I was recently interviewed about travel and Something In Her Ramblings for a feature in Cooperatize, a company that connects brands and bloggers. Since many of you are not members, and I put a lot of my heart into answering these questions I thought I’d share it here as well. Enjoy!
1. How would you describe your blog to a person that has never visited it before?
Something In Her Ramblings is a travel blog I’ve created to inspire women to pursue their travel dreams, even if it means traveling solo. I took my first major solo trip in Australia after completing a semester abroad. I had three weeks between my last final and the date of my return ticket home and wanted to backpack up the East Coast from Melbourne to Cairns. I couldn’t find anyone else to go with me, so I bought a hop-on hop-off bus ticket and did the trek on my own. I’m so glad I did!
This was a really empowering experience for me and since then I’ve not only continued to explore the world solo, I also want to encourage other women to travel alone. I’ve since started a Women Who Travel Solo column to share stories from other female solo travelers. You don’t have to wait for the right partner travel to come along to start checking destinations off your bucket list!
2. What made you decide to create a blog?
I spent a year teaching English in Madrid, using most of the money I earned to travel around Europe. In fact, I made it to 25 different countries that year. I wanted a space to document my stories and also spread my message that traveling solo is a rewarding experience.
3. Was there a moment when you thought, “I could do this professionally”? If so, what triggered that desire/realization?
I’ve always loved writing and kept a travel journal, but what really opened my eyes to the blogging industry was my time working in public relations for a destination in Central Florida. As part of my role with a tourism marketing team near Walt Disney World Resort I hosted a wealth of female travel bloggers on press trips. These inspiring women illuminated the world of professional blogging for me, pulling back the curtain on the business side of writing and even sharing a few tips and tricks as I began a blog on my own.
4. What fuels your passion for creating content?
I’ve been blessed to have lived so many incredible stories on the road. Most of my favorite travel moments involve my interactions with the people I meet and the lessons our conversations teach me – these are moments that can’t be captured in a image – they require the written word to express the full weight of meaning.
Since I’m often traveling alone I’m the only one who bears witness to these stories, so if I don’t share them on my blog, they will remain trapped inside me. When I travel to a destination that really speaks to me (which ends up being most places I visit), I want the stories I’ve lived out of my head and into the world. My blog is a place to do that.
5. Are there any blogs or publications that you follow closely? What makes them successful in your opinion?
I like to read travel content that really focuses on the quality of writing and depth of reporting, such as National Geographic Traveler or Smithsonian Magazine. The content in these publications gives me a standard to aspire to and helps me think of new ways to frame my travel stories.
I also enjoy reading a wealth of other travel blogs, especially ones featuring other female solo travelers. For me the best blogs definitely all have a common connection – the people producing them are doing so out of love, not in hopes of getting followers or making money.
6. What is your favorite post that you created? Why?
The post I’ve created that means the most to me is The Importance of Visiting Auschwitz.
While visiting Poland I had privilege of touring the grounds one-on-one with a representative from the public relations team. This was the most intense day in all my travels and I left Auschwitz overwhelmed by the facts, stories and feelings swirling inside me.
There’s no way for anyone to fully understand the horrors of the Holocaust, but it’s so important we remember so that we use this knowledge to guide decisions that mold where such atrocities don’t happen again. The world is the greatest classroom and travel presents an opportunity to educate ourselves about history and the human condition. After visiting Auschwitz, I felt a great obligation to tell the story of my experience. In this post I captured the weight meaning of my visit to the best of my abilities.
7. How much does social media influence your writing?
I’m not the biggest fan of social media. It’s short and visual and my writing is long and deep (which I realize isn’t for everyone). Lately I’ve been trying to embrace social media more because it is such a powerful tool in telling our stories and getting messaging out there. I think it’s important however, especially for young women, not to use social media as a tool to compare blessings.
We all live moments in our own lives that are wildly wonderful. Just because someone else might be better at capturing these moments in an image than you doesn’t mean you need to feel insecure or inadequate about the moments of beauty in your own life.
8. Do you have any last piece of advice for aspiring bloggers?
If you are going to blog you need to be passionate about the content you are producing and the stories you are telling. If you have that passion inside of you then just start, and be consistent. Like achieving any goal in life building a following takes time, but I do believe that if you put in the work and produce the best content you are capable of producing, it will pay off.
9. Lastly, what is something that you could share with us that we wouldn’t learn from reading your blog?
This fact is on my blog, but it’s buried; I started my career out at Walt Disney World, first operating attractions in Fantasyland and later working in public affairs. In these days travel seemed like an impossible feat, far out of my financial means. I’d walk around the pavilions of Epcot, dreaming of the day I’d set foot on my own adventure overseas. Today I have been to nearly all the countries represented at Epcot.
Walt Disney really was right – “if you can dream it, you can do it!”