19 countries in a year: Warwick writer's career takes off
HER stunning pictures cover scenes in a warm glow like the time right before sunset, while her words make it feel as though you are standing right beside her in an exotic country thousands of kilometres away.
Haylee Forbes, 24, started a travel blog to document her adventures and share her experiences with other like-minded travellers.
The Warwick woman was surprised to find over 6000 people on Instagram became interested in her journey and magazines got in touch to see if they could publish her thoughts.
Miss Forbes started her travels in England in January last year, where she was supposed to spend a year studying towards her double-degree in business and journalism at Plymouth University.
But in mid-May, she got itchy feet.
She packed up and decided to study online through Griffith University, giving her the freedom to visit 19 countries in the past 13 months.
A passionate writer and photo editor, Miss Forbes spent downtime on buses and trains writing about what she'd seen and done.
She used her iPhone to take pictures and then Adobe Lightroom to edit them, giving the images a distinct autumnal feel.
Miss Forbes said her social media following grew rapidly during the past year.
Magazines such as ONE Magazine and publisher Georgia Pelligrini contacted her to contribute.
Miss Forbes said connecting with other people was the best part of travel blogging.
"The thing I like about it the most is a lot of people have their own travels so we can talk," Miss Forbes said.
"I feel like I've made so many friends from all over the world."
Miss Forbes said her favourite locations were Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Scotland.
Mostly venturing to each country alone, she wasn't nervous and enjoyed the freedom of spending the days how she wanted.
"When I was a teenager, I was the shyest kid, I would never have done a trip by myself," she said.
"I love my hometown and I love all the people here but when you travel it opens your mind, I feel like I'm a different person now.
She not only learnt a lot about herself, but about a side of world she had never seen.
The war in Bosnia in the 1990s was a particular step back in time that hit a nerve.
"We weren't taught that in school and that really struck me, we were over in Australia happy as Larry," she said.
Back on home soil, for the past few weeks, Miss Forbes plans to complete her studies in July, then return to Germany to meet her partner, whom she met during her travels.
Then she plans to travel to America, all the while continuing her travel writing.
She also wants to help other young people take the road less travelled, as she did.
"There's so much pressure for kids to go to uni as soon as you finish high school and I know how hard it is," she said.
"If any teenagers want to do anything I've done, I'm happy to help."
Contact Miss Forbes through her Facebook page Haylee's Words of Wander.
Traveller works on first book abroad
A JOURNAL travelled everywhere with Haylee Forbes during her year-long trip through Europe and she used it to begin her first novel.
Miss Forbes said she was writing the piece as a hobby while she was riding on buses between cities.
Set during World War II, MissForbes said the book was a historical love story.
"For me it's like escaping into another world, it's like an escape from the writing that I don't really get to choose what I'm writing," she said.
Writing the story by hand was her first port of call, as she would type up the paragraphs on her laptop at the end of the trip.
"I think it's easier, writing notes, and brainstorming it turns into a spider web, I can see all my thoughts on paper," she said.
Miss Forbes has completed two chapters of the book and is unsure whether she will publish it, but hopes to become a full-time author.