Well, we are back at it again.
We had so much attention from our last post of 10 Women Who Will Teach You How to Kick Ass at Travel and Life, that we nearly brought down our servers. Yes, we were scolded by our server team.
It’s all right though. We might be in trouble with our server team, but we think that’s a good kind of trouble to be in.
And let’s be honest, we want more!
(Bring it on, server team.)
So before we close out the remainder of our 20 bloggers series, promise us that you’ll help. Help us to spread the word about this next post to your family, friends, and fellow travelers.
These next ten blogger are an eclectic mix of experience, fresh faces, and a woman we affectionately refer to as ‘The Original’. That is, the original travel writer of modern-day travel writing. And you’re going to want to debate this. We know. And we love that. Please, debate away in our comments section. But we are sticking to our guns because of what she, along with her husband, did for the travel writing industry.
So let’s dive right in and take a look at who these next ten travel writers are.
Suzy Guese – SuzyGuese.com
Twitter – @SuzyGuese
You’ll start to notice a common theme when following travel writers – that many of them get into travel writing after escaping the cubicle. Suzy is unique in that regard.
Since graduating from college in 2009, she’s never worked in an office. She didn’t start her travel blog to escape the corporate world. Travel writing has been the focus since day one post-graduation.
Suzy’s not looking for a career break. Her career is her break.
Another thing that makes Suzy unique – she’s our only red-headed traveler on the list.
Suzy’s got a whole section of her site dedicated to rants. If you’re looking for a good read, check out Annoying People You Meet in the Airport.
Stephanie Yoder – Twenty-Something Travel
Twitter – @20STravel
Stephanie started her blog back in 2009, while she was working full time and considering taking an extended trip. She uses Twenty-Something Travel as a forum to stay motivated and to reinforce a point near and dear to our hearts here at DIWYY – that long term travel is possible for twenty-somethings.
One of the super-useful posts we’ve been finding on travel blogs these days is a ‘how I funded my sabbatical’ type of post. These break down the costs for spending a month, six-months, even a year or more of travel. Stephanie describes how she paid for her trip around the world here.
When we connected with Stephanie, she had a cool story to tell. Turns out that besides making a ton of new friends who are fellow women travelers through the site, she also met her fiance there as well.
Geraldine – Everywhereist
Twitter – @Everywhereist
Geraldine from Everywhereist has us speechless. Finishing our feature on her was a struggle in itself.
Spend any amount of time on Everywhereist, and you start to understand why people relate so well to Geraldine. She is down-to-earth, isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, and has the ability to spin up posts that have you leaving in a different mindset than when you arrived.
She’s also had a lot of sh*t happen to her while traveling.
I think my tales of misadventure are why a lot of people keep coming back to my blog – they hear about my delayed flights, rip-off taxi drivers, and my bouts of food poisoning and they can relate. Or at least they can thankful it didn’t happen to them!
But what really has us moved is her willingness to put her whole self out there and share everything. Even if everything means sharing something like finding out she has a brain tumor.
Thank goodness it turned out to be benign.
The entire Do It While You’re Young community is pulling for you in your recovery, Geraldine.
Lillie Marshall – AroundtheworldL
Twitter – @WorldLillie
(If there was ever a job we were destined for but never landed, Sandwich Police is it. We don’t care what others say – black olives do not belong on a sandwich.)
Lillie taught high school English in the Boston Public Schools for six years before taking a leave from her teaching gig in August 2009. She traveled around the world for nine straight months on a career-break sabbatical. She has since returned to teaching in Boston but still makes time for travel and posts frequently on her site.
What caught our eye is Lillie’s commitment to sharing the joys of traveling with others- particularly teachers. She’s given herself the assignment of spreading the travel bug to teacher-travelers… and she applies the definition of what a teacher-traveler is in the broadest sense possible.
Are you a teacher considering taking a sabbatical from your work? Connect with Lillie at www.TeachingTraveling.com.
Debbie Dubrow – DeliciousBaby
Twitter – @DeliciousBaby
Thinking about traveling with your kids? You’re going to want to bookmark Debbie at Delicious Baby.
As Debbie points out, a lot of the mainstream media family coverage out there is written by parents of older kids or writers who do not travel. To be fair to the mainstream media (which, to be quite honest, we don’t like to defend because there’s a lot of mindless drivel out there), those writers might have insight from their time as parents with young kids. They may have even traveled with young kids (one would hope!).
Debbie is in the thick of it right now, as her kids of 6, 5, and 2 years of age provide all the wonder and enjoyment of reading about a mom who travels extensively with toddlers and young kids. This is real-life, people.
DeliciousBaby is listed as the fifth most popular independent travel blog (and the most popular family travel blog) according to rankings by invesp which take into account several different factors, including audience, subscribership, and page rank.
If you are looking at breaking into the family travel writing niche, Debbie would be a good person to keep on your radar.
Debbie has some sizeable business savvy, too. She is also a co-developer of an iPhone app TripDoc that helps you keep track of where you want to go on vacation.
Beth Whitman – WanderLustAndLipstick
Twitter – @Wanderluster
A little friendly competition never hurts.
Beth’s community for women travelers, Wanderlust and Lipstick, is just that. Similar to DIWYY, Wanderlust provides inspiring stories of adventures in travel from a network of travel writers. Wanderlust also organizes tours to destinations across the globe. The idea has us considering the possibility of organizing a DIWYY meetup.
