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Featured Friends: Courtney from Travel Daze


Hi, friends! Meet Courtney from Travel Daze Co. Courtney is one of the OG's of Fly Away Friday; gave us an opportunity from week 1 and has joined us ever since! During that first week, I visited her blog and was drawn to the way she writes, her journey and the beautiful photos she snaps of New Zealand.

Fast forward a couple of months, I'm happy to introduce her here on my blog. I asked her 10 specifically curated questions so we can all get to know Courtney! Enjoy!



1. Tell us about yourself! 

Hi! I’m 
Courtney. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and spent most of my life there. I always dreamed of traveling the world, but I never thought it was really possible for me. I think a lot of people think that way. A few years ago, I decided I needed to completely change my life if I was going be happy. I didn’t really know what to do, but I knew I wanted to leave Missouri and try something new—so I moved to Washington (just outside of Seattle) and started working on an organic vegetable farm.

That’s how I started traveling. I realized I could work seasonal jobs and move around the country without having to save up a bunch of money beforehand. Every few months I would find a new job and go somewhere new, all the while putting money aside in my savings. Then it came time to finally leave the country. Which brought me here to New Zealand.

I am pretty new to international travel, but now that I’ve started, I know it’s possible for me to just keep going.


Grand Teton

2. You're from St. Louis but now in New Zealand for a year - how did that happen? 

I’m here in New Zealand on a working holiday visa, which means I can live/work/travel in the country for a full year. My friend started telling me about the working holiday thing when I first met her a couple of years ago—she came to New Zealand about 9 months before I did. I decided it would be a good way to travel and see a new country while still working and saving up money (to travel even more). So here I am!

3. Freelance writing in fashion sounds like so much fun. How did you get into that?

In high school I was way into fashion. I wanted to be a designer and took some classes in college but I quickly realized that wasn’t the path for me. I got into the internet world and social media (this was back in 2008!) initially through Myspace. I started writing posts on Myspace about fashion and runway shows. A couple of people contacted me after that and asked me to write for their websites and magazines (all indie). I realized I had a skill that could actually make me money, so I started taking freelance assignments and building up that career option.


Seattle, Washington 

4. What made you want to start a Travel Blog instead of a Fashion Blog? 

I used to have a fashion blog! After the Myspace thing, I started my own blog about fashion and continued to get writing assignments through there. I wasn’t into the personal style blogging thing, though. I just wrote about fashion news, trends, designers and runway shows. My first fashion blog started in 2008/2009, and I had it until around 2011. Then I realized I was totally over fashion.


5. What's your favorite thing about New Zealand so far? 

My favorite thing about New Zealand is all of the beautiful landscapes. Before I came here, that’s what I always heard people raving about when it comes to New Zealand—and it’s all true! I still have a lot of the country left to see, but it really is so gorgeous.


Multnomah Falls, Oregon


6. Where are 3 destinations on your wish-list?

I think the 3 places in the world I want to visit the most are Ecuador, South Africa, and Indonesia. One of those places is in my plans for next Spring (after I leave New Zealand).


7. What do you miss about the United States?

The thing I miss most about the U.S. is road trips and my car. While road trips are a big thing here in New Zealand, it’s just not the same to me as the feeling you get out on the open road back in the States. There are so many different places and landscapes and national parks and cities through the U.S. that are all so different. Plus it’s a huge country, something I really realized after coming to New Zealand, which is tiny in comparison.


Utah


8. What are some cultural differences you've noticed between New Zealand and the United States? 

Culturally, New Zealand and the United States aren’t all that different. I don’t feel like I’m in a different country, honestly. There are little things that are different, like driving on the other side of the road, the power outlets, the slang used in everyday conversation…I think of New Zealand as being equivalent to small towns in the U.S., if that explains what type of differences to expect. I think the fact that NZ is fairly isolated, mostly rural, and has a small population has a huge effect on what life is like here.


9. Where's the most memorable place you've been to and why? 

I think Seattle is the most memorable place I’ve visited. It was the first place that ever felt like home to me. Growing up in Missouri, I knew I didn’t belong there. It never felt like a place I wanted to be. But when I lived in Seattle for a few months, it was the best time of my life. My heart still resides in that city, and I know I’ll be back for it someday.


Wellington



10. Anything you'd like to tell the readers? 

If you want to travel, there is a way to make it happen! I know every travel blogger ends up saying something like this, but it’s true. And I think that’s part of why travel bloggers do what they do—to show others that seeing the world is totally possible. A lot of bloggers these days are so focused on the digital nomad thing (and that’s something I’ll probably work towards), but you don’t have to be a full-time blogger or freelancer in order to travel. I work odd jobs/seasonal jobs wherever I go, and that’s how I make it happen. Not everyone is going to do things the same way, but there is an option out there for everyone, a way to travel if you really want to.

