One To Watch: World Traveller And Blogger Aisling Kielthy
This week’s One to Watch goes to the fabulous Aisling Kielthy – world traveller and creator of The Escapista.com. If anyone knows how to travel in style it’s this girl. And once you catch a glimpse of her amazing adventurous life on her Instagram, you’ll be hooked – we can guarantee you that.
1. Hi Aisling! First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and what you do?
Hi Susan, originally from Wexford, I emigrated to Dubai at the beginning of 2014 to work as Cabin Crew for Emirates Airline. After graduating from Social Science degree in UCD, I felt this move was the perfect option for me as it allowed me to travel the world but earn a good salary at the same time.
2. You’ve worked with Emirates for the past couple of years – how do you think travelling the world has shaped you as a person?
Honestly I think I have changed quite a bit during the past few years. I have been to many corners of the world and seen good and bad but being away from home really makes you appreciate what you have in life. I know many people complain about Ireland in terms of the weather and the cost of living but we really do come from an awesome little country – we’re very lucky! Working for an international airline as large as Emirates means you rarely work with the same colleagues. Each time I go to work, I have to build relationships from scratch – I guess this means I’ll never by shy talking to strangers again! In a job like this, you also spend a lot of time alone – either in your hotel room or just roaming through random cities. It makes you very independent when you only have yourself and your map to rely on!
3. People always say they want to quit their jobs and travel the world – is it as much craic as it’s pipped up to be?
In short – yes! However, I really don’t think people necessarily have to give up what they do in order to travel. It’s great to take a few months break and backpack South America or South-East Asia but there is no harm in being more realistic with our endeavours. Why not use what skills you already have to find a job in another country, even just for a year or two. This way you’ll still feel like you are travelling, you’ll earn good money to travel some more and you’re career doesn’t have to be put on hold. Employers also love to see that you have international experience so it’s a win-win really!
4. What are the best and worst things about living abroad and so far away from home in your experience?
I’ll start with the worst, which is the obvious – being away from family. I’ve been quite lucky in the sense that I’ve been able to see mine every few months because of my concessional airline fares. Secondly, I miss Irish food a lot. Even though the quality of food here in Dubai is pretty good, nothing will ever beat mammy’s cooking! Every time I fly home I love to stock up on Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (it tastes totally different everywhere else), Ballymaloe Relish and some good old Irish Cheddar! The best thing about living in Dubai is waking up to sunny skies every day, having the beach on your doorstep and just the pure convenience of general life here – ( I even get my milk and bread delivered to my front door!)
5. You’ve just recently started the escapista Instagram and blog! (Which is amazing!) What gave you the inspiration to start?
I actually regret not starting The Escapista 3 years ago when I first began travelling. I thought about it a few times then said to myself ‘nah there’s too many people doing that’. Then I realised that everyone has a different story to tell, everyone has a different eye for creativity and everyone has a different writing style – so I took the plunge!
6. Where do you hope it will take you? And did you feel pressure in the beginning?
I think I used to be more concerned with what others think (as are most of us) but as I’ve got older, I realise it’s important to pursue what you enjoy. If there are some ideas in your head niggling away at you, just go for it, regardless of what others think. You are doing it for you – not anyone else. I have no idea what will come of my new venture but as long as I’m still enjoying taking photographs and writing every now and then, that’s all that matters!
7. What are your top three travel tips of all time, for first time travellers?
I’m a pretty last minute kind of girl when it comes to anything travel related but I really do recommend doing your research beforehand. Even if I book a hotel while I’m at the airport, I will always ensure to ‘Tripadvise’ it first. I absolutely swear by TripAdvisor as it’s never let me down to date. I would advise using it for accommodation reviews as well as restaurants. The worst thing is rocking up in a new destination and paying for expensive mediocre food in the tourist traps!
– Do your research on any visa requirements, injections you may need and the safety of the area you are staying in.
-If you are travelling by plane, literally down your body weight in water. You have no idea how dehydrated flying makes you, even if you don’t feel it. Same goes for moisturising your skin, I recommend bringing a little tub in your carry-on baggage. You don’t want to lose that tan before you even touch down on Irish soil!
8. Where are your favourite and least favourite places that you’ve visited so far? And why?
I honestly think that after travelling all over the world, nothing beats the European Summer. The French Riviera and Italy’s Amalfi Coast are firm favourites of mine – anything Mediterranean, I’m in! I also love going back to Sydney (where my partner is from) and just chilling on the beach with a burger and beer in hand. My least
favourite places I’ve been are Bangladesh, purely because of the hardship and poverty and China – I am really not a fan of the food! (I LOVE Irish Chinese food!!).
I also wasn’t a fan of Casablanca in Morocco, although I do believe Marrakesh is a totally different kettle of fish.
9. You’re fashion sense is just stunning! Where do you get your inspiration from for your outfits? And do you have a style icon?
I like to think I have a good eye for style so I don’t necessarily look anywhere for inspiration. If I go to my wardrobe, I’ll mix and match what I have and just see if it works. I do think I have a shopping addiction though, if I could buy an endless supply of clothes and accessories, I would! I’m always getting new ideas for things I’d like. I admire Sincerely Jules’ casual chic look, Jessica Steins’ bohemian vibes as well as Pepamacks’ effortlessly edgy wardrobe!
10. The age old question! Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
I’ve recently finished a Masters and I’m due to begin a new job in Dubai which will keep me put in one place for a while. But the dream would be to set up a business with my partner and still continue to travel. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stay in one place too long!
Follow Aisling’s Escapista Instagram HERE!
Check Out Her Amazing Blog The Escapista HERE!