Welcome to the latest installment of our interview series with some of our favorite travel writers and bloggers. Today we’re chatting with Terri Marshall, a prolific travel writer whose work can be found all over the world in a variety of publications, including our very own RoamRight travel blog. Terri is a New York City based freelance writer whose work includes travel, spirits, and all things chocolate. Terri's work appears in several publications. She has been a featured guest on Peter Greenberg's Worldwide Travel radio program and Denver's KZKO Radio Morning Express show. Terri will not hesitate to go to the source for great chocolate - even if that means hiking through the jungle and picking cacao pods herself.
Happiest when she's globetrotting, Terri has covered destinations all over the United States, Europe, and into Central and South America. Favorite adventures include reindeer driving in Norway and fishing for piranhas in the Amazon jungle of Peru. You can keep up with Terri's adventures on her website www.TrippingwithTerri.com.
Q1. How did you get into travel blogging/writing?
Terri - Travel writing is actually my second career. For many (too many) years, I worked as a fiduciary accountant handling death and taxes. Then about 10 years ago I participated in an office personality profile. Without knowing what my position with the firm was, the man reviewing our results told me the worst possible career for a person with my personality was to be stuck in an office all day doing math related work like tax returns and accounting. I decided that very day that I would figure out a way to transition to something that feeds my soul.
I have always been a happy traveler so I ordered a home study program about breaking into travel writing and started figuring out a way to turn my love of travel into a career. Using some of the advice in the program, I pitched the idea of a travel column to a friend in West Palm Beach who was the publisher of a regional magazine. That was the beginning of my new career!
Q2. What has been your most rewarding travel moment?
Terri - That 's a tough one because there are so many rewarding moments in travel, but I think maybe it was the first international trip I took with my granddaughter, Katherine. She was seven and we were invited to travel together to Aruba on a multi-generational trip. She was so excited about getting her first passport stamp and I was beyond thrilled to be there for that rite of passage! We have to keep that travel bug alive in the family.
Q3. Have any mishaps happened to you on the road? What was most notable?
Terri - Well, I'm a bit of a klutz so I tend to find a way to get a creative injury on many of my adventure trips - nothing major though. But I guess my altercation with a reindeer in Norway would be the most notable. I was gearing up to drive a reindeer sleigh across a frozen lake when I stepped between the wooden harnesses attached to Rudolph. Apparently he was in a hurry to get the ride over with so he bolted before I could sit down. I flew backwards into a snow bank. It gave a whole new meaning to the song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" and gave the reindeer resting behind me a good chuckle!
Q4. Has travel insurance ever helped you out during your travels?
Terri - Until recently I never considered travel insurance but now after a friend of mine was injured in a car accident in South Africa and I saw the trials she went through to cover medical bills, I think it is a must. Fortunately, I haven't needed to use it yet, but I feel better knowing I have it.
Q5. What’s your best travel tip you always give people?
Terri - Well it sounds a bit Nike-ish, but just do it! People are often so worried about everything that could go wrong that they end up doing nothing. I think it is a shame to miss out on exploring new cultures and destinations because of fear.
Q6. If you could only ever visit one more place in your life, where would it be and why?
Terri - Is everywhere an option? That's a hard one because there are so many places I've yet to see. But, if the place was somewhere I've been before, I would say Norway. I've been three times and am absolutely in love with that country. If I were choosing a place I've never been, it would be Africa. It's on my short list for upcoming trips.
Q7. Please share a photo during a recent trip and give us the short backstory.
Terri - Here's a shot of me in Heidelberg, Germany where I visited the old Student Prison. Centuries ago, the "bad boys" who disturbed the peace by partying all night would be locked in Student Prison - but it wasn't a tough sentence as they could come and go as they pleased and were often brought wine and food. I figured if I had to get locked into a prison, this was the place to be.
Thank you Terri for participating in our interview series, and be sure to read all of her RoamRight blog posts here!