Amanda Blakley, a Travel Journalist and Editor: “Travel truly feeds my soul”

Amanda Blakley is a loving mother of two little boys, travel journalist and editor, with a knack for pottery. Travel is a huge part of her business and personal life. It’s her greatest passion and preoccupation. You could call her a traveler at heart that always seeks to cultivate a hunger for adventure in others, especially in her boys.

What do you love about travel?

Travel truly feeds my soul. It’s like an illicit drug, and I’m constantly chasing that traveler’s high. There is something poetic about being removed from your usual time and space. I love bending the mind with the challenge of navigating new roads, tasting new cuisines and attempting new languages. When I spend a significant amount of time in a place, it starts to seep into my dreams.

What do you loathe about travel?

The frustration of flight delays, the ethnocentric attitude of some tourists.

Do you have what is called “a travel bug”? If so, where do you dream of travelling to next?

I’ve definitely received this diagnosis - I’ve got a bad case;) I have yet to visit India - the palaces of Jaipur and the beaches of Goa have been calling my name for some time. Tokyo is still on my hotlist, despite multiple failed attempts to visit. Maybe in 2019. And I look so forward to the day I can take my little boys to see the great animals of Africa!

What is your most memorable travel adventure?

Well, I’m currently somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean - in between my home in Toronto and Spain. Daydreaming of our magical Mallorcan menagerie. It was everything I could have hoped for. A little bit rustic and a little bit refined, this sun-baked island has something for everyone. It was incredibly family-friendly - many restaurants had kids-corners and menus. Our boys are getting to a great age to really appreciate the precious moments that travel affords, so it was a joy to witness. We stayed at an agro-turismo (farmstead hotel) for part of the trip and they were enthralled by the sheep and donkeys that roamed just beyond our doorstep. Living downtown in a large city, I don’t think they had ever seen a real donkey up close.

Have you learned anything valuable during your travels? If so, can you share with others.

I think compassion, patience and gratitude have been my biggest life lessons. Experiencing other cultures and customs has been a lifelong education in compassion. Until you’ve walked a day in another man’s shoes and so on. Patience is necessary because life is unpredictable, especially when you’re on the road. I’ve tried to be better about letting go of expectations and outcomes. And gratitude for obvious reasons. Although I love traipsing around the world, I feel so lucky to call Canada home!

Have you ever had any travel related mishaps? If so, how did you solve them?

I think travel mishaps are all part of the journey. I have definitely had my fair share - but I look at them more as speed bumps. A good reminder to slow down, take stock, reassess the situation and then proceed accordingly.

What’s the one thing you cannot go without when traveling? (aside from your passport)

Well, I have two. Good luggage (I love AWAY for all its handy compartments and tech - the built-in USB charger) and a camera (I shoot with a Nikon D750 and just started using the Essential Phone and love the 4G compact camera and video on it).

What Amanda’s travel experience can teach us it is traveling with the right attitude that includes compassion, patience and gratitude can unlock different layers of our travel experiences. Guess we’ll need to pack them for our future travels.

Amanda Blakley
Amanda Blakley is Toronto-based travel journalist & editor at Crumb. She also contributes prose to some of North America’s preeminent publications (Globe & Mail, Here Magazine, CBC, National Post, Four Seasons Mag).