If you would like to know more about how I became a film-inspired Travel Blogger, here is a brief overview of my life so far:
Me in 2016 at the original film location of "Kattegat" in "Vikings", which in real life is in the Wicklow mountains just outside of Dublin, Ireland
The early years: Growing up in Germany
I was born into a multicultural family (my mum is German, my dad is from India and has Persian ancestors, hence the surname Irani) and grew up in a small town in Lower Saxony in the North-West of Germany.
As a child and teenager, I often suffered from the "opposite of homesickness". Some people call this "wanderlust" or "having caught the travel bug". 🙂
I've always loved travelling and I really wanted to see more of this world than just this little snapshot that was my small German home town.
2003–2004: School Exchange Year in England
This urge became stronger as I grew older. Once I reached my teenage years, I really wanted to experience what it’s like to actually live in a different country rather than just visiting as a tourist.
That's why I was really eager to spend a high school exchange year abroad and improve my English. America seemed a bit too far away at the time, so I chose nearby England instead and spent one year as an exchange student at a Sixth Form College in Hampshire.
2006–2011: My first "proper" job
From 2006 to 2009, I studied Multilingual Communication (a mix of translation, languages and business studies) in Cologne, Germany.
Afterwards, I worked in my first “proper” job as a Project Manager at an international fashion company for a year and a half. The office atmosphere there was a little bit like in The Devil Wears Prada, but also a really good learning experience about the corporate business world and life in general. 🙂
2011: My first USA trip
The travel bug came back to bug me, so in 2011 I had saved enough money to quit my job and go on a three months trip from East to West Coast of the USA.
My first visit to the States really was a dream come true even though the US seemed strangely familiar due to all the Hollywood movies I had seen until then…
2011–2015: Living in London
Later in 2011, I moved to the UK to live the "Bridget Jones lifestyle" in London. As you might have guessed by now, my other big passion besides travel is the cinema!
I had worked part-time in a cinema ever since my school days in Germany, so it was the first job I took on in London. I kept my cinema job as a part-time job (usually working evenings and weekends in addition to my main office job) all throughout the three and a half years I lived in London. In expensive London, this came in particularly handy, as I got to see all movies shown in the Odeon chains for free! As I was working in one of London's most centrally located cinemas on Leicester Square, I also saw several movie stars up and close during the various film premieres and the annual London Film Festival that were all held here.
My passion for films and travel led to the idea of starting my first blog filmfantravel.com – a travel blog, which is all about film-inspired travel recommendations for budget-conscious film fans.
The Millennium Bridge in my old hometown London has featured as a filming location in various films
2015-now: Life as a Freelancer
Since early 2015 I am back in Germany and run my own business as a self-employed Marketing Translator and Travel Journalist from my home base in Bremen.
Freelancing comes with the great advantage of being able to work anywhere in the world – I just need my laptop and an Internet connection!
Thus, I occasionally pack up my laptop to discover new corners of this world… because the travel bug is still with me! 🙂
2019/2020: Studying Tourism in Sweden
Exactly ten years after I finished my Bachelor degree in Cologne, Germany in 2009, I decided to go back to uni. After my Bachelor degree, I was eager to start working and gaining experience in the professional world. But I always said that if I find a Master programme that I am interested in later on, I will return to uni.
Since September 2019, I am now studying the one-year Master programme in "Tourism Destination Development" at the University of Dalarna in Borlänge, Sweden. If everything goes at planned, I will write my Master thesis in spring 2020 and graduate in June that year.
About the Blog
Film Location of "Forrest Gump" in Utah, USA
What's next for you
For any comments, questions or collaboration requests, send an e‑mail to: sonja at filmfantravel.com
I am looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