Following in Their Footsteps – My 2016 Travel Blog Role Models
Time flies when you’re having fun.
Or, in my case, when you’re an emerging travel blogger trying to juggle the multiple demands of content creation, networking, social media management….oh and, you know – actual travelling.
Suddenly, I find that a year has passed since I made that decision to ‘go for it’ and plunge myself into a world of more uncertainty but infinitely more excitement too.
Along the way, I’ve taken inspiration from my blogging peers – from travel tips, to writing style; from infectious enthusiasm to real, practical support.
So I’m taking a moment here to bring you my blogging champions for my fledgling year, and tell you why they’ve made an impact on me.
Who they are: The Travel Hack / Monica Stott (Founder)
What they do: It’s literally ‘they’ – there’s not 1 blogger, but a magnificent 7 (see who they are here), and what a fabulous and diverse range of talents they bring to the mix. From backpacking and camping to stylish, luxury and family travel, this is one blog that has something for everyone.
Why I love them: Founder Monica Stott is prolific and organised and sets an admirable benchmark in how to run a professional travel blog. There’s never a dull moment at The Travel Hack and it’s great for the varied combination of in-depth features, dip-into snippets and a plethora of offers and competitions. They even cater for astrophiles like me, with features such as Northern Lights In The Yukon.
Who they are: Travel With Kat / Kathyrn Burrington
What they do: Kathryn brings us quality travel experiences, lots of delish food and drink stuff, beautiful photography and very thought-provoking focus on responsible tourism. She is an AITO Responsible Tourism Award winner and a founder/member of Travelator Media.
Why I love them: Kathryn is one of those people who just ‘gets things done’! Her website oozes class and elegance and her photography is stunning. Her images will show you intricate detail where you never thought to look, and turn the dullest weather into an enigmatic backdrop. As a friend of many years, Kathryn has also been my absolute rock and mainstay during these first few months and her advice and support has been invaluable.
Who they are: Inside The Travel Lab / Abigail King
What they do: Swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road; specialises in the thoughtful and inspirational elements of travel. If it’s not unusual, there will usually be an unusual angle on it!
Why I love them: There’s nothing quite like an Inside the Travel Lab piece. There’s a synesthetic element to Abi’s writing which I love, and that skill of evoking one sense by describing another is something you don’t often see. Take any two random posts and you may well find the poetic followed nonchalantly by the colloquial, and you’ll come away having gleaned some unexpected insight into even the most ‘ordinary’ experience. Her unique method of categorising travel experiences (‘Make me think’, ‘Make me smile’ ‘Inspire me’) shows that Abi is as much a philosopher as a scientist.
Who they are: Along Dusty Roads / Andrew and Emily
What they do: Advocates of immersion travel, Andrew and Emily focussed on Latin America for the first couple of years. Their journeys now take them elsewhere too, and they continue to share their very evocative photographs with us.
Why I love them: I first discovered Along Dusty Roads while browsing for articles on South America last year. Having fallen in love with the region during a visit in 2012 I wanted to read about other people’s experiences there. And there were Andrew and Emily! I love their introductory pages and quotes for each major destination and the practical stand-alone pages such as ‘What Things Cost in Chile’. I had the pleasure of briefly meeting Emily earlier this month at the World Travel Market, and getting some reassuring words of advice from her. Cheers, Emily!
Who they are: The Travel Eater / Johanna Read
What they do: A travel and food writer and photographer, based in Vancouver. Johanna is Contributing Editor for Luxury and Boutique Hotels.com and leads a self-confessed ‘lemon pie life’!
Why I love them: You’d be missing out if you bypassed Johanna’s blog because food isn’t your ‘thing’ (although, isn’t it everyone’s thing on some level?!). The level of detail and thorough information she provides on a plethora of travel issues is impressive, and her style is effortlessly relaxed. She also happens to be a generous and insightful guide if you’re ever fortunate enough to have the pleasure of her company in Vancouver – which I was in June. Thanks Johanna, we’d have missed so much without you!
Who they are: On The Luce / Lucy Dodsworth
What they do: A part-time traveller and full-time travel obsessive, Lucy is an expert in making the most of limited time and juggling home life and other work with her travel adventures.
Why I love them: I’ve been impressed by how Lucy manages to get so much done. For a part-time traveller she crams a heck of lot of experiences and trips into her time and I admire how she cheerfully turns travel mishaps into wonderful stories. She’s endearingly unpretentious and I find the website really easy to navigate. I particularly love her monthly summaries, where recent adventures segue beautifully into future travel plans.
Who: The Hostel Girl / Katie Dawes
What they do: Katie provides a fabulous forum which uses the hostel experience as a platform to encourage and progress cross-cultural understanding. It’s mainly hostels, but with a few tours and some other little bits ‘n’ pieces thrown in for good measure.
Why I love them: I’ve spent many nights in a range of different hostels over the years and I love this little niche that Katie has built up for herself. What pleasantly surprised me was when she mentioned one of my reviews (for the Celica Hostel, Ljubljana) in one of her blog round-ups this year. I love that she makes time and effort to read other people’s related content and even share that with her own readers. I also wished her interesting posts on the unique challenges of hostel stays had been available to me back in the day!!
Who they are: Goats on the Road / Nick and Dariece
What they do: Canadian couple who sold their possessions to follow their dream, having decided to literally ‘turn travel into a lifestyle’. Their website gives a nice account of their blogging journey, with lots of great advice for those who aim to follow a similar path.
Why I love them: Nick and Dariece have a simple, open and honest outlook. A great series of videos almost makes you feel you’re there with them – or at the very least enthuses you to plan your own trip. I have found their articles on the business side of blogging incredibly handy – the first-hand accounts with real detail have been a godsend to the pragmatist in me. And they’re Canadian. I love Canadians.
What they do: A content-creating collective focussing on the 40+ UK-based quality traveller
Why I love them: Their campaign management demonstrates the utmost professionalism and I was privileged to be able to participate in one of these campaigns earlier in the year. That campaign, the #ExploreCanada RV road trip, was an incredible experience and my thanks go to all the team for their ongoing support and gracious welcome.
Disclosure: I’m indebted to so many others ‘out there’, whose words, images and pearls of wisdom have also had a positive impact. Perhaps one day I can do the same for someone else. No money or payment in kind has been received by any of the mentioned bloggers 😉