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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:

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