Bora Bora anyone?
(Leave a comment below if you’d like to see DIWYY coordinate a trip somewhere cool. Where should that place be?)
For more than 25 years, Beth has been traveling the globe as a contemporary wanderer – combining her love for travel with volunteer work, adventure trips, travel writing and business. Here are just a few feathers in her cap:
- trekked the Himalayas in Nepal and Bhutan
- rode a motorcycle solo from Seattle to Panama
- helped build a playground for an orphanage in Vietnam
- and drove the AlCan Highway to Alaska twice
When we caught up with her, this is the advice she had to offer to aspiring travel writers:
Don’t quit your day job, but also don’t quit pursuing travel writing just because there are naysayers out there. It’s hard to make a living just writing, but if you can approach the field from multiple angles, anything is possible. My point is that I learned early on that you don’t have to have all your ducks in a row to hit the road. You learn along the way.
Betsy Talbot – MarriedWithLuggage
Twitter – @BetsyTalbot
Many DIWYY readers seek extended travel. Sabbaticals, gap years, study or work abroad programs. But for those returning home after travel, they might be left with the question of ‘what comes next.’
Enter the Talbots. Betsy is one half of this 40 year-old couple who pens the blog-turned-brand at Married with Luggage. The story they tell and the insight they offer isn’t as much as what you’d call travel advice as it is a framework for living the good life:
- Clarify the Mission
- Strengthen the Mind
- Rally the Tribe
- Nurture the Spirit
- Fortify the Body
Betsy and her husband Warren break down each of these elements – what they call The Five Tenets – to help you start moving towards living your dream.
We like the fact that they emphasize that these kinds of lifestyle choices are not get-rich-quick schemes. Any budding travel writer will tell you that the work we do is painstaking at times, thankless at others.
But then again, when was the last time you achieved anything worth mentioning without significant blood, sweat and tears?
Oneika Raymond – Oneika the Traveller
Twitter – @OneikaTraveller
Much like a fine wine and cheese pairing, teaching and traveling tend to go very well together. This is a discovery that Oneika, much like other travel writers in our series, Lillie & Christine, have made of late.
Oneika’s is currently teaching abroad, so for those readers interested in making a go of teaching at an international school, check out Oneika the Traveler for advice on how to find job fairs and international teaching opportunities.
And thanks to a recent trip of Oneika’s to Norway, and some stunning photography summarized here, we’ll admit Norway is on our short list of next trips.
Nicole Smith – Bitten by the Travel Bug
Twitter – @NicoleTravelBug
Travel writing and photography pair really well together. All of the women we’ve mentioned here feature compelling photography on their websites, but Nicole over at Bitten by the Travel Bug has some of the best we’ve seen.
This Aussie is busy with an eclectic mix of activities – TV, radio, running an online magazine. It’s hard to imagine she has any time left for travel. But hey, if the only cure for being bit by the travel bug is more travel, we suppose you’re forced to make time. What a difficult proposition!
We at DIWYY appreciate clarity. Nicole has a super-cool feature on her site called First time in… that features her top five suggestions for places to visit once you’ve arrived at your destination. If you are looking for recommendations from a friend, we suggest you take Nicole’s.
One final thing we want to mention. This is more of a confession, really. We plan to borrow Nicole’s ‘First time in…’ idea for an upcoming feature we plan to release with DIWYY’s upcoming iPhone app. Stay tuned!
Maureen Wheeler – Lonely Planet
Well, we’ve already featured the “grandmother of women’s travel”, Evelyn Hanon, in a previous post.
Our final featured woman travel writer is the original travel writer. That’s saying a lot, but it is absolutely backed up by her resume. That’s because she and her husband, Tony, started writing small travel guides which later became the travel guide powerhouse Lonely Planet.
Maureen was travel blogging before the Internet was even around. Is that even possible? Probably not. Regardless of whether it was a typewriter or a keyboard, we think you get the point.
Travel publisher Lonely Planet was founded in 1972 when Tony and Belfast-born Maureen pitched up in Australia with 27 cents and a camera between them. The diaries the two Britons wrote on their overland honeymoon were to become the foundation of a worldwide publishing phenomenon.
The reason why we love telling this story is that it proves that travel writing can lead to big things from a money and influence perspective.
Big like hundreds of published guidebooks big.
Big like millions of dollars big.
Today, Lonely Planet publishes about 500 guidebooks.
(DIWYY has zero, but we are coming out with one by year’s end. Stay tuned!)
In October 2007, BBC Worldwide bought 75% of Lonely Planet for $201.6 million and in February 2011 acquired the rest for $67.2 million.
How did a small travel guidebook in the 1970’s grow to be a $250 million brand in the span of 30 years? The Lonely Planet brand has since become synonymous with travel through hard work, smart business decisions, and some sizeable luck.
Here’s what Maureen had to say on this topic –
People always assume Tony is the real businessperson between us, and in actual fact I’ve proven to be much more the businessperson. Tony is much more the visionary. People often say to me, ‘without Tony, Lonely Planet would never have existed, but without you, it wouldn’t have held together’.
What advice can you offer for how to kick ass at travel and life?
Your turn. Share in the comments section what insight and advice you’ve picked up in your travels. What does it take to kick ass in travel? What does it take to kick ass in life?
Photo courtesy of Refracted Moments.