Home»TRAVEL TIPS & NEWS»INTERVIEW | 15 QUESTIONS TO TRAVEL BLOGGER BECKY VAN DIJK

INTERVIEW | 15 QUESTIONS TO TRAVEL BLOGGER BECKY VAN DIJK

Every month Stay in Style interviews a travel blogger who inspires many people from all over the world. Today Becky van Dijk! Becky is the Founder & Editor of popular travel site WeAreTravelGirls.com. Currently living in Bali she shares her adventures on Becky van Dijk and on We Are Travel Girls. Born and raised in Hertfordshire – England with Dutch roots,  Becky always had a passion for creativity, art and adventure. Her father is a pilot who has travelled the world with his job and her mother was an air stewardess, so the travel bug was destined to catch up with her! Curious how she travels the world, what her favorite memory is and what her golden tips are for other travel bloggers?

1. WHY DID YOU START YOUR OWN TRAVEL BLOG?
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a travel writer, before blogs existed and everything we read was online I would go to travel writing seminars by writers who were published in the Rough Guides, Lonely Planet and Wanderlust magazine. I was desperate to write for one of these, but didn’t know how to break into that industry. After university I ended up working in finance, but always had insatiable wanderlust and a desire to write about my travels. In 2015, I was looking at ways to leave finance, and my friend and now co-founder of We Are Travel Girls, Vanessa Rivers, suggested starting a blog which would help for marketing if I ever wanted to start a travel company, a product or an app. So I set about creating a travel blog, in doing so I realised that was what every girl was doing, so I turned my attention to creating a community amongst these women. This lead me to start @WeAreTravelGirls on Instagram, which has now grown to a community of over 175,000 followers and more recently the launch our site where we curate and edit travel articles from women all around the world.

2. WHEN DID YOU START YOUR TRAVEL BLOG?
I launched both my personal travel blog BeckyvanDijk.com and my female travel community site WeAreTravelGirls.com in June 2016. Both are young sites, but we have seen them grow in popularity quickly. On my personal site I share my travel experiences and tips and boutique hotel reviews with my audience.

“I would say I am a balanced traveller, I like to mix budget with luxury”

3. WHAT KIND OF TRAVELLER ARE YOU?
I would say I am a balanced traveller, I like to mix budget with luxury. On our recent trip to Malaysia we stayed at some beautiful and unique hotels, full of character and history, but on my next trip to Perth we have booked a back packer hostel on the beach.
4. WHAT WAS YOUR MOST RECENT TRIP?
We just returned a few days ago from Malaysia. It was my third time to the country and each time I visit I fall in love with it a little more! We visited Kuala Lumpur, the Cameron Highlands, Penang and Langkawi on this trip and I am already planning to go back and explore more of the islands to the east of the country.

5. HOW OFTEN DO YOU TRAVEL IN A YEAR?
Whilst I worked in finance I had 5+ weeks off per year so I was able to travel quite extensively. Now I live in Bali and work in travel I try to do a trip each month. As I mentioned, we have just returned from Malaysia, we are headed to Perth in a couple of weeks, and are currently making plans for trips to India, Philippines, California, Europe and around Indonesia over the next six months.

“I am very happy with the choices that I have made to prioritise seeing the world”
6. HOW DO YOU PAY YOUR TRAVELS?
I saved money during my time in finance, which has allowed me to move out to Bali and lower my cost of living whilst I work on building We Are Travel Girls. Since we are a start-up we are only just beginning to monetise our company, so for now I am using my savings to afford me to travel. Whilst I don’t own a house or a fancy car, I am very happy with the choices that I have made to prioritise seeing the world.

7. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE DESTINATION AND WHY?
I have so many! But my standout favourite places in the world have been India, which is a country of so much colour and life; New Zealand for its beautiful landscapes and the Galapagos for the wildlife and getting to swim with hammerhead sharks!

