Lonely Planet Writer

Meet a traveller: Jessica Crouch, Lonely Planet Online Editorial team member and overland travel enthusiast

We get some of our best trip inspiration by chatting to fellow travellers. We caught up with Lonely Planet's very own Jessica Crouch, part of our Online team and a tireless overland traveller, to pick her travel brain.

Jessica during a Spanish sunset. Image by Jessica Crouch.

What is your first travel-related memory?
Being introduced to the pilot in the cockpit of a MelbourneSydney flight when I was about four. He didn’t seem to be doing very much, it was confusing.

Where was your last trip?
Overland from Hanoi to London, going through China, Mongolia, Russia and Eastern Europe. I set myself the challenge of only catching buses, trains, and the occasional jeep. A sleeper bus packed to the rafters with what were probably smuggled goods en route from China to Mongolia was surprisingly comfortable.

Where is your next trip?
I’m going to take it a bit easier on the next trip and go and explore southwest France.

Aisle or window seat?
Definitely aisle - I hate climbing over snoring people to go to the toilet.

Do you have any travel habits or rituals?
The 'rule of three' when packing. I first read about this concept on Lonely Planet author Tim Richards' blog. Only pack three t-shirts, three pairs of trousers or shorts etc into a carry-on bag. It might seem extreme but it has changed the way I travel – I feel more mobile, have a less sore back and find myself buying fewer useless souvenirs.

Favourite city or country?

What is the best/worst piece of travel advice you’ve received?
'Climbing that mountain before sunrise will only take you about 15 minutes!' (It was an hour of climbing, in the dark, before breakfast. Grrr.)

Standing on frozen Lake Baikal, Listvyanka, Russia, on a break in the Trans-Siberian journey.Standing on frozen Lake Baikal, Listvyanka, Russia, on a break in the Trans-Siberian journey. Image by Jessica Crouch.

What’s your biggest travel fail?
Finally making it to Muktinath after eight days of trekking the Annapurnas and then getting locked into the temple grounds when they closed up for the day. Had to scale the fence but even struggled doing that because my legs were so tired.

Quick, an asteroid is going to hit the earth in one week! Which is the one travel dream you’d rush to fulfil?
Catch a fishing (not pirate) boat across the Red Sea from Yemen to Eritrea.

What is your best or worst travel souvenir?
A comb made out of a bull’s horn that a Chinese student gave me for helping with his English homework on a 40-hour train journey to Beijing.

What advice would you give a first time traveller?
Go for at least a month and it will change you forever.

Got some travel stories of your own? We know you do. Share your travel habits, dreams and disasters with Lonely Planet on Twitter and Facebook.