Um… so, Blog Hop.
It’s nothing to do with hip hop or the Sugar Hill Gang (sorry – for the irrelevance and the dismal word exchange), but it does have to do with is that good ol’ blogosphere. The idea is to answer questions on your writing habits and in the process get to know some more bloggers out there. It’s always fun to have interaction with other bloggers, and I love finding out more about the people behind the blogs I admire :)
Here are my answers, as best as I can explain (I’m not sure how I feel about writing about writing when I’m still working out the actual writing part… Right?) and my fellow bloggers I’ve asked to be a part of it underneath – I’ve selected them especially because I love their writing and look forward to a blog post – so check them out!
What am I working on/writing?
Well, apart from this… I’m working on two things. As my Vancouver down to San Francisco trip looms closer, I’m putting together the itinerary in a post – half to organise and excite my thoughts, and half to let you know what I’m going to be getting up to. My hope is to open up ideas of places not all incredibly typical of a USA trip on the west coast and you’ll be able to follow along on Instagram and Twitter.
The second thing comes from my love of travel, literature and history. I’ve used some book tokens I have (again proving what a super cool person I am) to buy a couple of books I actually used in my last essay of university, which was on women travellers and how they set trends and were branching out on their exploration, and how theirs differed from those of men. I find this stuff fascinating and as I read about these women, kept nodding my head in agreement, welling up at their quotes and snapping my fingers with a “mmmhmmm!” (this last one was saved for the privacy of my own home rather than UEA’s library).
So I’m working on putting together a list of my most inspirational women, and why they should be recognised for their travelling achievements. But not before making a “girl power” playlist. Come at me, Spice Girls.
How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
This is a touchy and difficult topic because all you ever hear about is trying to find your niche in the blogging world. I really liked Katie of Stories My Suitcase Could Tell’s way of answering this: “while everything may have been said (or written) before, it hasn’t been said in that unique way only you can express”. In a world of travel blogs on a rapid increase, I think the only thing you can truly be sure of is being yourself, so it makes sense to take advantage of that.
I hope that what I write has a notably unique voice. I have a chatty style and that’s always what’s worked best for me. That, together with my emotional connection with travel, showing you my experiences with studying abroad in Australia, the trips and adventures I’ve had that excite me and even the thoughts behind travel like what makes a good travel companion, how I consider cities as my boyfriends (yep, you read that correctly) and the reality of a long-distance relationship. I don’t often do top 10 lists or that sort of thing – I share tips, but I like to have a personal link with the way I write, and inspire readers to go out and find their adventure to fall in love with.
Why do I write what I do?
Simple: because I love it. There’s something so therapeutic about writing, and sometimes I could go all day. That’s probably why a lot of my posts are based more on personal travelling experiences and thoughts, because writing allows me to work them out. I’m an outspoken person and think that travel is the best and most humbling education and experience you can get – as well as the most full of beautiful sights. So, combining writing and travel fits so perfectly together that I’m not sure how it took me so long to figure out that’s what I wanted to do.
Like in the film Little Miss Sunshine (click on the link for the clip): “Do what you love and fuck the rest”.
How does my writing process work?
While I’m away, I try to spend some time every day making notes in my travel notebook (which I love). It helps me remember the feeling of a place, and picture it perfectly in my mind. If I think of an idea for a blog post, I always stop whatever I’m doing and tap it onto my iPhone – there’s a whole section of ‘Notes’ with blog ideas – and scramble out a little outline of what I want it to convey.
I get a bit of writer’s block sometimes, but I find looking back at my notes and looking through my photos really helps. Otherwise, I just go with it and iron it out afterwards. Planning my blog’s posts has become so integral to my days now that I think I’d feel a bit lost if I stopped!
Say hello to the next blog hoppers!
Katie MacLeod is a journalist and travel blogger currently based in Scotland. She loves nothing more than seeking out stories in far-flung destinations (indulging in coffee, chocolate, and books does come a close second though). You can keep up with her travels, which take her from the shores of the Scottish islands to the streets of New York City, on her blog Stories My Suitcase Could Tell, and connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Kasha Dubaniewicz is a travel writer currently based in London, UK. A first-generation Polish South African, Kasha grew up and studied in Cape Town. When she was 25, she decided to embark on an adventure and moved to Europe to travel, to write and to break out of her comfort zone. Ever since she was young, Kasha was adamant that she would be an author some day, and has been sticking to her guns on this ever since. Fascinated with nature, alternative travel destinations and good stories, she chronicles her misadventures on her blog, Lines of Escape, and elsewhere. There’s always another trip on the horizon, and you can follow Kasha on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Virginia Stuart-Taylor is a travel blogger based in London, who writes about her adventures abroad and top tips for living abroad on her blog The Well-Travelled Postcard. The name of her blog hints to the postcards she features on her blog and she’s also a keen linguist, eager to practise her Spanish, Italian and Portuguese whenever she can. Studying Modern Languages at the University of Exeter gave her the perfect excuse to explore the world during her Gap Year and Third Year Abroad and so far she’s lived in Chile, Spain and Italy, and travelled to a total of 41 countries (and counting). Since creating her blog in summer 2012 it’s given her the opportunity to travel to four different continents and she doesn’t plan on stopping there… You can follow her travels and adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.