 8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY?
Snorkelling with whale sharks off island of Holbox, Mexico. Whale sharks are protected in Mexico and only two people and the guide are allowed in the water with them at any one time. Since I was in Mexico as swine flu broke out there were only a handful of tourists on the island meaning we got to spend hours jumping in and out of the water with no other boats around. This was a really special expereince.
“Walking around in the evening felt like you were in a zombie movie”
9. DO YOU HAVE A COUNTRY OR CITY THAT WAS DISSAPOINTING AFTERWARDS?
I hate to be negative towards a place, but we had a very disappointing time in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, to be fair to the city it was our own fault as we travelled there out of season. Expecting beautiful beaches, fun parties and wildlife trips we were disappointed to find the town entirely shut down. We had booked three nights in a hostel, and the hostel along with one restaurant and a small grocery were the only things open in the entire city day and night. Walking around in the evening felt like you were in a zombie movie as it was absolutely deserted and there not a light on in any of the high rise apartments owned by rich Argentinians who spend summer there. Perhaps we should go back at the right time of year!

10. HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR A TRIP?
My boyfriend and I travel together, and I am lucky that he is great at researching a destination to make sure we plan accommodation in the best areas and to arrange all our transportation, flights, buses etc. My area is planning what we will see and do when we are there. I typically start with Pinterest, since I work visually this this is great place to save all the must-see spots and find blogs about the destination. I then map everything out on Google maps to plan an itinerary of what we want to try and see each day. I find this really helps when we get there and means we don’t waste time figuring it out on the go.
 11. WHICH COUNTRY STANDS HIGH ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
I would love to visit Antartica – I am sure that must be on everyones bucketlist! It would be such a unique and once in a lifetime expereince, and I love to see nature whilst travelling so I am hoping to go in the next few years.
“On the way we passed through many villages, always with smiling children waving”
12. DO YOU HAVE ONE FAVORITE PICTURE MADE DURING ONE OF YOUR TRAVELS?
Actually one of my favourite pictures is from Cambodia when I was backpacking through South East Asia with my good friend Sarah. This was taken over 13 years ago, when we crossed the border from southern Laos into Cambodia, not recommended as you have to take a small 5 person speedboat that was dangerous enough to require you to wear a motorcycle helmet. On arrival in Cambodia we realised this was not what most tourists did, preferring to enter from Thailand so we spent the next few days hitching rides to get ourselves to Siem Riep. On the way we passed through many villages, always with smiling children waving so we would pull over and say hi. Whilst this journey was terrible, I will cherish the memory of the adventure and this picture.
13. DO YOU HAVE A GOOD TRAVEL TIP YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US?
Trust that things will work out. I have been in plenty of situations travelling where it felt like things were going wrong, the bus was headed in the wrong direction, we are lost late at night, we may not actually be able to cross a border where we thought we could… But in the end it has always worked out and often you have a good story to tell as a result.

 
“Work hard and act professionally, don’t compare yourself to others & connect with other bloggers”
14. WHAT ARE THE THREE GOLDEN TIPS FOR OTHER TRAVEL BLOGGERS WHO WANT TO TRAVEL AND WORK AROUND THE WORLD?

Work hard and act professionally. If you want to make money or use your blog to secure collaborations with hotels or tourist boards you need to be willing to pour every spare minute into it. Along with that, my biggest belief is that acting professionally and politely is extremely important. I have quickly found that the travel blogging industry is very small and your reputation is everything, if you act unprofessionally or are rude to a brand, hotel or another blogger this will get around quickly and people will not want to work with you.

Don’t compare yourself to others. There will always be someone with a bigger audience, more likes, better pictures, nicer hair, whatever it is try not to compare yourself. Becoming a blogger means you will spend alot of time on social media and this can create insecurities that you didn’t previously have. Remember that what we are showing is the best version of ourselves and our experience and may not be a realistic representation.

Connect with other bloggers. Not only will you get to meet them around the world, but its great to get advice and tips about blogging and destinations. The We Are Travel Girls group on Facebook is a great place to meet other bloggers, ask questions and share your own tips.


15. WHAT WILL YOUR NEXT DESTIANTION BE?

The next destination is Perth, Western Australia and then hopefully Lombok, Komodo and Flores in Indonesia.

Thanks a lot Becky for this interview! You inspire many women with your stories and travels. Follow Becky on Instagram and Facebook.

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2 Comments

  1. 06/02/2017 at 8:04 am — Beantwoorden

    Thank you for sharing this interview Irene! It was great fun to write these responses and recall some of my favourite travel memories!

    • ireneverpoort
      10/02/2017 at 3:22 pm — Beantwoorden

      Thank you for the inspiring answers to the questions! Keep up the good work!

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