Interview with Elie, a travel blogger and tour organiser8 min read
Interview with Elie, a travel blogger and tour organiser8 min readReading Time: 6 minutes
Hi Elie, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your lifestyle?
Hello! I am a travel blogger and tour organiser from the UK.
I’ve had the travel bug for 10 years. I spent many years in a cycle of working full time office jobs in the UK and Australia for a year or so to earn money to go backpacking for a few months and once that money went down I would start work all over again.
I started my blog in 2015 but it wasn’t until 2017 that I really took it seriously and realised people did make good money from blogging.
In the Summer of 2018 I knew I wanted to work for myself and travel full time with no end in sight, so I quit my job, left London and took the leap to blog full time. I had savings but I didn’t know if my blog would sustain me to do all the travelling I wanted to do. However, I knew it was worth a try and I would regret it if I didn’t!
2 years later I can confidently say that travel blogging is my job and life now and as of 2020 I also run group tours and retreats which I’ll tell you more about below.
What is your current destination?
I’m on the island of Gili Trawangan in Indonesia. I’m isolating here and have been since March 2020.
Can you tell us a bit about the projects you are currently working on? Are you currently looking for some new projects and clients?
I don’t work with many clients and no on-going clients. I work with a few travel brands here and there on press trips and sponsored content but most of my money and income comes from what I decide to put on my blog.
Right now I am working on updating all of my blog posts because I’ve learnt a lot about SEO since I wrote some of the old ones and I want them to rank better in Google and get more traffic.
I am hoping that in the near future, travel brands will be looking to use travel bloggers to help promote their destinations post-COVID19 as I would like to work with brands in that way.
What do you like the most about being a Digital Nomad?
For me it’s all about the travel aspect. I dreamed of being able to earn money online so I could travel wherever I wanted with no end in sight and live wherever I wanted too. I’m really happy that I have made this happen and even more so through travel blogging because I also love to write and talk about travel more than anything else!
And what are the downsides of it (in case there are any)?
It is hard to balance travel and work. Because I work for myself I don’t have set hours and usually everything I do is set by me unless I work with some brands, so it can be hard prioritising sitting at my laptop making blog posts and videos from where I’ve been over travelling. However if I don’t prioritise creating the content that I need and want to produce, it builds up and then it affects my income in the coming months.
What is a place/country you liked the most while travelling and why? What’s on your to-travel-list?
I love India, it’s so big and so diverse. You can visit big historic cities, hippy mountain towns and chill on the beach so easily. There’s also many parts of India that are known for their expat communities which I also love.
In the future I want to travel more of the Middle East, I’m learning Arabic at the moment and want to travel to more Arabic countries and base myself in them.
How often do you use coworking spaces? Is there one that you’d like to recommend to other nomads?
I don’t really use coworking spaces as much as I would like as I don’t stay in one place for long enough, but I did spend a few weeks in Georgetown in Malaysia using aCAT which I enjoyed and recommend.
Let´s talk about community. Is there a special place/city that you particularly liked because of people/community?
Again, I don’t really stick around long enough to build a community and become part of a community and I would love to do this more.
Of course it’s a cliche but I did love being in Bali for a bit last year as a few of my travel blogging colleagues were there and it was great to spend time with them!
London is also so great for the travel blogging community, so many bloggers live there and there are so many opportunities, it’s just annoying that it’s so expensive, and not a tropical island!!!
Elie, you are a solo female traveller like me, what do you think are the biggest challenges for solo female travellers?
I would say it’s the lack of community and people around you. I’m really happy in my own company and I love solo travel but it can get lonely and the lack of friendship does take its toll I think. It’s something that I’m aware of and I do want to build a base and a community because of this in the near future.
Can you tell us what is your biggest dream?
In addition to travel blogging, as of 2020 I now organise and run group tours. I ran 2 x 2 week tours to India for women only in January and March 2020.
My dream is to build this company and offer regular tours in India and other countries like Pakistan, Jordan, Turkey and more in the Middle East. I want to focus on countries that are harder to travel by yourself and / or have a bad stigma attached to them.
I love group tours because of the pre made friends that you meet and the memories you get to share together. I’m so pleased to say that all of the ladies got on so well on both of my tours. They continue to talk and are making future travel plans together! I want to keep being able to offer this to people whilst also travelling an amazing country!
In case you have a motto, could you share it with us?
I’m a big believer in everything happening for a reason.
Could you share with us the names of two inspiring digital nomads that you are following?
Jodie from @alajode became a digital nomad a year before me, she gave me a lot of motivation and inspiration to do it myself and now we are good friends.
Rose from @wheregoesrose is a freelance writer and blogger. She loves Asia as much as me but recently lived in Mexico for a few months. She does the digital nomad thing of living in one place, and really cool places, for a while and then travelling better than me and I’m always envious of where she’s living and travelling! Luckily we got to meet in Chiang Mai last year after a lot of chatting on Instagram!
Is there something that you would like to add?
If you are not a digital nomad yet and dream of it, I really encourage you to pursue it. Start working on something that is purely online, have savings as a backup and take the leap because you can always go back if it doesn’t work but if you don’t try you’ll never know dreams can come true!
Written by: Kristina Lukacova, a DN that enjoys good food, good wine and good vibes. If you would like to know more about Elie, you can have a look at her blog The Wandering Quinn. Elie also runs a Blogging Retreat in South Africa with Jodie in June 2020, you can view the details here on Location: Anywhere.