When I first decided on this journey, the very person I just knew I wanted to ask for advice was the Betsy Talbot of Married with Luggage. She doesn’t know me from adam. I rarely comment on her blog but I read it religiously. I’ve been following her journey from almost the beginning. Betsy and her husband, Warren, decided to rid themselves of most of their possessions, save their money and go on a traveling journey. I fell in love. My love of travel burns brightly under my yoga pants as I sit curled up on my sofa. So I live through Betsy and Warren as they move around the planet. By the time they got to Edinburgh and fell in love with my favorite country, I knew we were meant to be BFFs even if Betsy didn’t know it yet.
It took me days to put together my short email asking Betsy if she would be so kind as to participate in my journey by answering a few questions. Her latest book is called Strip Off Your Fear: Slip Into Something More Confident so I swallowed my fear and hit send. Imagine the screaming imminenting through my house when she responded positively almost immediately. I fell right off my sofa. The Betsy responded to little ole me!! To top it off she had just arrived in Mongolia and was about to mount a camel for some riding and hanging out with some nomads. How cool! Well, the traveling and the nomads but I still am not sure I will like camels. Does anyone know if they smell bad like goats?
Betsy feels she is a lifestyle blogger more than a travel blogger. I think since she is a traveling lifestyle blogger it still fits perfectly plus she is my favorite. Here is my interview:
What is your first memory of traveling? That’s easy. We went to visit my aunt and uncle in Texas by car. My family doesn’t really travel unless it is to visit someone, so for a long time I never thought of travel for adventure or to satisfy my own curiosity.
Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere! I carry a small notebook with me all the time because you never know what will inspire or spark a creative idea. Most recently it was staying in a ger (yurt) with a nomadic family in Mongolia, and it made me think a lot about minimalism and mobility and how it helps them be closer as a family. Many times my inspiration comes from books, music, or movies. In fact, we’re in Mongolia now because of a series of books we read last year about it.
What was your biggest fear about becoming a lifestyle blogger and how did you overcome it? I don’t know that I was ever really scared of it because it happened so gradually. We started the website to keep our families in the loop as to what we were doing, and it just blossomed from there. And then we started answering the questions people were asking us in real life about how we did what we were doing and it just sort of grew from there. I would be much more scared if I were writing about something I didn’t know very well, but as long as I write what I live, it seems to flow pretty easily.
Who would be your dream travel companion and why? My husband Warren is my dream travel companion. Lucky me! We are well-suited to each other and to long-term travel, and we both like the outdoors. We’re also both really curious people, so we are never bored. I’m actually surprised at how well it has worked out given our independent personalities. We still fight and have our moments, but this lifestyle has taught us to work through problems quickly and effectively and we are stronger for it. I like to call it Marriage Therapy via Passport.
Where was your favorite place to visit so far? I usually think my current location is my favorite, and this is still true. Mongolia has stolen my heart with its beautiful landscape and friendly people. Past faves include Antarctica, Scotland, and of course northern Thailand.
What questions should a person ask before leaping into lifestyle blogging? First I would suggest having a specific message for a specific audience. You can’t be everything to everyone or you’ll be so bland no one will ever come to your site. Then I would suggest writing 10 articles to get started. You don’t have to publish them; just write them. If you still feel like you have it in you to keep going with posts every week on the subject for the foreseeable future, you have a good shot at creating a blog that will last.
Are you funded by a Sugar Daddy or have you been successful in finding ways to finance your adventures? What? You mean I could have looked for a sugar daddy?! No, we did it the old-fashioned way, by saving our money for 2 years before we left on this grand journey and by writing books and publishing them on Amazon. No sugar daddies here, though we don’t really need one. Our life costs a fraction of what it used to, and it is infinitely more interesting. Plenty of fodder for more books to come, believe me!
Have you found social networks beneficial? If so, which ones? Facebook is our most successful platform, and we post pictures, articles, and updates there every day. Pinterest is something we are trying with good early success. Rather than spread ourselves too thin to cover them all, we try to focus our efforts where they will be best received. After all, I don’t want to spend all my time online. I have a life to live!
What have you found to be your essentials while on the road? Moleskin notebook, pen, and a MacBook Pro.
What tips would you offer to a burgeoning lifestyle blogger? Your writing may revolve around your personal life or experiences, but never forget you are writing for an audience who wants or needs something from you. There has to be something specific in it for them or it is just a vanity project.
Don’t ya just want to be her BFF? I do. If you want to follow her and Warren around or learn how to not just Dream It but Live It check out these links:
Click right over to their blog Married with Luggage.
Follow them on Facebook.
Sign up for their weekly email.
Buy one of their books. I have all of them, Strip Off Your Fear: Slip Into Something More Confident, Dream Save Do and Getting Rid of It, on my Kindle for PC.
Betsy and Warren truly embody the philosophy of going for your dreams. What dream have you put off following? What step can you take today towards that dream?