Social Media:

Twitter @TravelDazeco
Pinterest @TravelDazeco
Instagram @TravelDazeco

♡♡♡
Thank you Courtney for being on my blog! I loved getting to know you! You're an inspiration to everyone that's afraid of or thinking of taking a huge leap in life, whether it's a career change or like you, moving to a different country. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts as you venture through New Zealand! I'm definitely reaching out when I visit! 

Want to read other Featured Friends? Click here

Want to be interviewed? Due to overwhelming response on interviews, I now have a section dedicated to bloggers wanting to work with this blog. Click here to find out more. 

28 comments

  1. Thank you so much for featuring me, Kana! :))

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    1. Of course! Thank you for being here! I loved getting to know you! :) xo

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  2. So fabulous you went for it and started traveling! Mom and I are going to New Zealand in February.

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    1. Thank you Mara. The weather will be fantastic here in February!

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  3. Great interview! Love discovering new travel bloggers through you. It seems like we all have different backgrounds, plans but all are connected to travel passion :) #FlayAwayFriday

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  4. Nice interview, it's always interesting to learn about other blogger's stories and how they've got to where they are today. #FlyAwayFriday

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  5. This is such a sweet idea! Nothing like getting to know fellow bloggers. Also, New Zealand is on my list for the tail end of 2017 ! So excited!

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  6. Excellent interview! I love hearing the stories of fellow bloggers as well.

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  7. As someone who was born and raised in the Seattle area, I couldn't agree with her more. I still love Seattle and still consider it my true home even though I haven't lived there for over a decade. And Ecuador is the country that sparked my desire to see the world. #FlyAwayFriday

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    1. I get a pang in my heart every time someone mentions Seattle--I know it's my future home, but I've got a lot more to see before then. :)

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  8. Awesome to learn more about you Courtney! I'm always keen to hear from bloggers who are based in NZ as that's my home country. Love hearing about what foreigners think of it! I'm a bit biased but I think NZ is pretty gorgeous.

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    1. NZ is quite a beautiful country! The longer I'm here, the more I realize how small it is--which is nice! I always find it interesting to hear what people think of the U.S. too; getting an outside perspective on a place you grew up in.

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  9. Love this! Its so cool what she's doing. I've actually been looking into the New Zealand working holiday.

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    1. Hi Natalie! You should definitely do the working holiday! I know you've already asked me some questions but you can always message me if you have any more. :)

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  10. Great post! I love Courteney's blog even though it's making my NZ wanderlust uncontrollable! #FlyAwayFriday

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  11. I like to read the interviews you post in here Kana! They are full of so much inspiration. I have checked Courtney's blog and it is great. I get NZ envy every time I read it and see the pictures ;0) #flyawayfriday

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  12. Loved reading this interview! I did the same as you 28 years ago and never looked back! I left South Africa to travel and have lived in 5 countries since - 6 next year as at the age of 50 I am moving to Australia. Glad you want to visit SA! You will love it I am sure! 😊

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    1. That's so inspiring Tracy! I hope to live in a few other countries after New Zealand.

      South Africa just seems like an interesting place to explore. Hoping to fit it into my travel schedule in the next few years. :)

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  13. She has a beautiful blog! I will definitely keep an eye on it as I'm planning to go to New Zealand myself! Love the questions you asked too! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Kreete! Feel free to email me if you have any questions about visiting NZ!

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  14. Such a fun interview! It takes a lot of courage to up and move, not to mention NZ is half way around the world. Loving this series - thanks for sharing, Courtney and Kana! #FlyawayFriday

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  15. Great interview Kana. I really enjoy Courtney's posts when she links up, so great to get a insight into her adventures and experiences. Really enjoyed this take on a travel post #flyawayfriday

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  16. "My first fashion blog started in 2008/2009, and I had it until around 2011. Then I realized I was totally over fashion." Haha this is me too!! I used to run a fashion blog on and off for a few years and then totally fell in love with travel/stopped caring very deeply about fashion. If you ever come back to Seattle, let me know! I'd love to meet up :) #FlyAwayFriday

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    1. Hi Lauren! It's funny how our passions change so drastically, huh? A lot of people combine their love of fashion & travel these days but I just don't care about clothes AT ALL anymore...living in running leggings & baggy shirts forever lol

      I'll definitely be back in Seattle at some point. Sadly not soon enough!

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  17. Hey Courtney! Awesome interview! Your path is quite similar to how we started ours - and New Zealand was the first country we moved abroad to! Always love reading when others are finding a path and feeling happy in life too! Thanks for sharing! :) #flyawayfriday

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  18. Loved your story and the way you´ve taken a contol over your own life and started traveling! Would love to read more about your bucket list places when you get to visit them! #flyawayfriday

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  19. Love Courtney's Blog & all her posts on NZ!! Makes me want to go there so bad!!

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