Hello everyone! This is our first English interview and it is with Marina Macartney who has traveled to 40 countries across 5 continents. Marina Macartney is a vivacious traveler from Kiwi land and she is currently living in Europe. She quit her job to travel the world over a year ago and hasn’t looked back. She is also an internationally competitive swimmer and lifeguard.
Okay! I will stop talking about her now and start the interview, so she can tell us her story!
How did you decide to travel to the World like that? What was your plan? What was push you for a trip?
I was born with the travel bug, both my parents were avid travelers and even met traveling so I have always had a fascination with foreign cultures and adventures. I’m half German half English, but born in New Zealand and grew up in the visiting family around The World. I was working a very intense job and studying my Chartered Accounting studies for three years after university, as well as training for two sports across many disciplines and wanted to quit my job so I could travel while I’m young. I think we all work our whole lives and miss out on living when we are young and all too quickly we have a family, a house, a mortgage and a stressful job. I quit once I was qualified and bought a one-way ticket to Europe. I had some things booked for example Tomorrowland festival tickets & Sziget festival as well as racing in the World Lifesaving Champs in the Netherlands in September 2016. I was planning on looking for a job in Europe the following June, however, I wasn’t ready to stop traveling so soon so I have pushed it back to soon October/November 2017, around 16 months later.
Could you introduce yourself to us?
I’m a vivacious traveler from Kiwi land and am currently living in Europe. I quit my job to travel the world over a year ago and haven’t looked back. I have traveled to 40 countries across 5 continents and am always planning my next trip. I am also an internationally competitive swimmer and lifeguard.
I love to inspire people and motivate them to travel by sharing my experiences through social media, seeing the world through fresh eyes.
I love to scuba dive in the beautiful oceans, explore nature and forests, ski in the alps, read a book on a hammock in Fiji, do yoga on the sand, relax at home on the beach in New Zealand, visit museums, art galleries, and churches, learn about different cultures, learn foreign languages, capture moments in photographs and try exotic foods around the world.
When did you start this travel? How many cities you have been to? What was the first city, you went to?
I started the last 16 months of travel in June 2016 but was born to travel 🙂
Oh goodness, that’s a hard question, how many cities have I been too? Too many to count. On this last trip, my first stop was Sydney in Australia then Abu Dhabi, UAE on the way to Munich, Germany.
How do you finance yourself? Where is money come from? 🙂
I worked very hard in an intense corporate job after getting my university degree & I also saved up as a kid. I learned a lot about saving and using term deposits to earn the best interest rates as well as not spending money on unnecessary things that you don’t need. I’m not a big shopper, I would rather spend my money on travel than going to the mall to buy clothes. Your life is made up of experiences, not things. I was in the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011 and I learned in that scary moment that material things don’t last. Experiences and spending time with loved ones are the things that really matter to me in life.
Did you use Workaway or other systems like that? If you used, what kind of job you worked until now?
I worked as an Auditor for two of the top professional services firms in the world as well as a Business Analyst for a financial investment group. Now I am a qualified Chartered accountant. I am currently getting ready to apply for my next job in Europe. I have been doing a mix of traveling and competing in swimming and surf lifesaving and managing an Air BnB for the last 16 months.
Which countries and cities you have been to? Which one is your favorite and which one you hate? And Why?
On this trip I have been to:
A favorite place so far is a hard one, every place has its own amazing things and unpleasantries too. Morocco was the most unusual and out of my comfort zone. It was great traveling for a month there are you learn so much more about the country, its customs, and its people. Morocco has amazing mountains, snow, beaches, desert, mountain villages, forests, and crazy medinas.
Worst place Frankfurt in Germany. The small old town is lovely but the rest is dirty and dodgy especially around the train station areas it’s not very safe and just feels like a corporate industrial town with too many modern shops. It doesn’t have any character only the old town where Romerplatz is doing. The zoo was really sad too with the animals in enclosures that are too small in the city with polluted air from the traffic. I try to avoid it.
