For our next Travel blogger interview we have been speaking to Angie Orth of Angieaway.com . Angie quit her job in PR in New York in 2010 and set off in search of adventures! She’s embracing her love of travel and shares some of her insights below.
Blog name and address: Angie Away
Twitter name: @angieaway
Where are you based? Everywhere!
What does your blog cover? How did you decide on your specialisation?
I’ve never quite been able to settle on one niche. I’m interested in so many aspects of travel that I never wanted to pigeonhole myself on just adventure or just luxury or just solo travel. There’s room for everything on my site, just like there’s room for variety in my real life.
How long have you been travel blogging? What do you like most about it? Any downsides?
I’ve been actively blogging since 2006, but started AngieAway in 2010 when I quit my PR job in NYC to travel full time. I love almost everything about being a blogger… though I haven’t yet mastered the art of taking official days off to really rest. I thought quitting my fast paced job would help me to be less of a workaholic, but it’s actually made it a bit worse.
How do you prefer to travel? Backpacking, alone, budget, luxury…? What do you like visiting? Art galleries, beaches, bars?!
I like to mix it up. One night I’ll stay at a hostel and the next, in a 5-star hotel. That way the experience never gets stale and I’m always seeing new places from every angle.
How much time a day do you spend on the blog whilst travelling and when back home?
I spend anywhere from 2-12 hours/day on the blog, depending on what I’m working on and what my travel schedule allows. Some days I’ll just clear out administrative duties & emails, and on writing days, I might sit at the computer from sunrise to sunset. I try to be flexible with my hours though. That is the benefit of working for myself!
Does your blog pay the bills? How do you afford all the travel?
Not really. I haven’t focused on monetizing too much. SEO is not my strength. I really just love to tell stories and use my blog as an outlet to communicate creatively and take a few thousand people along on my journey. So I pay for my travels with various side jobs in copywriting, freelance travel writing and PR/social media consulting.
Have you noticed a change in attitude towards travel bloggers since you began?
I have a unique perspective on the travel blogging industry because of my background in travel public relations. When travel blogging was just kicking off, I was on the other side of the fence figuring out how to connect my clients with these bloggers in a way that would benefit everyone. Back then, blogging, Facebook and Twitter were big, scary new technologies with no rules and no parameters. All we could do was experiment with fun ways of connecting our brands with bloggers. So it’s been incredibly rewarding to see how far the entire industry has come, especially now from the blogger side of the fence.
Do you speak any languages? How does it help your travels to speak languages?
I speak French & Spanish which have been incredibly helpful. I find if English doesn’t work, usually I can get by in one of those two.
What tech do you take with you on your travels? Do you prefer a laptop/tablet or phone? How do you access the net abroad? Wifi or local sims?
I have a Kindle 3G, Macbook Air, iPhone and a Canon G12. I do a happy dance anytime I find free WiFi.
How much time do you spend away from home per year on average? How do you pick your destinations?
I travel anywhere from 8-10 months a year. I choose destinations based on whims, really. Whatever comes across my plate, I believe in saying yes and going for it.
Do you ever travel on holidays which you don’t cover for the blog?
Not really. I see every trip as an opportunity to tell a story. I may not cover a destination fully, but I always try to share what I loved about a place or some helpful tips that might assist a reader on their future trip.
What has been you stand-out trip or destination?
I can’t choose a favorite. I loved Egypt, Greece, Kenya, New Zealand, Bolivia… and so many other places. Each offers something different that has made its mark on me.
What meals do you remember as particularly delicious/ unusual/inedible?
My best friend came to visit while I was in Mykonos in 2011 and we ordered fish & chips from a little seaside restaurant. Instead of breaded fish filets, they brought us a basket full of whole, pan-friend minnows. I have trouble eating things that can still stare at me.
On the other hand, in Costa Brava, Spain, I dined with the artist Quim Hereu in his studio. Each dish was inspired by part of his gargantuan painting, The Strombotic Birth of Venus. The marriage of food and art was such a beautiful experience. Totally unforgettable.
What have you learned since you started travel blogging? Have you figured out any deep philosophical truths? or discovered the best blogging platform?
I’ve learned so much about myself and the way I’m wired to work. I’m not meant to sit in an office 10 hours a day hammering out projects just for the sake of hammering out projects. I work so much better independently and on my own time, and I think knowing that, I’m a better worker and a better writer.
Are there any countries you have visited In which you would like to live?
Out of all the places I’ve been, I’d most like to live in England. London was the very first international experience I had at 16 years old, and I’ve just been in love with everything from the UK ever since.
Any advice for wannabe travel bloggers?
Be a good writer. Strive to be different. Don’t tell the same story as everyone else. Find a new way to say what you want to say. Don’t be average. Don’t grind out posts just because you have to. Be good at what you do!
My sister and I (@thejetsisters) are heading to Peru to volunteer in March. I’d also like to visit Canada, Cuba, Scotland & Ireland this year, and I have a sneaking suspicion there will be quite a few surprise destinations on the agenda. There always are!
Thank you very much for answering these questions!