Arianwen Morris Arianwen Morris, a professional travel blogger, is the brain behind the well-known adventure website called Beyond Blighty. With intense passion in travel and writing, she loves to explore the different corners of the world by carrying just a backpack in hand. Opting to travel solo, this UK-based writer is always keen in high-adrenaline activities. Beyond being an avid traveller, photographer and a blogger, she is a black belt in taekwondo and a marathon runner. Focusing on her profession, she has nine years of experience in print and online publishing. She is the editor and publisher of Beyond Blighty since 2011. Ever since then, she has been managing the adventure travel website and has successfully associated with many travel firms.

What does 'Travel' mean to you?

To me, travel is about leaving your comfort zone behind and seeking challenges and experiences that you wouldn't be able to find back home. It's about seeking out hidden parts of cities by sightseeing on foot until your soles hurt; fighting your fears by throwing yourself out of a plane or exploring the depths of the ocean; and interacting with locals and other travellers, while building self-confidence and learning to appreciate life from a new standpoint.

While exploring your blog we realised that you have written on a wide variety of topics from 'Adventures' to 'Responsible Tourism' and 'Wildlife'. What has prompted you to cover such diverse subjects?

The main focus of my blog is adventure travel. This was a natural progression because it was outdoor and adrenaline experiences that I found myself doing the most as I travelled. I also noticed more reader engagement from these types of articles. I have a strong focus on wildlife because I've always been very interested in the natural world. I watched nature documentaries from an early age and I have a degree in Zoology. I also find that often you can combine adventure with wildlife experiences, such as by scuba diving a coral reef or cave system, or heading out on a multi-day safari in Africa. Responsible tourism is something that I think all bloggers should promote, and all travellers should be aware of. It's important to ensure that tourism doesn't have a negative impact on the environment or eat into unsustainable resources.


You have stated in your blog that you have an acute fear of heights. Despite that, you have involved yourself in bungee jumping and sky-diving, and 'ziplined superman style' during a tropical thunderstorm. How have you belittled your fear so perfectly through your adventures?

I actually won an award in 2014 for being the 'most fearless travel blogger'! I find this hilarious, because there's a big difference between being fearless and being incredibly scared but doing something regardless. I fall firmly into the latter category. I get wobbly knees just hopping onto a boat from the port. When I'm about to do a bungy jump, my heart is beating like crazy, I can't swallow and my palms get clammy. I do it because you only live once. I take a deep breath, ask myself 'What's the worst that could happen?' and go for it. Experience has taught me that I'm much more likely to regret the things I don't do, and it provides me with some great material for my blog.


How many international destinations have you visited to date? Which has been your favourite and why?

I've been to 47 countries to date. My favourite region is Latin America, and my favourite country would probably be Mexico. There's so much to see and do there, from imposing mesoamerican ruins to swimming with whale sharks and scuba diving the mesmerising underground river systems and cenotes.

Meeting Locals

Your experience with whale sharks has been truly significant for you. You have also termed it as 'one of my top experiences'. Although you have described this experience in your blog, can you please elaborate on it again please?

One look at my blog will make it immediately obvious that I'm a bit of a water baby. As I write this, I'm taking the day off from a 10-week divemaster course in Komodo, Indonesia, where I have the chance to see manta rays and Komodo dragons almost daily. The natural world fascinates me and the marine world holds a particular allure. I've been fortunate to see whale sharks on four occasions - twice in Mexico and twice in Honduras - and they are majestic creatures. The most noticeable feature is their size. They grow to at least 10 m in length. They're extremely beautiful fish with a characteristic dot pattern and huge mouths for filer feeding. You can get quite close without risking your safety or disturbing them (as long as you follow the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center guidelines).

Whale Shark

You have pointed out in your blog that "The only thing I didn't like about my time in Buenos Aires was that I didn't have longer to spend there. It's the kind of place you could easily settle down...". Do you plan to settle down yourself in the same city years later? If not, in which city or town?

I wish I knew the answer to this question! Some days I just want to continue travelling around the world, but after a while this lifestyle begins to wear you down. It's difficult making new friends every few days, repetitively feeling the heartbreak of saying goodbye when you've formed strong connections. Living out of a backpack can be challenging too. You definitely begin to miss family, friends and home comforts. As I'm getting older, I do think about settling down, but for the time being, I don't think I'd want to do that in the UK (where I'm from). I'd like to try working and living overseas again. I've been considering teaching. Or, perhaps when I'm a qualified divemaster I might be able to find employment in the dive industry.

What are the five must-have gadgets or accessories you keep in your travel bag?

My five must-have items are a dive computer (makes dive planning much safer and easier); my laptop (I couldn't blog without it!); a dry bag (for boat journeys and shared bathrooms); tampons (you'd be amazed how difficult they can be to find in many developing countries); and a tube of Vegemite (I realise that should say Marmite, but after a year in Australia I switched allegiances).

You've carried out night diving on the Great Barrier Reef.Although being a certified scuba-diver, what was the biggest difficulty you faced while doing it?

Night diving isn't as difficult or as scary as people imagine it will be. Choose a good dive centre and be prepared. Good buoyancy, lots of experience on other dives and the appropriate equipment will help. You need at least one torch, but you're recommended to take a backup. Familiarise yourself with the signs; for example, it's hard to sign that you're ok in the usual manner, so drawing a circle with your torch means you're ok and shaking it about means you have a problem. Move slowly and shine your light around so you know if there are any coral mounds or changes in topography nearby. My greatest challenge on that dive was dealing with the large waves and strong swells at the surface. Once we were a few metres down it was like floating in space. It's very relaxing and you see very different marine life.

Night Diving

You are a certified scuba-diver and an advanced Open Water Diver. What are the other courses relating to travel and activities have you successfully completed?

I'm halfway through my divemaster training at the moment. Aside from scuba diving, I haven't tended to study much overseas. I've received a few unofficial awards for various bungy jumps, skydives and plane piloting, but I'm not sure that counts! I've volunteered in a school in Tanzania and worked in various publishing jobs in Australia, and I'm thinking about training as an English language teacher at some point in the future so that I can work overseas.

Piloting A Plane

Which international destinations do you plan to cover this year? Also, what are the other travel activities you wish to accomplish this year?

I haven't planned too far in the future. After I finish my divemaster training I'm heading back to the UK. In June, I'll be visiting Swansea, Jersey and Spain, for the San Vino festival. After that I'd like to experience living and working in another country, so it will depend on what opportunities are available and which visas I'm eligible for. I've wanted to visit China and Japan for a long time and I hope I'll have a chance to write about them in 2016.

This interview with Arianwen is a part of Travel Trolley's ongoing 'Best of the Travel Bloggers' series. We are interviewing popular travel bloggers who encourage and inspire people to travel. Check out all the bloggers we have interviewed and learn about their interesting experiences, adventures, travel stories as well as useful holiday tips.


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