Could you tell us which food you loved on the trip and which one was horrible 🙂
Mmm, best food was probably the Mallorcan Tumbet. It’s a fish dish similar to a French ratatouille. Baked in a clay pot with leeks, potatoes, eggplants, and tomato. I also love fresh figs from Turkey and Greece! Also can’t forget the incredible wood smoked salmons in Finland, they are absolutely divine!
Worst food on the trip has to be this hotel I stayed at while racing at FINA world masters games in Budapest nothing was fresh. But I found some great restaurants around the city.
Okay, Marina Macartney! Could you tell us some good stories about your travel?
I have so many I could write a book. Well, actually one day I hope to! I’ve been racing around the world I’m swimming & lifesaving, skiing all winter in the German and Austrian Alps, sailing in Turkey, Greece & Oman, Canyoning in Italy, climbed heaps of historic towers, visited numerous museums with famous art & historic artifacts, swam with manta rays in Fiji, husky & reindeer sledding in Finland, island hopping in Greece, wine tasting in Bordeaux & The Valais valley in Switzerland, dancing at Oktoberfest, Tomorrowland festival, Sziget Festival, Wireless festival and cream fields festivals, visiting the historic spas in Budapest, eating the best pizza in Italy, exploring castles all over Europe, swimming at some of the best beaches in the world, and meeting so many interesting people and learning so much.
Morocco was full of adventures! My sister and I rode camels into the Sahara desert with our group which was incredible. The sand was so red! We watched the Gemini meteor shower over a campfire with the local Berber tribe playing the drums. We got to have a go as well and enjoy a traditional Tagine meal in the tent. We slept in a basic tent with a mattress with temperatures dropping to zero degrees overnight. At sunrise, we rode the camels back. It was an unforgettable experience.
In Fiji, I snorkeled with Manta Rays which was one of my dreams. It was incredible floating down with the current and then using all your strength to swim against it following the majestic huge manta ray eating plankton in the current. They are incredible creatures.
I went to this animal park in Hellenthal, Germany and you can walk in and feed the Deer it was so much fun they are so friendly and they surround you, all trying to get as much food as possible. I had a favorite one who wouldn’t leave me alone it was like a pet. It’s so nice to see animals in huge fields free to roam around as they please, without the risk of being hunted.
Cruising the fjords of Oman on a tradition dhow boat was incredible with dolphins swimming along with us and the boat and our captain collected fresh scallops for us to eat for lunch too. The huge burnt yellow/red rock faces against the turquoise water made for a wonderful contrast.
I went ice swimming in Finland up on the attic circle. I heard about a place where the locals go. You swim in a hole they have dug into the frozen river and then go into the tent with a wood-fired sauna. The water was so cold! I also went on a husky safari through the woods in the snow and a reindeer safari too. Both were magical experiences. Seeing the northern lights was a breathtaking moment. They were green and purple and they dance in the sky.
I went to Canyoning near lake Garda in Italy which was an adventure. Jumping off waterfalls and abseiling down them too between a gorge.
Racing at World Masters Games in New Zealand in April for swimming was a lot of fun and I won two silvers and a bronze and also got a bronze at the World Lifesaving Champs in the Netherlands.
I visited the Melissani underground lake on the island of Kefalonia and some of the roofs caved in years ago in one of the chambers so the sunlight comes through. You take a beautiful boat ride through the cave system. I got a private tour with the guide after and was allowed to swim in the lake. It was freezing! So nice exploring the place with no tourists.
Do you have anything to say to people who want to travel to the World?
Just do it! You live once you get one chance at life and you don’t want to arrive at your grave at thinking oh I wish I had, what if… I have no regrets in life!
Don’t be scared of traveling alone either it is such a rewarding experience that teaches you so much. No classroom or university can teach you that.
Just do your research and be safe!
Marina Macartney has a lot of photos to upload here! Please check her Facebook and Instagram pages for more photos!
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