Stumbling upon the Lust for The World Instagram, I found myself laughing out loud. Among beautiful, colorful photos of girls embarking on amazing adventures was the bio, “I’ve Never Stayed At A 5 Star Hotel But I Have Woken Up On Their Pool Furniture.” I had to learn more! Luckily, I was able to connect with Marteen Besteder, who started LustForTheWorld.com in 2013 to share tips and stories of the adventures she takes while still maintaining a social life and full-time job. Learn more about her story in this interview.
Thanks so much for talking to me! Lust for the World is like no other travel blog I’ve come across. “I’ve never stayed at a five star hotel but I have woken up on their pool furniture,” may be one of the funniest bios on Instagram I’ve seen so far! It reminds me of a TSM Travel Blog. For anyone unaware, can you tell me a little about yourself? What was your inspiration for starting a travel blog?
Haha, thank you! I do get a lot of attention for that Instagram Bio, which comes from one of my craziest nights out in Bangkok (but that story is for another time). I started traveling at a young age with my parents all over the U.S., which turned into an international travel bug as I grew older. I travel for fun, and also for work. My travel blog is a little different than others, as I hold a full time job along with blogging. I also consider myself an adventure travel blogger, as I would rather write about hiking Norwegian mountains or sneaking past the guard at the Haiku Stairs than luxury experiences. And, as you may have guessed, I frequently write about my drinking experiences in different cities so I do cater towards the 20 something crowd.
Can you tell me 3 fun-facts not everyone may know about you just from visiting your Instagram or reading your blog?
– I’m extremely pigeon toed
– I used to dress up as a dinosaur for every single birthday when I was younger, so much so that my mom would hide the costume.
– I hold a Biology degree from Temple
(none of these things relate)
How are you able to juggle “part-time travel adventures,” with your adult responsibilities- jobs, student loans, etc.? Do you have any advice for others looking to do the same?
I actually have two blog posts catered to this exact question, one needs a little updating but is called “How to travel the world in your 20s” and the other is “How to Find a Career that Involves Travel” (with out being a flight attendant, working on a cruise ship, being in the Circus, etc.) There is definitely plenty of “juggling” but if you want to travel bad enough, you will always find a way. My job involves a bit of travel, which you can find out about in the post, and I take advantage of my vacation time. I have student loans, a car payment, rent, etc. like everyone else, which come out of my bank account every month. However, I’m also pretty damn good at saving money when it comes to travel. Find my post on booking the cheapest flights here.
The photos you take and share through your Instagram are amazing! Do you have any tips for how to capture the best travel moments?
I find the best travel photos are candid ones, which you can obviously fake. Everyone goes for the obvious picture of them smiling in front of the most popular tourist attractions, but the less obvious photos are the most attractive to me. They capture the moment more accurately. As for the camera I use, I do have a Sony DSLR, but I honestly find myself using my iPhone more and more (especially since a lot of my photos are taken while hiking). Traveling to beautiful places can make anyone a photographer, regardless of the equipment you use.
Do you always travel with a group or do you prefer solo travel?
I used to travel with a group of my best friends, but lately I’ve been booking more and more solo trips. When you get older, it’s just easier to plan things yourself rather than wait for others to have the money or time off. The more you travel alone, the more you grow to love it. A trip is always a little more of an adventure when you’re alone, not to mention you meet more people!
What has been your favorite travel memory thus far?
That’s one of the hardest questions to answer, and I know everyone is always expecting something like “that time I rode camels through the desert in Dubai” or “reaching the summit after hiking 22kms up the most famous mountain in Norway.” But, honestly, it’s always the little moments that count. During my first trip to Thailand, my best friend and I just got to Ko Pha Ngan and we were watching the sunset at Amsterdam Bar surrounded by friendly strangers and great food. We had 19 days left in our trip, but we were both so happy at that moment in time that we could have sat there forever, and even contemplated doing just that. I can say without a doubt that we will always remember the way we felt there.
Would you say your experiences traveling have changed your life? If so, how?
100%. Getting out and seeing the world for yourself is so much more important than learning about it in books or watching it through the news on TV. Go out and explore, learn, and formulate your own opinions about different countries and cultures. If everyone traveled more often, we would be so much more tolerant and understanding of other people around the world, and it would truly be a more peaceful place.
What would you say to someone who says they can’t afford to travel?
Work, hustle, and save for the things that are important to you. You don’t need to spend money on a pack of cigarettes, shots at the bar, or the latest iPhone. Learn how to buy the cheapest flights and stay at hostels. Grocery shop. Learn how to take advantage of credit card miles. Little things will add up.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
5 years? Well, I’m not exactly sure where I see myself in 1 year. Right now my home base is San Diego and I love it, so I wouldn’t mind staying here and taking frequent trips like I am now. 5 years… I’d like to use this quote for now:
“I still may not know what I want to be when I grow up, but I do know I want to live in a home filled with books and travel souvenirs. And the walls that aren’t covered in bookshelves will be covered with photos of my family and friends. When I leave home, I will be going to a job I love, and I’ll return to a person I love. So, that’s the dream I am working on. –Amber Morley