Hello folks, India’s festive season is on and we have a lovely blogger talking to us about her journey as a blogger. Let’s pay attention for the next 5 minutes to Elizabeth Wanderlust, the founder of Digital Travel Guru. For those who can recall, she had posted a blog on BnBNation earlier. Let’s hand it over to Elizabeth:
When did you start blogging?
I started blogging officially in 2016, when I launched Digital Travel Guru.
Why did you start blogging?
To share my travel experiences of travelling the world, photography and my love for exploring new places, which are my biggest passions as well as writing. I was also encouraged by many work colleagues / friends and family encouraged me to start a blog as I was helping them plan their itineraries and their trips, to the extent I felt like a travel agent at times lol. I have also always enjoyed writing and doing research, I used to write for a international Music Magazine called (Knowledge). Starting a blog / website was the perfect outlet to do all these things.
Do you blog part time or as full-time profession?
A bit of both really, I am more a full time blogger, I’d say as I spend over 35-40 hours a week on it and that is full time working hours in UK, as well as working my full time job in psychiatry.
Do you earn through your blog? If yes, how do you earn through your blog?
I have earned on my blog a bit by doing paid writing posts and have done a few sponsored posts. I do have some plans soon to monetise my blog. I have had a few companies that have paid me to add their links in my site (but I am very selective with these) and have to taken too many.
Some ways you can earn from your blog are:
-Creating and selling e-books or guides or similar
-Selling other products such as merchandise
-Brand advertising or brand promoted posts.
-Selling ebooks or courses.
What is the niche/focus area of your blog?
My blog focus is 360 Travel and across the site you will find the following:
-Videos / Drone footage (coming soon)
-Interviews with (travellers / bloggers / nomads / expats)
-Reviews of various places around the world (restaurants / bars / airports / tour services / hotels etc)
-Resource section of the site will provide you with all the links to books and plan your trips and also with travel blogging.
-General travel articles on numerous topics
Do you have any blogging idols? If yes, who are they and why?
I see people as inspiriting, and motivating rather than as idols, and there are a lot of Bloggers / YouTubers I find very inspirational here are the links to some of them:
Narrate an unusual incident you experienced while traveling. It could be funny or heart wrenching, but something unusual.
Seeing a guy covered in bees whilst I was In India, I have no idea why, or what happened to him but he was on a motorway on a motorbike and he was literally covered in bees and had tons bees following him, my driver said he also had no idea why, and that maybe he had disturbed a bees nest.
Having a snake in my suitcase, I have told this story many times but I use it as a warning to people that going to places to be aware not to leave suitcases, doors and windows open, as you never know what unexpected visitors you may find, glad the snake did not travel to UK London with me (imagine that lol) I would have been horrified!!
Also other incident was leaving balcony doors open inn Malaysia and finding a Monkey casually sitting on my hotel bed (very comfortably) with fruit that he had stole from the fruit bowl!!
What has traveling taught you about yourself?
Travel has taught me so many things I could actually write a book on it. Here are a few:
That I love food, history and culture. I love exploring new places especially old temples and ancient sites and photographing them, thesis type of sites always make me think of the history of the place and how life was like there in the times they were built.
It has taught me to appreciate the things I am able to do, there are so many people in the world living in such poor conditions that have very difficult lives, so it is important to acknowledge how lucky we are to be able to travel and have the freedom to go around the world (when some people are just struggling to have a meal each day or have a roof over their head).
From a very young age (when I first started travelling with my parents and lived abroad) travel has taught me to respect other peoples, ways of life, religions, cultures and traditions, and to understand people are all different, and different is extremely interesting and educational.
Travel has also taught me to have patience, things in other countries around the world work differently, if someone says 1 hour it could mean 3 hours, it has taught me to go with the flow, to accept that things happen when they happen and that not everything will always go to plan.
Travel most of all has helped gain great insights and an understanding into people and behaviours through learning about cultures / traditions / religious / food / rituals and daily ways of life across the world, this has been so valuable as I work I psychiatry and allowed me to gain a greater depth of knowledge and skills when working with a multicultural patients and society in London UK. What one might perceive as abnormal in one culture or society might be considered as very normal in another.
With whom do you travel: Travel alone, travel with friends, travel with loved ones?
I travel with a mix of all of the above and have travelled solo too.
When you travel to a country, do you experience the destination by observing its local culture, traditions and way of life?
I love observing and learning about cultures and traditions around the world.
Some of the ways I go about trying to achieve this is by: (this is list is an example and not the only ways I try and achieve this)
-Talking and mingling with local people (staying in some types of home stays)
-Going off the beaten track exploring villages and other places.
-Reading up and watching videos on places I am going to visit so I have some sort f understating and knowledge about there I am going.
-Visiting historical sites of the place and places of cultural or religious significance
-Trying local foods
-Trying to learn some words in the local dialects of places I visit
-Buying locally made products or items
-Learning to try cooking lessons places inn different places I visit
-Attending – Festivals and other events
If given a chance, would you like to live with the local family and eat and behave like a local to understand the local way of life better?
