I launched LITTLE ANXIOUS EXPLORER initially to serve as a digital scrapbook of my past and future travels - particularly the epic adventures I had planned for 2020 in Oman, Ireland, Krakow, the Baltic capitals and NYC. With none of those trips able to go ahead, I pivoted; turning my online space into a home for inspiration, thoughts, reflections and conversations around travel, mental health, and their many intersections. Though I may not have travelled internationally for almost two years now, that doesn't mean I haven't been exploring by other means...
I've still been posting stories of previous and domestic travels, snaps from local wanders, hopes for the future, things I'm learning on my own personal journey, and staying connected with a bunch of magical, like-minded people. In that sense, the world has come to me. So now I'd like to help bring it to you, too - because adventures can be whatever you want them to be!
Throughout various lockdowns, I had the enormous joy of travelling vicariously and virtually via only my screen, through a hearty combo of throwbacks from my archive and the memories shared by others. I take huge comfort in believing that the experiences awaiting us all on the other side of this continually uncertain time will be our biggest, best and most meaningful yet.
WHO AM I?
I'm Hannah Foster-Roe.
A British writer, journalist, storyteller, content creator and photographer.
I am 30 years-old, scarcely over 5 feet-tall, a Capricorn, introvert and INFJ-T personality.
A few of my favourite things (besides exploring) are dogs, cooking, singing, sea breezes and slow mornings.
I recently moved to the Northamptonshire countryside, and can already feel my roots taking hold.
I am most happy and tranquil whilst enveloped in nature, or somewhere new.
Anxiety has walked with me for as long as I can remember, and forms part of my niche as it forms part of me.
Talking frankly about mental health is never pretty or comfortable, but I firmly believe that by doing so we can help erase the stigma attached to this subject. This is why I choose to bare some of the cloudier parts of my soul; so that hopefully somebody, somewhere, will read it and feel seen, understood, and less alone.
My curiosity kicked in about as early as my anxiety did, but has been infinitely more fun to satisfy! As a child, I would frequently test myself on the capital cities and flags of the world. I collected shells, fossils, rocks and postcards: anything touched by the great unknown. Entire wonderlands unfolded in my busy mind, and I would get so frustrated with my friends for not being able to imagine them as colourfully as I could. At 13, after several years of wishing, I finally travelled abroad for the very first time - and have been almost untameable ever since.
Before being paused by the pandemic, I had visited 21 countries:
The UK, France, Germany, Spain, Monaco, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Denmark,
Sweden, Portugal, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belgium, Malta, Montenegro, Czechia and the Netherlands.
I've sampled artisan wine in the foothills of Europe's most active volcano, jet-skied (very ungracefully!) on the Costa Dorada, trekked a stretch of the South West Coast Path, eaten Michelin-starred food on Dubrovnik's city walls, road-tripped across Malta, travelled solo in Scandinavia and made a relentless InterRail journey to 8 countries in just 12 days back in 2012. I am longing to expand the boundaries of my world again very soon - it is time.
Having adored writing from a very young age, I threw caution to the wind in 2020; deciding to merge my passion for travel and everything it represents with my enthusiasm for words. What began as merely 'trying my luck' soon evolved into something much more when I got my first story published, and now I'm gradually turning my creative dreams into reality - penning travel, culture and lifestyle pieces for a number of print and digital titles on both sides of the Atlantic.
With both my freelance features and exclusive LITTLE ANXIOUS EXPLORER articles, I aim to:
evoke a sense of wonder and place; whether it's talking about a busy European city, a natural beauty spot, or lesser-known locations like those on my doorstep
inspire ways of living and travelling that are mindful, purposeful, responsible and deeply textured
champion the stories / experiences of women and other marginalised communities
delve into the varied cuisines, histories and arts scenes of the world
prove that luxury doesn't have to mean expensive, exclusive, prohibitive or problematic - my definition of luxury is about the quality, authenticity and meaning of the experience, rather than the price tag
For links to my professional portfolio so far, please see below.