American travel blogger's take on Dunedin takes off
It's Dunedin, but not as you may know it.
A video of the southern city by Wanaka-based professional travel blogger, and popular Stuff columnist, Liz Carlson is clocking up tens of thousands of views via social media."I can't believe it," the American who blogs at
Young Adventuress – one of the biggest travel blogs in the world – said.
"This is one of my first bigger forays into the video world, and I wasn't sure how it would be received, but it's done so well with over 130,000 views in just a few days on Facebook."
And it is easy to see why.
Carlson said she was able to capture the "special feeling" of the city.
"Dunedin was a place I had passed through for years, but never properly looked at, and this time around when I took the time to really get to know it, talk to people, make friends and eat all the things, I realised what a hidden gem it actually is."
That is high praise from a traveller who visited Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Australia, Norway and many spots aroundNew Zealand during a hectic 2015.
And the highlight?
"For me, the absolute highlight was tracking polar bears on the pack ice on an expedition ship around Svalbard in the Arctic.
"It was so incredible to see these amazing creatures in their own habitat. I cried. It also really puts climate change into perspective."
Next month she plans to visit Kashmir, in the Indian subcontinent with her best friend Olya Dendyaeva, who she made the Dunedin video with. She is also running a workshop in Melbourne on how to build a career in the travel industry.
Carlson said being a travel blogger was a lot harder than people realised.
"Everyone tells me they want my life, but few understand the implications of it. When you travel for work, it all changes. It's not a vacation.
"All of the effort and work that goes into telling the stories takes so much out of me, which I know sounds very whingy, but it's true.
"I'm so grateful this is my life, but it takes a toll. I literally never stop working; I probably put in at least 80 hours a week and when I'm travelling for work I barely sleep. I get sick on almost every trip I go on, including dealing with a bout of dengue fever this year.
"But at the end of the day I love it because I'm following my dreams and not all of us are able to turn our passions into a career."
And her advice to travellers?
"Travel for experiences. Whether you are going somewhere to learn something new, try something different, meet new people, be totally open to what might be in store for you.
"Don't just go to tick a bucket-list item or to take a photo."