Making travelling a profession and also enjoying it is not an easy task. But Vanessa from We Are Travel Girls is doing just that. Even as she manages her 1.5 year old daughter. And loving it! She is an inspiration to all writers and travellers out there and we had a wonderful interview with her. Read on to know more!
What inspired you to come up with such the amazing idea of “We are Travel Girls”
Becky van Dijk and I met during a swimwear design course at London College of Fashion and bonded over their mutual love for travel and bikinis. Soon after, Becky started the Instagram page @WeAreTravelGirls, which quickly attracted thousands of female travel writers from across the globe, looking to feature their photos and stories. It soon became apparent that there was a striking number of amazing travel blogs, but there wasn’t a proper site that could showcase their unique stories to the world. And so the idea of We Are Travel Girls was born.
We now publish five new stories per week from girls in our community bringing you travel inspiration, travel tips and travel advice. We have the inspiring interview series Ladies We Love, where we interview inspirational women around the world and article series Charities We Love to spotlight charities, non-profits and organisations that are doing good around the world. To bring this community together offline we regularly host meet-ups and events where you can connect with other female travellers. We also host Travel Girls Getaways, educational retreats, active escapes and charitable trips around the world for the adventurous female traveller.
Of all the surfing destinations you have been to, which one is your favourite, and why?
I’ve been on a lot of surfing adventures. I use to sleep in surf hostels and sometimes in my surfboard bag on the beach when I had no money. I loved all those trips (you don’t need a lot of money to have a great adventure), but my favorite surf trip so far was staying at Nihu Sumba Island. Nihi was voted #1 hotel in the world, in all categories in 2016 and 2017, and offers the ultimate secluded, luxury surf trip. You can read about my experience a Nihi here.
As we know, you share travel stories of women. Is there any particular story that is special to you?
Wow this is a really tough question! We publish so many inspirational stories every month it is really hard to choose! Al the women we have featured on our Ladies We Love interviews inspire me and our monthly Charities We Love feature which I launched this year is particularly important to me. We launched this series in 2018 with the goal of using our site’s popularity to give back and help get the word out about amazing charities around the globe. All the charities we have featured are doing incredible work to help the planet or people in need, or both!
Have you ever been somewhere and thought “I don’t want to go back home”? And why?
I visited Byron Bay in Australia when I was in my early twenties. My mom was with me. We were taking a college class together studying the Māori – the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. We went to New Zealand with our class for a few days and then traveled through the Gold Coast of Australia for a week. My mom and I stayed in Australia longer so I could surf and she could paint. When we got to the Cap Byron Lighthouse it was the most gorgeous view I had ever seen – there were whales breaching and dolphins jumping. I looked at my mom and said I don’t want to go home, this place is paradise, I am moving here!
How do you manage to shuttle between London and California, and manage your business as well as continue to travel for travel’s sake?
It use to be a lot easier before I had my daughter! Sadie is just 1.5 years old now so the last 2 years I have not been able to travel as much as I use to. I now have to pick the trips I go on more carefully because I do not want to be away from her all the time, but as she gets older it will get easier because I will be able to take her with me more and more. My husband and I are actually moving back to California at the end of October after living in London for almost 7 years so I am looking forward to that!
Creating a good balance of personal and business life is not easy. Before I had Sadie I use to work 10 hour days – now I am forced to work less to spend time with her, but during all my travels I am working! As I type this it is 12.00 am, Sadie keeps waking up crying so between finishing these interview questions and trying to get her settled again it will likely be 1.00 am before I go to bed and this is a typical night for me. But I feel beyond blessed to get to work from home (or on the road) and I am lucky I get to do a job I love!
What is your favourite travel quote?
“What makes a woman beautiful is her attitude towards the world.” – Christi Rivers
My mom Christi said this and I always loved it. She passed away from cancer when I was 25. She was an incredibly kind and inspirational person. I actually did a post called 50 Travel Quotes To Live By to inspire your next adventure featuring this quote among many other amazing travel quotes.
What are your top three things that attract you before you choose it as your next destination?
Sunshine. Beach. Wine!
Which one do you prefer – a vacation to relax and unwind, or a vacation to plunge into adventures?
I love both! I like going on beach holidays to relax with my family and friends but I also love adventure trips where I can be active or charity trips where I can give back to the communities I am visiting. Last month we hosted our first Travel Girls Getaways impact trip – our Malawi Safari & Charity Trip. It was so incredible that we are offering it again next year! An in march 2019 we are hosting our Austrian Alps Ski Getaway which will be our first ski trip. I am so excited for both of these getaways!
Well, we clearly know your answer to “mountains or beaches”, so we are going to ask you a different one – quaint village or bustling metropolis?
Village! I am from a very small town (population 200 people) so I love visiting small towns on my travels. I hope that someday I can convince my husband to move to a smaller town but for now I will settle for moving back to America and living in the LA area (Santa Monica) by the beach!
What are the three most useful travel hacks that you would like to share with us?
1) If you are traveling economy with a friend book the isle and window. You might luck out and get no one in the middle seat.
2) Smile and be polite. You will get so much farther with everyone if you are kind, especially in difficult situations.
3) Always bring a spare change of clothes, underwear and a tooth brush in your carry on so if your check bag gets lost you at least have a clear pair of clothes to change into.
India. If you have been then what are your impressions? If you have not been then what are you looking forward to?
I have not been to India but it is on my bucketlist. I am dying to have authentic Indian food in India and spend time wandering the street markets. The culture looks vibrant and beautiful. I am very excited for my first visit!
Thank you so much for your time, Vanessa, we enjoyed this conversation! Hope you visit India soon!
All pix courtesy Vanessa.
You can connect with
Vanessa GlitterandMud.com | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
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