To be honest probably NOT in most scenarios, I like my own space and privacy way too much, I tend to book more private villas / other various types of accommodations or hotels on trips. I would not totally rule it out, but if I did stay it would not be more than 2-3 days.
I don’t think you need to live with a family to experience these things either, you can meet families for meals and get to know the local cultures and ways of lives in lots of other ways too, a home stay is just one type of way.
I don’t always like people around and like my own time, if I stayed in a home stay I would feel I need to be social and when I am away I like to have time without interruptions at times to relax. I like to chill out on holiday maybe stay up late, or come home late / listen to music that may at times be a little loud etc maybe have a bottle of wine (I feel if I stayed in a local home stay) some of the things I may like to do might not be suitable or I would feel restricted as some may have children that sleep early or have certain religious beliefs and all sorts of other restrictions and I would not like to offend anyone so would not put myself or a host family in that situation, where I cannot do what I want, so I don’t think this would be ideal for me, in most scenarios.
I have stayed in places similar to a home stay but the accommodation was separate to the owners main house, which in my opinion was more private, but I still had the luxury of being with a local family and having the freedom to do what I want to do.
There are pro’s and conn’s to this but overall it is a fantastic experience, but maybe to suitable for everyone.
I am planing to open up a homestay type place in India (but I have things set up where the guest would have their own space and entrances to the property and where their accommodation is separate to my main house but still on the same grounds.
What do you prefer: Lofty Mountains or Sandy Beaches?
Sandy tropical beaches are just perfect for me.
Places I have visited that were fantastic for Sandy beaches have been:
- Sri Lanka
- Thailand (Islands)
- Caribbean (Islands)
- Gili Islands
- Nusa Lembongan
- Nusa Penida
What is your dream destination and why?
A tropical island where I can explore old ancient sites or temples have access to tropical beaches, jungle’s with lots of interesting wildlife, with good food and local places to visit such as markets and local places to eat / socialise. Good diving and snorkelling locations.
Some places on my bucket list are:
What makes you feel unsafe in a tourist destination?
I am not scared to travel anywhere, I think some places may be more risky than others. But I think risk is everywhere. I don’t let this worry me. I live each day as it comes. I also don’t just visit tourist destinations or places in countries (I go off the beaten track a lot).
I feel I am very streetwise, having grown up in London. I would say I don’t really get worried about safety. I usually rely one my gut instinct in situations and so far it has never let me down. I feel I am good at reading people and judging situations (maybe to do with my job, which involves working with a lot of hight risk individuals and situations and managing risk). I don’t let risk put me off from going where I want to. Not much makes me feels unsafe in destinations, I normally research the destinations I am going to so I am aware of potentials issues and go bearing that in mind.
Do you have any money saving tips for our readers who aspire to travel?
Research places you want to go
Search the net for deals
Look at different times of the year to go
Plan in advance
Ask questions in places such as Facebook groups / Travel Forums etc
Consider volunteering programs that may give you free stays or food in exchange for volunteering work (I have not done this myself, but I know many who have)
Look at other types of things you maybe able to do in exchange for free stays or tours etc… (such as reviews)
What are the 5 things you always pack while heading to a destination?
Good question, I travel with a lot of luggage but if I have to narrow it down to 5 say in my hand luggage – It would be:
- Travel size (beauty products)
- Cameras + lenses
- Phone + headphones
- Spare clothing – incase my suitcase gets lost. (my worst nightmare)
What are your favourite travel apps?
- Air BNB
- Google Maps
If you work and travel, could you tell our readers (your choice or not to answer this) how you earn an income whilst travelling and any good tips or advice on how to travel the world whilst working?
I don’t personally do this at present but here are some ideas:
-Freelance work: article writing, graphic design, art, web site design (the list is endless)
-Youtube (making travel or other types pf videos and yonnetisingn on YouTube
-Doing brand sponsorship promotions
-Selling stock photography or videos
-Creating ebooks and courses
-Using affiliate links on your sites
-Teaching English or another language online to others
-Social media or marketing
-Virtual assistant work
What is your favourite travel quote?
I have so many but here is one:
“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it”
What are your travel plans for the rest of the year?
I have just come back from Bali, where I was for a month. At the end of last year and this year in the year, I was in Thailand and India. I plan to head back to Asia later this year and fit in a few other trips to Morocco, Dubai, China, Zanzibar and a few other places around Asia, depending on time constraints and projects I am doing in Asia (such as setting up a boutique type hotel and online boutique store) as well as a few other ventures.
About Digital Travel Guru (Elizabeth Wanderlust)
Across our site you will find lots of information to help with all aspects of planning your trip and to learn about different places around the world, we aim to bring you the full 360 travel experience through the following types of content, videos, photography, travel and country guides, featuring our readers travel stories, and travel interviews (with travel bloggers, nomads, and expats) from around the globe. Our resource section of the site will be a place to plan your trips and see what travel items we recommend.
Follow Digital Travel Guru here:
Travel Blog Club: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1862515203985416/.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (if you want to guest post or be interview for my site please get in contact)