Community Feature: Francesca Brooking
As part of an interview series about our Countdown Plus community, we had the pleasure to interview Francesca Brooking.
Francesca is a lifestyle and travel journalist and founder of sustainable travel blog, Little Lost Travel. In 2018, she embarked on her first big solo travel trip to New Zealand, Fiji and Hong Kong and hasn’t looked back since. After spending four months swimming with reef sharks and climbing mountains, she decided to turn her blog into a platform that raises awareness about the positive impact of sustainable tourism.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. We know that you value sustainable travel and we would love to learn more about this.
Thank you for having me! Sustainable travel is essentially about making sure that our impact as travelers is a positive one both for the environment and communities we visit. This can mean limiting our carbon footprint by taking the train instead of flying or staying longer in a place rather than racing from one destination to the next.
How we spend our money as travelers can also have a huge impact. To ensure that local economies are benefiting from tourism we can put our money into locally run businesses and accommodation, choose ethical travel companies that give back to the community and avoid animal exploitation.
Can you share the most interesting or humorous story from your travels?
It wasn’t funny at the time but my bag was stolen during a backpacking trip to Barcelona. Luckily, it happened on my last day and I had left most of its contents in the Airbnb so I hadn’t lost too much. My friend and I spent the rest of that evening commiserating my loss before staggering back to our Airbnb in the small hours of the morning.
The next day we were woken by the sound of hammering on the door because we had overslept and missed check out. I had no bag so we had to vacate the room as quickly as possible while simultaneously divvying out my belongings between my friend’s bag and a bin bag. I then had to haul that bin bag all the way back to London. Classy.
It was not my finest moment but I have since seen the funny side and my friend and I often have a laugh about it. Incidentally, I now watch my bag like a hawk wherever I go.
What is your dream destination and why?
My dream destination changes every week depending on my mood. My travel bucket list just seems to keep getting bigger and bigger!
Right now, I would love to trek through the rainforests of Borneo and see orangutans in the wild. These rainforests are some of the oldest on the planet and they’re home to an incredibly biodiverse ecosystem with wildlife including sun bears, elephants and cloud leopards.
Borneo is a tropical paradise. Its beach sunsets are said to be one of the best in the world, the abundant marine life offers top diving and snorkeling spots and I’ve also heard amazing things about the island’s diverse cuisine.
Travel can really shape people. What are 3 core lessons that you have learned from your travels?
Solo travel is not as challenging as you might think and you’ll be surprised at how capable and resourceful you become when you only have yourself to rely on.
Things won’t always go to plan and that’s okay. Sometimes the best memories come from those unexpected moments in your trip.
I tended to value my itinerary more than my accommodation when travelling. My logic was that since I’ll be out most of the day I wouldn’t need to stay anywhere fancy. I’ve since learned the value of a good night’s sleep and peace of mind!
Is there a person in the world with whom you would love to have breakfast or lunch with, and why?
I would love to have lunch with Jane Goodall because I think she’s just such an inspiration. She was my age (26) when she travelled to Tanzania to study chimpanzees and her pioneering work has since redefined conservation and transformed our relationship with animals.
She strikes me as such a remarkable and compassionate woman. At 86 years old she continues to work tirelessly for conservation all over the world.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for sharing! We look forward to seeing more of your travels on Countdown Plus!