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The Wellist | From Corporate Finance to Freestyle Travel Writer

An interview with Krista Skellern, the travel writer behind 'The Wellist'

This week, as part of our Intrepid Journeys series, where we interview other travellers who have discovered horizons new.. We speak with Krista, the Founder and Editor of The Wellist.

Hey, Krista.  Thanks for taking part in our third edition of ‘Intrepid Journeys'.  Tell us a bit about yourself and The Wellist

I am the founder and editor of The Wellist, an online publication inspiring everyone to travel the world and do it WELL (hence The Wellist). At the end of 2013, I quit my job in corporate finance in New York, moved back to my home state California, and took off on a solo journey around Southeast Asia. While I was traveling, I turned to the travel blogging community for tips on where to go, where to stay, etc.

Being more of a “luxury traveler on a budget” I decided to start The Wellist in order to tap that budget-‐‑luxury travel market. In March 2014, I decided to turn The Wellist into an online publication with multiple contributing writers in order to cover more destinations around the globe in a shorter amount of time. I also love the unique perspective and individuality each writer brings to The Wellist.

South East Asia is such a great place to travel, I liken it to ‘The Europe of the East', whereby you can go between countries fairly easy and see such a vast change in local customs and culture.  So tell us, where are you right now?

Right now I'm in California. Even though it is my home state, it has been a long time since I've lived here so I decided to base myself here while exploring my own backyard.

I guess after your travels in South East Asia you are already getting itchy feet.. Where are you planning to go next?

So far planned for 2014: Cabo San Lucas, New York, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Napa, and many more in the works. Hopefully sneaking in a trip to Europe.

I'm sure Europe would love to have you visit!  Tell us, what has been your favourite place during your most recent travels?

I fell absolutely head over heels in love with Indonesia. Bali is one of the most magical places on Earth and the Gili Islands (off the coast of Lombok) are a place that everyone should visit at least once in their life.

We kind of kick ourselves for not visiting Indonesia on our last trip, sounds like a blast!  Tell us, how do you deal with the low moments on the road when you feel lonely or are suffering from travel burnout? Any tips for overcoming these moments in time?

During my nine‑week adventure in Southeast Asia, I did have times where I was a little sick of being on the road. If I was packing up and moving from one place to another a lot, I'd plan to spend at least one night in a really nice hotel and treat myself. Another way to deal with travel burnout is to stay a little longer in one place once you find somewhere you enjoy being. Even just a few extra days can help you deal with that long-term travel burnout.

What has been your strangest moment on the road, so far?

I haven't had any strange moments but I've certainly had some “oh shit” moments.

OK, I'm intrigued.. Tell us more.

Like the time I arrived in the Gili Islands looking for a certain hotel to realize I had accidentally booked a hotel on an entirely different island. Oops! Or when I drove a motorbike for the first time and crashed into a store. I also ran out of gas later that day and had to push it a mile to a gas station. Luckily the locals were very helpful and some nice young Balinese man helped me.

Oh dear me!  Well they do say if you travel to South East Asia, you will either come back with a skin Tattoo either deliberately, or one from a Motorbike accident!  So, how did you finance your last trip?

Saved money, sponsorships, advertising and freelance writing work.

What would you say is the least useful thing you packed for travelling?

I'm a bit of a fitness freak and love working out but during the my nine weeks in Asia, I definitely did not need as many workout clothes as I brought and ended up shipping a lot of stuff home. One pair of spandex would have been just fine!

What type of travel planner are you?

It depends on where I'm going and with whom. With short-term travel, I prefer to have everything planned before I leave. When you are on a time constraint, it is important to not waste time planning while you are there. As for long-term travel, I prefer to have an idea of what route I want to take and then plan as I go – especially when it comes to long-term, solo travel. Meeting people along the way is half the fun of solo travel and heading on an adventure with new found friends is the other half.

Tell us, what was your favourite food discovery was during your travels?


Khao Soi, Thailand

Khao soi, an iconic dish in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is a traditional Burmese soup-like dish made with a mix of deep-fried crispy egg noodles and boiled egg noodles, pickled cabbage, shallots, lime, ground chillies fried in oil, and meat in a curry-like sauce containing coconut milk. I'm a pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish) so vegetarian khao soi usually has a bunch of veggies like potatoes and carrots.

About ‘The Wellist':

Krista Skellern - The Wellist

Krista Skellern

The Wellist is an online resource for people who have a passion for all things travel — from the world traveler to the daydreamer behind a laptop. The Wellist provides discerning travelers with practical advice on where to stay, what to do and how to do it in a “down-to-the-point” format — like lists, day-to-day itineraries, helpful tips and short stories — no need to sift through copious amounts of information.

No matter where your next adventure is taking you, The Wellist helps you do it WELL.

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