This week our featured blogger is travel addict Gemma Fottles! Read on for her thoughts on travel blogging, the difficulties bloggers face and where she’d like to be in one year from now!
To start, tell us a little about yourself and your blog!
I’m 23 years old and after graduating uni in 2012, decided on taking the more unconventional path in life. I bagged an incredible job as a travel reporter for four months, spent 6 months working in the French Alps and then decided to move to Amsterdam where I now work as a digital magazine editor.
When did your love for travel start, and what made you want to start blogging?
My love for travel started when I was 18 years old. I actually wrote a post on this last week. An older boyfriend kind of roped me into going to Thailand with him – poor me, I know. We broke up on the second day there, but continued to travel around the country together. I had an incredible time and it really opened my eyes to what the world has to offer. I had no idea of the backpacking culture, and how easy and cheap it could be to gain such amazing experiences. Since then, I’ve just continued trying to get as many of those experiences from as many places as possible.
I started my blog on my first solo travel trip to Honduras back in 2011. It was originally just a diary style, irregular thing and looking back I definitely cringe a bit! It’s grown a lot since then, my writing style has (hopefully) become a lot more refined and I think I’ve definitely found my blogging voice. I aim to provide travel inspiration and anecdotes to people around the world on a weekly basis with articles and photo posts from my adventures around the world.
What has been the highlight of your blogging career so far?
My four month round the world trip with SPAR International – the travel reporting job I mentioned earlier! I feel so lucky. It really was a once in a lifetime opportunity and my blog – as different as it was back then – helped me in achieving that. Honestly, how many times will you get paid to travel four continents and write about it? Especially only a month or two after graduating from university. My blog posts really came along in that time, I was seeing so much of the world and having so many insane experiences. I think one of my best posts was related to surviving Trans Siberian Rail. 6 days of pure train, train, train kind of drove me to the point of insanity. And vodka. Lots of vodka.
Where would you like to see your blog in one year from now?
Oh gahhd – I would love to see it much like it is today but bigger and better! Ideally I would love to make a living from my blog and writing specifically about travel. It’s definitely a hard career to crack, so I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing and hope that someone notices me. Either way, I’m just happy to have followers and people that view my blog, hopefully inspiring them to travel and relive their own travel memories.
What difficulties do you think most effect travel bloggers today?
There’s so much out there that it’s hard to make a living off it. If you’re doing it for the love of it, then that is awesome, but sadly ‘real life’ i.e. jobs and having to pay the bills mean that the most amazing writers and bloggers go unnoticed and fail to get anywhere with it as they can’t dedicate the time to rising up from the sea of people writing about travel. Hopefully they don’t give up, but it’s definitely difficult.
And finally, who are your favourite bloggers at the moment.
I love Travel Dudes – their content is all from travellers uploading personal tips and advice, so you can get some really insightful posts. There’s a lot on there, but it’s a great one to flick through and get motivated or inspired. I also realllly love Adventurous Kate – she’s pretty inspirational for solo female travellers!