Lonely Planet Writer

Pathfinder spotlight: Charlotte Kona, Blue Trainer Travels

Charlotte doing some yoga poses on a rock coastal outcrop Charlotte's blog neatly balances challenging herself and inspiring others © Blue Trainer Travels

This month we turn the spotlight on Pathfinder Charlotte Kona from bluetrainertravels.com. Not only is Charlotte an excellent writer and storyteller, but we love the way she uses travel and her blog as a way to face her fears (tackling heights and swimming challenges) and to inspire others.

Tell us about your blog!

Blue Trainer Travels started as a travel diary whilst I was finishing my university degree. It was my companion on my solo travels and a way to share my adventures with my family and friends. As I have continued travelling, mostly with my partner, the main purpose of my blog has not changed: to tell stories, and to inspire those that come across it to go and encounter the same.

Who's behind your blog?

A social butterfly who can’t stop talking or taking pictures! I’m qualified as a Network Engineer and that’s what I spend most of my time doing, supporting my company and our clients to ensure that our services are available. It can get stressful, but I love it because there’s always something different that’s happening so I’m never bored.

Charlotte's blue trainers dangling over Venice's Grand Canal Charlotte finding her feet again in Venice after a break up! © Blue Trainer Travels

Tell us about your most unforgettable travel memory...

It has to be Venice in 2016. I had just been walking around, sulking over a failed relationship when I decided to sit down by the steps of Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. At that moment, as I looked out to this beautiful city before me, I realised that it didn’t matter that the relationship didn’t work out. What mattered is that I loved myself and loved myself fully. Just from that little truth that I spoke to myself, I felt a lot lighter and allowed myself to enjoy my time away. That moment stayed with me because it made me realise that travelling does have the power to change us as individuals for the better. It also made me realise that when it comes to romance, Venice wins over Paris for me.

Describe your travel style in three words.

Open, experiential, genuine.

Which destinations are on your travel list for 2018?

I’m about to head to Croatia for a two-week trip that I have been looking forward to for the better part of the year. I also get to call Zimbabwe home, and will be heading there for a few weeks. I hope to go to either Cape Town or Victoria Falls whilst I am there. My boyfriend is going to be doing the Half Iron Man in Austria so that’s another place on the cards. I would also love to go to Strasbourg to experience the Christmas magic that I’ve heard so much about.

Pesto plants and mortars overlooking Italy's colourful Cinque Terre A pesto-making class in Italy's Cinque Terre © Blue Trainer Travels

Why do you love travel blogging?

I love writing about my travels because it gives me an opportunity to share the stories from the places I've been. Instead of focusing on travel tips, lists or that Instagram-worthy picture, I focus on enjoying what places really have to offer – joining museum tours, going for glass-making workshops or even pesto cooking classes – and learning other people’s stories.

That’s what I love about blogging: being able to go out, have all these experiences, then come back and share it all. Most importantly, I have an outlet to show that when you travel, while your fears don't just miraculously disappear, it provides you with opportunities to challenge yourself so that you can try and face them.

If you’re a member of our Pathfinders community and would like to share your story, keep your eye on the Lonely Planet Pathfinders forum for our monthly spotlight call-out.