Hey Hey! I’m very excited to announce that I have been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Amy of Globetrotter Guru. Thanks for the nomination Amy!!!
Here’s how it works
Once you have been nominated for this award, thank the fellow blogger and answer the questions they have asked you. Then you come up with 10 questions of your own and nominate up to 10 bloggers. Don’t forget to let them know via twitter or email!
My Questions from Amy
1. What Do You Love Most About Travel Blogging?
The independence it creates. My job in Los Angeles was pretty demanding. Long hours and a crazy schedule made me long for something less stressful and more fulfilling.
The past few years I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how to achieve the lifestyle I desired. It wasn’t until I met a couple (also one of my nominees) while I was volunteering in South Africa that I found out about travel blogging and how they made it work for them.
Now that I’ve been on the road for a few months it’s hard for me to think about my life back in LA. It’s exciting to not have any kind of schedule and to be able to go anywhere in the world.
2. What drawbacks are there to travel blogging that many people don’t realize?
A lot of people don’t realize how much work has to be put into it. Writing is just a small part of travel blogging. I spend most of my time editing photos and managing social media. Having good content is for sure top priority, but what good is it if nobody sees it? I can spend hours just scheduling tweets on Hootsuite, lining up posts on Facebook, and posting to Instagram.
The other issue is you are at the mercy of local internet. I’m currently in Borneo and finding a place with decent internet is no easy task. When I find good-ish wifi, I pretty much spend all my time on my computer since I don’t know when I’ll have another opportunity to work online.
3. Tell me about a place have you visited with the most diverse Wildlife?
Oh man! It’s a hard decision, but I think working with Siyafunda Wildlife Conservation near Hoedspruit, South Africa had the most diverse wildlife. I went there to help them track and monitor Africa’s big 5, but we were able to observe all the other animals along the way.
I think my favorite part was going to sleep in my tent every night listening to the hyena clans call back and forth to each other and then waking up every morning and seeing their footprints around our camp. I have always been fascinated with hyenas, and being able to work so closely with them was an incredible experience!
4. What was the most amazing Religious Site that you have ever visited?
La Sagrada Familia is by far the most impressive cathedral I have ever seen. I studied art history in college, and was super excited to travel to Barcelona and see Gaudi’s work. I could have spent hours looking at all the details of La Sagrada Familia! I can definitely appreciate the beauty of all the cathedrals, but they seem to meld together after a while. La Sagrada Familia is really different. It has a dark feel to it……kinda Tim Burton-y.
5. What is the best local drink you have ever had and where?
Catalina Island has a drink they call Buffalo Milk. Every bar has their own take on exactly how they make it, but the base is basically the same. It’s a mix of vodka, Kahlua, creme de bananas, creme de cacao, and milk. Then served over ice or ice blended and topped with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg. I wouldn’t recommend drinking them all the time unless you feel like gaining 10 pounds in a weekend, but it’s a nice treat after a long day of diving or zip lining.
6. What was the most amazing train journey you have ever been on and why?
I haven’t been able to take very many train journeys yet, but the ride from Sydney to Katoomba was quiet nice. I wanted to go hike the Blue Mountains, and the train takes you directly there from Sydney. It’s only a couple hours ride but you get to see more of the countryside, and I must say the Blue Mountains are breathtaking!
7. Tell me about the worst ‘travel scam’ or situation while traveling that you have experienced?
I’m actually dealing with it right now, so I won’t disclose the company’s name since the issue hasn’t been resolved yet.
I try to volunteer with different conservation programs when I travel. I found this website that claims to have programs all over SE Asia and South America. Everything sounded great. The money I would be paying was going back into conservation, and “their” programs were really helping make a difference.
It wasn’t until I actually got to my first program that I found out that the company I booked through wasn’t actually running any of them! On their website they never mentioned the actual group I would be working for nor did they tell me I wasn’t going to be working for them personally. In their emails they actually say “We cannot wait to welcome you to [blank] program,” but they didn’t welcome me because it’s not theirs. They are actually nothing more than a booking company.
To make matters worse, this booking company charged me almost $300 more than they were supposed to!
I do want to point out that I had an amazing time working with the conservation group, and they are trying to help me get the money that was overpaid back from the booking company. They had no idea the booking company was operating in such a manner.
8. What is your motivation behind your travel blog?
I started volunteering a long time ago in LA and then went to Thailand to work at Elephant Nature Park. Since working at ENP, 5 of my friends have gone to visit there just by my recommendation. That made me want to start a blog to maybe inspire more people to look into working holidays or to support these organizations that are trying to save our beautiful planet and all its inhabitants rather than fund the attractions that are harmful to the animals and surrounding environment.
Most of the time people aren’t aware of the damage that is being caused by participating in various tourist attractions. The more information we can put out there the better educated people can be on the impact they are making.
I keep meeting more and more people who are trying to make better choices when they travel as well as when they are in their home country. It gives me hope and drives me to continue getting the word out there about all the wonderful organizations around the world.
9. Where is the next place that you will visit and why?
I’ll be heading to Manado on July 5 to start my next volunteer program working at an animal rehabilitation center.
This area of the world is huge for illegal trafficking of exotic animals to sell on the black market. It breaks my heart that humans still look at animals as something for them to control and own.
In earlier years, the animals being trafficked would be euthanized since authorities wouldn’t know what to do with them, but now thanks to rehabilitation centers they can be checked for disease and hopefully placed back into their natural habitat.
10. How can travel bloggers earn money on the road to sustain their nomadic lifestyle?
This is something I am still trying to figure out. There are few blogs that actually sustain the blogger’s lifestyle on its own.
I personally have been looking into teaching English abroad as a way to make money to start. I’ve also talked to teachers at various international schools about working with them. They make really good money, but you normally have to give a longterm commitment.
I’m also considering upping my dive certification to Dive Master to open up opportunities for employment with dive companies.
If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to make it work. Look at your skills and what you are capable of doing and go from there.
Here are my nominees
I have been following these women on their journeys and they have inspired me to go beyond my comfort zone and look for new exciting experiences and adventures. Cheers to you ladies!!!
1. Diana from D Travels Round
2. Linda from Linda and the People
3. Deb from The Planet D
4. Kach from Two Monkeys Travel
5. Alesha aka Lesh from Nomadasaurus
6. Silvia from Heart My Backpack
7. Jan from Budget Travel Talk
8. Yulia from Miss Tourist
9. Yara from Heart of Vagabond
10. Rebecca from Transportable Duo
1. What made you take the plunge and start a life of travel?
2. What is one thing you have learned about yourself while traveling?
3. If you knew then what you know now, what would you do differently at the start of your travels?
4. What is one gadget you cannot live without?
5. Which do you prefer and why…backpack or suitcase?
6. Where have you experienced your best spa treatment?
7. What country has been your favorite to explore and why?
8. Is there anywhere you have traveled that you could see yourself one day becoming a permanent resident and why?
9. Is there anywhere that you haven’t traveled yet and are dying to go?
10. What is one tip you can give to a new traveler?
Good luck ladies! I look forward to seeing your posts!!!