch of inspo for my SEA trip, and now it's very nostalgic looking back!

4. So many. A veggie mushroom burger I had in Colombia, a traditional salad I made in a cooking class in Macedonia, every pasta dish in Rome, a random vegan spot in Hue, Vietnam that cost like 70p for SO much food. Also, nothing beats a watermelon smoothie on a beach!

Is there anything exciting that you’re working on at the moment that you’d like to share? How can our readers connect with you?

For all epic travel photos, my Instagram is Lois Clicks. Watch that space for Cappadocia content after our trip!

My business's website for all my photography & videography is Instagram is Rustic Studios Keep an eye on Rustic Wedding Films for the Tuscany video which will be dropping within the next month!

We hope that you got some inspiration from Lois's Travel Addict Story! Our community is all about finding those bucket list places that you’re destined to experience, and meeting like-minded travel addicts from all walks of life.

If you are not already part of our Facebook community, be sure to join us here (and to apply for a feature like this in our community blog, you can sign up here)

Of course join our email list so that you don’t miss out on future Travel Addicts events, international trips and all the best advice!

Thanks so much for being part of our community, keep wanderlusting, keep sharing - adventure awaits!


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