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#rtwsoon Interview: Mariah – Slacker Backpacker

July 2011 is a popular month for kicking off round-the-world adventures! We’ve already interviewed Garreth who is leaving on July 5 and Mike & Ashley who are leaving on July 6. There’s also the two of us – if you’re new to our site, we’re starting our trip in Hawaii on July 26.

Now there’s another to add to the July class – it’s our pleasure to introduce you to Mariah of Slacker Backpacker. Mariah is leaving for her trip on July 11, just over 6 weeks from now!

SnorkellingWho are you?

Mariah Dillon. I grew up in southwestern Ontario on one of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron. I spent four years at the University of Toronto where I majored in Semiotics and Communication Theory and Anthropology. Semiotics is the study of signs, symbols and meanings. I was able to write papers on Hello Kitty, do presentations on the Olympics and Gossip Girl and go on class field trips to watch Sofia Coppola films. Unfortunately, UofT is a killjoy! It is a competitive school and people definitely don’t go there to have fun.

In between second and third year I took an extra long vacation and spent a year working at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I worked at the Canadian pavilion in Epcot as a ‘cultural representative’ (I was a waitress). I loved living in Florida and while I was there I was able to see a lot of the US (Miami, Key West, Vegas, NYC, Savannah), go to Cancun twice and on a cruise to the Bahamas. I have also been to Cuba, Jamaica, England, Ireland and last summer I fell in love with backpacking in South America.

Where are you going on your RTW?

Well currently I only have one flight booked! It is a domestic flight to Vancouver where I will spend a week or so. From there I plan to head to Fiji for six weeks, then New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup. I hope to be in Sydney for New Year’s Eve and enjoy the rest of January in Australia. Southeast Asia will happen at some point, I just don’t know when. I need to be in the Dominican Republic for a wedding in May, so February to May is up in the air. After the wedding it could be India? Brazil?

Hanging at Machu Picchu

Hanging at Machu Picchu

When are you leaving?

Monday July 11th! I wanted to leave on my half birthday (July 6th) but flights were more expensive on that day.

Why did you decide to go on this trip?

The travel bug hits hard. In South America I realized how inexpensive travel can be and it made me want to get out there and see the rest of the world.

The Andes

The Andes

What will you be doing to pass the time before your travels?

I will be chillin’ at my cottage, making numerous trips to Toronto, spending a week in NYC, attending convocation and celebrating Canada Day. Packing and everything associated with preparedness will happen very last minute. I have my passport, what else could I possibly need?

If you could give just one piece of advice to a fellow #rtwsoon traveler, what would it be?

Keep calm and pack jeans. Jeans have been directed some serious hate from the travel community. I know they take up more space, but seriously those zip off pant/shorts are not cute.

Visit Mariah’s Website: Slacker Backpacker
Follow Mariah on Twitter:
@mariahhdillon

If you’re heading around-the-world in the next 12 months and would like to be featured here, please contact us.

10 Comments

  1. Posted May 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    As a member of the winter 2012 #rtwsoon class, I look forward to reading your adventures for sure. I love that you are tying in the Rugby World Cup , I plan on being in Europe for the 2012 Euros on my RTW, things like that just add an extra special element to traveling. Well, good luck and I have to say that ‘Slacker Backpacker” is without doubt one of the coolest names I have heard in the travel blogosphere.
    Scott recently posted..Traveling On Ice

  2. Posted May 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Scott! Ya I’m super stoked for the Rugby World Cup :) Best of luck with your planning.
    Mariah recently posted..my 3 favourite hostels in peru

  3. Posted May 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    We agree whole-heartedly with the jeans…they may actually be the only pair of pants we take!! It is indeed cool to check out the rugby. I don’t know if the timing will work for us, but I (skott) have my heart set on Africa Cup of Nations being held in Gabon in Feb…we were initially thinking we may be in India at that time, but I do hope we are able to stall a little!!!

    Best of luck with everything Mariah!!
    Skott and Shawna recently posted..We Bought Our New “Homes”

  4. Posted May 28, 2011 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t agree more. Pack jeans! Sure they take up more room and are a little heavier than the zip-offs but you can dress them up or dress them down. Jeans are versatile, durable and you don’t have to wash them often.
    Elle recently posted..Fantasy Friday- Siena- Italy

  5. Posted May 28, 2011 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Skott, Shawna and Elle, it it so refreshing to find fellow jean supporters!
    Mariah recently posted..my 3 favourite hostels in peru

  6. Posted May 28, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Thanks for introducing Mariah – looking forward to reading all about her adventures!

    And yes, I agree with the jeans – while I do actually love my zip-off pants for hiking, I ended up caving and buying jeans about eight months into my RTW trip – and I am never, EVER travelling without them again! I pretty much didn’t take them off after I bought them, no matter what the weather.

    Mariah, if you do make it to Sydney at the end of the year, let me know if you need any tips! Or a tour guide :)
    Megan recently posted..Photo Friday- Sisowath Quay at dusk

  7. Posted May 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like it’s going to be a great trip and you are so close to heading off! Can’t wait to keep up with your journey… heading to your blog now!

    Love the llama pic BTW.
    Annie recently posted..Enjoying Italy to the Last Drop

  8. Posted May 29, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Yea, travel in South America can be super cheap! Love the pic with the llama :)

  9. Posted May 30, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    We’re on our way to South America, I’m glad to hear it’s as affordable as I hoped it would be. There’s getting to be quite a few of heading of in July. The more the merrier I say.
    Mike Lenzen recently posted..Travel Documentation

  10. Posted May 31, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a great trip so far! We are heading on our own mini version of a rtw trip which has actually turned out to be a south pacific / australia trip. We’re going to Tahiti (French Polynesia), Fiji, and Australia for seven weeks in July and August. I’ll be blogging about our trip, so by then I may have some good tips about Fiji! We’re planning to do lots of scuba diving – cannot wait!
    Carolyn recently posted..Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona

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