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01 September
WRITTEN BY Charlie Keep

Meet Pocket Trailblazer – RatPack Q&A

At RatPack we can’t get enough of legends who are stepping outside the box and doing their own thing when it comes to travelling and seeing that big old world their way all whilst keeping it REAL.

First up in our RatPack Q&A series is YouTube travel series queen Charlie AKA Pocket Trailblazer >> we’ll be giving you an insight into what her world is all about and her tips and tricks when it comes to Aussie.

Charlie has always been an adventurous soul and a lover of exploring but her true obsession with travel started after uni when she headed off with the fam on a ski-trip and ‘accidentally’ got a job working on the slopes as a ski rep yewwwwww. After 3 years working abroad, she was hooked on the travel bug and went on her first backpacking adventure and this is where it all began….. However, there was something she had to do first…

Even from a young un’ Charlie was making films and telling stories so she made it her ambition to work in the big screen movies. 7 years of ‘working for the man’ and up the ladder through budget films, finally making it to the big studio productions made her realise that she was only ever going to be a small cog in the machine and she wanted wayyy more than that! It was one of the hardest decisions she would ever have to make, but she knew she would have to quit what she thought was the dream and find her own path if she was going to make an impact and inspire people.

After a lot of research on YouTube she found thousands of epic GoPro/Drone montages but very few ‘real’ travel experiences. So incoming April 2017, Charlie founded ‘Pocket Trailblazer’, a channel that was designed to not only show what it’s really like when you go backpacking but to immerse her audience in adventures and take them on emotional journeys too >> Charlie shows us the REAL deal and keeps it real, we love her channel for her bants and true reflection of what BackPacking is ALL about.

 

1) Stepping out of the corporate filming bubble when most people would think they’ve ‘made it’ was a pretty ‘BALLSY’ move… what made you make that leap of faith?

If I’m honest, the reason I started making movies in the first place was to make an impact and inspire people but I quickly realised I was disillusioned by the industry being more about money than creativity and that if I was going to make an impact I would have to create my own path.

I had always filmed my travels and when ever I showed the films to anyone they would end up doing the same trip, but it has taken a lot of time and courage to finally start believing in the films and designing them specifically for a YouTube audience rather than just my friends and family.

2) Pocket TrailBlazer where the devil did that name come from?

Good question! This has a two part answer…. ‘Pocket’ comes from my ski season days as I had the nickname Pocket Rocket when I would ski guide. I’m also only 5ft tall so ‘pocket’ sized!

Trailblazer comes from the first ever backpacking adventure I had when I did a 64 day road trip around America with a company called Trek America and the tour we did was called ‘The Trailblazer’ so that’s where my travelling obsession started.

So when I started planning to film for YouTube, the name just came to me and I just knew it was the perfect name for my channel.

3) What makes your YouTube series different to anything else which is out there?

Firstly, my episodes are 30-45 min epic adventures. I design them in a way that takes my audience on an emotional journey with me. I want then to be full immersed in the adventure which I don’t believe you can do with the standard 8-10 min travel vlogs which the platform seems to be saturated with.

Secondly, I truly believe that if you want to make it in this extremely competitive world of travel vlogging, you need to take it to the next level. So I try to build a story into each episode rather than just document where I am and what I’m doing.

4) How come you have semi-settled in Oz, most people wouldn’t consider staying in Darwin for so long, why the NT?

Well, the main reason is because my boyfriend, Tom, is a tour guide in Kakadu so we use Darwin as a base for the dry season (May to Oct). Also, the weather is pretty great up here and I can go out on adventures to the national parks when I need a break from the edit suite!

5) So you have made Darwin your home away from home… What is your top tip for RatPackers wanting to explore the National Parks?

Top tip would have to be, visit Kakadu between June –August as the weather is hot but not too humid and the waterholes are fresh and clear.

6) When you first arrived in Oz how did you go about planning your trips?

Right, I’m going to be honest here, I had done a fair amount of research on YouTube so I had a good plan of what I wanted to do and the timings but had not booked anything. I was travelling with two friends and even though we had been warned, we STILL got coaxed into a big high street brand travel agents, by one of their chatty, smiley reps on the street.

We ended up booking our whole East Coast trip with them and I instantly regretted it, as things started to go wrong before we had even left the location where we had booked everything. They were very reluctant to help and it made us feel like they just didn’t care now they had all our money!

They booked us on the first leg of our ‘hop on, hop off’ bus from Sydney to Byron Bay, except when I checked a few days before they hadn’t actually booked it. It was peak season just after New years so the next few days of buses were all booked up and so was the hostel we were staying at, meaning we actually had to move hostels and stay longer in Sydney. After this incident, since it was peak season and I didn’t want to miss out on anything, I personally rang every tour we had booked to double check as I just didn’t trust then had actually booked it.

 

7) Where is your favourite spot in Kakadu National Park?

There are two places, the natural infinity pool at the top of Gunlom Falls and the top pools at Maguk where you can test your nerve swimming through underwater tunnels!

8) Favourite experience on your travels in Aussie…

Oh my goodness, there are just so many… Fraser Island, Whitsundays, the whole of the West Coast… but my favourite would have to be doing a shark cage dive in Port Lincoln. Not only because it was just epic to see Great White Sharks but because it pushed me out of my comfort zone and I felt like I had really achieved something.

9) Tell us your all time memorable travel story.

Wow that’s impossible to pick as there are just too many to chose from. A favourite was definitely exploring Karijini NP on the Australian west coast. There were parts where we were wedged in a gorge with both hands & feet, it honestly felt like we were in an Indiana Jones movie!

10) What destination is currently top of your bucket-list?

I’m just desperate to go to Egypt and Jordan. Seeing Petra would be just magical.

Legend! Thanks Charlie for sharing with the RatPack crew all about your story and your tips and tricks when it comes to the E P I C Northern Territory >>> with so many beaut spots to visit where do you begin? Click here  to find out more about your NT options {spoiler – there’s some goodun’s} or click on the chat
box to speak to one of us.

 

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