Ella currently resides in Manchester, England, but has traveled to over 40 countries, with plans to visit 4 more this year alone. Here on Goats On The Road, Ella shares her knowledge of England, with tips for visiting the country’s best well-known spots and hidden gems.
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- Local Of: Manchester, United Kingdom & Soldeu, Andorra
- Expert of: Manchester, London, Liverpool, Leeds, Soldeu, Rishikesh, Bangkok, Thai Islands, Hanoi, Ha Giang, Bali, Toronto, Lisbon, Cascais, Pisa, Follonica / Punta Ala
- Travel Style: Budget, Backpacker, Luxury, Midrange, Wildlife, Beach Bum, Hiker, Wellness, Yoga & Surf Retreats, Ski, Foodie
- Traveling Since: 1997 officially – but my solo travels started in 2009!
- Favorite Destinations: Ha Giang in Vietnam, El Nido in the Phillipines, Koh Lipe in Thailand
- Backpack or Suitcase: Backpack with an attachable folding hand truck – game-changer!
- Window or Aisle: Window
- Bus or Train: Train
- Education: BA Hons Broadcast Journalism at the University of Leeds, short course in Sustainable Tourism with the University of Copenhagen
I was born in England and currently live in Manchester, but traveled extensively around the country while growing up and in adult life. I’ve also spent a lot of time in Punta Ala, Italy, where some of my family reside. I’ve worked in luxury travel for the last 8 years, with a particular interest in sustainable and wellness travel – you’ll often find me on a yoga mat!
This year, I was named one of the ‘30 Under 30’ in the travel industry, won two awards for completing over 250 travel training certifications, and became both a fellow of the Institute of Travel and Tourism and a member of the Association of Women Travel Executives.
Ella Around The World
Ella’s #1 Travel Tip
When you arrive at a new destination, head out to a restaurant or bar and ask the servers where their favorite places to go nearby are, whether that’s restaurants, tourist hotspots, or lesser-known gems.
No one knows the best hidden spots like a local – I’ve found out about some amazing beaches, eateries, and even street art through people who live in the area and know the regions they live in like the back of their hand. A second tip that goes hand in hand with this one – go where the locals go to eat to try authentic cuisine, as your server is likely from the area too.
Ella’s Favorite Food
I am a self-proclaimed foodie so I find this so hard to narrow down; my first port of call is always pasta, but overall, my favorite dish has to be Khao Soi.
Originating from Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, it consists of yellow noodles and braised chicken in a rich, mildly spicy coconut curry broth. It’s garnished with crispy fried noodles and I like to add a squeeze of fresh lime too. You can get Khao Soi from anywhere in Chiang Mai – I got one at a mall (with a drink!) for just $2, though one from a street food vendor would cost even less!
Favorite Travel Experience
I’m extremely privileged to have visited some beautiful destinations and hotels thanks to the nature of my job, so my favorite travel experience changes depending on the day you ask me! At the moment, it would have to be the Ha Giang Loop in Vietnam.
In March this year, I spent 3 days on a guided motorcycle tour through the far North of Vietnam – as far North as China. I have truly never experienced anything like it, and myself and others in the group were moved to tears on a daily basis at the sheer beauty of the landscapes that surrounded us.
Every day we were greeted by Vietnamese children, waving and high-fiving us, as we made our way through the small towns and villages on the route. We stopped off for authentic cuisine throughout the day and made great friends with our ‘easy riders’ (those driving the motorcycle for us) drinking ruou gao – rice wine – together by night. A truly magical journey that I will never forget.
Where Have You Lived?
I’ve lived in Manchester, United Kingdom for most of my life (and still do), but also lived near Liverpool for some of that time.
I spent 4 months living in Soldeu, Andorra, too, where I worked as a Resort Advisor for the ski resort there. It was a dream job, as I’ve skied since I was four!
Funny Travel Quirk
While I LOVE trying local cuisine and will always, always try foods native to the places I’m visiting, I was a picky eater for most of my life and find it hard to slip out of old habits…
That means that wherever I visit, I make it my mission to visit McDonald’s (if the area has one) to try the menu items you can’t get in the UK… Uncultured? Yes. Regrets? None.
Posts By Ella