Originally from New York, Sky Ariella is a professional writer currently on a digital nomad path. She developed an insatiable craving for exploring the world after a post-college adventure around 6 Asian countries. Today, she is focused full force on her writing career and on traveling as much as she can. When she’s not whipping up content for Travel Lemming, she writes for Zippia, Booking.com, Explore, her blog, and Medium.
🏠 Local to: Originally from New York, but traveling the world full-time
✔️ Fun Facts:My dog named Bear brings me more pure joy than anything else on the planet, and creme brulee is my all-time favorite dessert.
📚 What was Your Favorite Travel Experience or Story?
Growing up like any standard kid in America, I thought I knew exactly what elephants looked like. I had this cartoonish picture in my head of these massive, gray creatures with floppy ears that could crush me in a single step.
When I arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I had one simple mission: I was going to see elephants with my own two eyes in the flesh. This magical city is filled with sanctuaries that save these gentle giants from elephant-riding attractions. I booked myself a tour and barely caught a wink of sleep with the excitement for the next day bubbling in my gut.
As we pulled up to the sanctuary and I saw them with my own eyes, I realized all those flashes of elephants in pictures and drawings I saw throughout my childhood didn’t hold a candle to the real thing. Sure, it looked as it did in photographs, but standing right there in front of me, wagging its snout like a dog’s tail, I was star-struck.
For the rest of the day, we proceeded to play, chill with, feed, and even bathe a family of elephants complete with a baby named Lucky. I have to admit, being at the mercy of a huge elephant’s pranks in the water was a bit intimidating. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most precious travel experiences in my collection.
🗺️ What’s Your #1 Expert Travel Tip?
My #1 travel tip is to live in the moment while you’re exploring and resist the urge to get caught up in other things.
The stress of traveling, worrying about spending too much on a trip, taking pictures all day, or getting distracted by little things puts you in a faraway headspace. Do anything to hold onto a brief flutter of a moment knowing it’ll be gone soon.
It’s a mistake I’ve made many times. But, the best way to travel is to truly be 100% present in every moment. That’s how you get the full experience of a place. Savor even the sour moments that fill you with frustration because one day you might look back on them and miss those times.
🧳 Backpack or Suitcase?
Backpack. Nothing is more infuriating than trying to manhandle a suitcase through a crowded airport.
✈️ Window or Aisle Seat?
Window. I’d rather ask to use the bathroom than lean over another person to catch a glimpse over the horizon.